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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Poor Genetic Material

Here Now

Review by Gary Hill

I like this band's brand of progressive rock. It's unique, but calls to mind some things along the road. They are largely set in a more traditional progressive rock style. There are references to things like King Crimson, Saga and more here. I previously reviewed another disc from these guys, and I'd say that this is a good companion to that one. It seems to be based on a good evolution of their sound.

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Track by Track Review
Here Now
Coming in gradually with a tuned percussion kind of concept, the cut gets an infusion of hard rocking sound as it continues. As it drives onward I love the synthesizer sounds that come over the top of the arrangement. Eventually the vocals join to take the number into the song proper. This is a fast-paced prog jam. Some of the backing vocals make me think of Queen. I really like a mellower instrumental movement later. It reminds me just a little of early King Crimson. It eventually makes its way back to the song proper as it continues.

This bursts in with a powerhouse prog sound. The cut fires upward with a fast paced prog jam. I'm reminded just a little of Saga for some reason. As it shifts to the song proper for the entrance of the vocals the bass brings just a little funk to the mix. This works through some killer shifts and changes as it continues, though. I love the cool keyboard-driven movement later in the cut. The track keeps evolving and growing.

The Waiting Game
A mellower motif brings this into being. After the first, understated, vocals, the synthesizer paints some cool textures. The number rises up in intensity a little after that instrumental section. Still, it's nowhere near as driving as the music on the first couple songs. It gets into a more powered up rocking jam with an intensified tempo after that, though. The flute begs comparisons to Jethro Tull. This works back out into the song proper before another killer instrumental break with flute brings a harder rocking sound. Then it drops to quite sedate sounds from there. The piece continues to evolve, getting more powerful as it goes.
Note From My Younger Self
A pretty, balladic musical concept brings this piece into being. That section holds the cut for quite a while before it eventually explodes upward into a harder rocking, driving motif to carry forward. There is an extended mellower dropped down movement further down the road that seems to be a further exploration of the opening themes. The cut fires back out into the more powered up song proper for the ending movement, though.
The Garden
At over 13-minutes of music, this is the epic of the disc.  A dramatic and inventive progressive rock movement packed with bombast opens it. The cut gets into something that's along the lines of progressive rock musical theater for the first vocals. A potent instrumental movement takes over from there. Eventually we're brought back to the song proper for the next rocking movement. Again, I can make out the musical theater concept, but there is also a bit of a Saga element to this song, too. This thing keeps growing and changing, though.
This Place
Keyboards bring this number into being. It's the second longest piece of music here at over nine-and-a-half minutes long. A pretty progressive ballad approach is created by that opening concept, although the scope changes to some degree. The first vocals come in over the top of that motif. It shifts to more rocking jam from there. This eventually gets into some of the most powerful soaring music of the disc. It drops down to ambient keyboards as it approaches the halfway mark. They begin to explore that soundscape for a time. They come back out into the more rocking zones eventually, and the cut continues to drive onward. I'm reminded of Saga on this song, too, but also Rush a bit. Still, the cut has much more of a pure symphonic prog concept, as well. There is some particularly expressive, melodic guitar soloing as the closing instrumental movement gets well underway. The cut drops to keyboards, largely piano, from there. The guitar eventually ends the piece.
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