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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Chotto Ghetto


Review by Gary Hill

Conventional wisdom says that punk rock was a response to the over-indulgence of a lot of 1970s progressive rock. Digging deeper, though, a lot of music historians suggest that it was more about the over-produced pop music springing up around the disco movement. A number of old-school punks were fans of prog rock artists, so that seems likely. Whatever the history, though, music like this shows that there is a lot more connectivity between progressive rock and punk than you would think. On the surface, this is raw punk, but there are so many songs here that have elements in common with prog that I considered landing this under that heading. This is not for everyone with its raw strangeness, but it is very artistic and quite cool.

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Track by Track Review
This is a theatrical skit kind of piece. It's bizarre. It also earns a parental advisory.
Multiversal Receiver
The riff that opens this is so cool. The cut has some metal along with plenty of punk in the mix. It's a powerhouse rocker that works quite well. It has a fairly complex arrangement that even leans a bit toward progressive rock in some ways at times.
New Horror
Another that gets a parental advisory, this is a bit more on the raw hardcore side. This isn't as fierce as the previous track. It does gain some intensity further down the road, though.
The Work
We're into a more mainstream rock grind on this one in some ways. Yet, it is artsy and punky. It's also a bit proggy in some ways. There are a lot of soundbites built into this thing, that I believe were taken from a movie. It has some cool changes, too.
Unstable Isotopes
This starts with a theatrical section. Then we get a lot of quick clips from television. This really does feel unstable. This is dark, crazed and weird. You will likely recognize many of the voices in this thing. It gets a parental advisory.
The Odd Man
A mellower, almost proggy element starts this. Mind you, it's twisted left of center, but has some prog built into it. It does feel appropriately odd. This is fairly short and constant.
Dr. Gerard is Trying to Chill
Hard edged, raw and weird, this is bizarre stuff. It has an edge of psychedelia in some ways, but it also shifts into some thrashy metallic stuff. It gets rather proggy in some of the changes, too.
Like Old Times
Piano brings this into being in a rather twisted arrangement. There is a weird punk turned art rock vibe as the vocals scream sing over the top. Other vocals enter after a time, and the arrangement gets more rocking further down the road, but that piano and voice thing dominates for a long time. There is a real definite prog angle to this piece.
Eternal Return: Tempus F***it
This powers out of the previous cut. It has a hard rocking, hardcore punk vibe to it. That said, there are definitely progressive rock angles here, too.
Gemini Croquette
This is another theatrical type of piece. It's weird and science fiction based.
There is more music to this, but it also has plenty of theatrical stuff. It's a bit artsy and definitely weird.
Charlie Cluster 8
Some of the riffs on this have a proggy tendency. This is very much in line with hardcore punk. It's also crazed and very cool stuff.
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