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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Poor Genetic Material

Spring Tidings: 15th Anniversary Edition

Review by Gary Hill

The CD cover to this describes it as "remixed, remastered, partly rerecorded." I have not heard the original version of this album, so I can't compare the two. I will say that this is definitely the kind of quality progressive rock I have grown to expect from Poor Genetic Material. We always consider new editions of older music to be "new releases" here at MSJ. However, I'm not all that comfortable with landing something like that in my "best of the year" lists. If I were, I would imagine this would make the list for 2021. It is that good.

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Track by Track Review
Three Steps Back
Ambient elements bring this into being, and it grows out gradually from there. This eventually leads into the next piece.
A killer melodic prog sound brings this out of the last number. It's up-tempo and classy. The vocals have a tendency toward the soaring zone. This piece has a lot of intriguing style and an evocative nature.
There is more of a powerhouse rocking motif here at points. Yet there are mellower sections, too. The cut has a great groove and some killer musical concepts. the changes are strong and this is an Earthy, grounded kind of modern progressive rock. The mid-track instrumental movement has such a great melodic prog vibe to it. There is a real sense of reaching upward. After another vocal movement, it explodes into another killer jam. As strong as the two previous cuts were, this really ups the ante. I really love the classy guitar work in the instrumental movement around the three-quarters mark of the piece.
This comes in with a mellower motif. That holds it for quite a while. This track is an epic-length piece at about nine-and-a-half minutes of music. The song gets into a more powerhouse arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. After the first vocals section it works to a melodic movement that's almost folk prog based. The track keeps evolving with the rocking modes returning beyond that. This is really a powerhouse tune. It's one of the highlights of the disc.
A mellower musical concept drives this piece as it starts. The number, as you might expect, builds and evolves as it continues. The whole thing is melodic, but there are more rocking and mellower movements. This is another potent piece of music on a disc full of strong music.
La Ville Qui N'Existait Pas
Coming in melodic and rather mellow, this is the longest epic of the set at ten-and-a-half minutes long. The cut works through all kinds of different movements. I really love the classic prog styled instrumental movement after the halfway mark. The cut drives out into a killer modern prog arrangement from there. The thing about this track, though, is that no matter what section you are in, it's just a short time before it shifts into something else. The closing movement of this is a classic prog based instrumental section that is a longer lasting part, followed by a drop to a rather Genesis like mellower movement.
I love the balance between the harder rocking zones and the mellower ones here. The guitar solo movement set in one of those mellower sections features some cool fusion textures.
... Or Right Ahead
This number has more of the trademark changes we've heard throughout the album. It has a lot of classy melodic prog stylings. There are definitely things about this that make me think of classic Genesis. I can make out hints of Yes, too.
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