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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


No Place Like Home

Review by Gary Hill

This is the newest album from progressive rockers Nineteentwelve. I should mention that John Pierpoint, who is Nineteentwelve's bassist, is someone who has been a regular contributor to MSJ in the past, and someone I consider a friend. That said, I'm good at doing unbiased reviews, so I don't perceive an actual conflict of interest.

So, with that out of the way, I think had this album come to me from another act, I probably would not have landed it under prog. There are some proggy tendencies. There are songs that are more prog oriented. Overall, though, this seems more of a mainstream alternative rock set. I would say that the vocal arrangements are probably the most consistently unique thing here, and they have a great tendency toward complexity. This is definitely a solid entry in the catalog of this group, but that more mainstream nature means that there are others from the group that I prefer. That literally is a matter of personal taste, though, and is no reflection on quality.

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Track by Track Review
Guitar opens this, and the band join fairly quickly. The number has a cool groove to it that works well. This is definitely not the proggiest thing the band has ever done, feeling more like an alternative rock song. There is a smoking hot guitar solo on the number. There is also a proggier moment before it. After the driving solo another guitar dominated instrumental movement calls to mind Dire Straits to some degree.
Life Changing Gear
While this does get a little proggier, it's another that has a lot of mainstream alternative rock built into it.
Ballad of a Drowning Man
Bluesy guitar brings this in with style, and the cut gradually grows outward from there. The vocals bring more of a psychedelic or space rock feeling to them. There are some more proggy elements at play on the mellower arrangement on this number. The multi-layered vocal arrangement is the real star of this balladic piece.
Eyes Shine Bright
As this gets underway there is still a bit of a blues rock vibe. It gets more definite prog elements added to the mix as it continues, though. I dig the hard rocking guitar solo on this. The vocal arrangement later really shines.
A Hole to Crawl Into
Now the mellower modes on this as it gets going are more decidedly prog-based. It rises up later, but the basic concept remains largely unchanged. The track is definitely on the AOR side, but it's also decidedly proggy. I'd consider this to be one of the highlights of the disc.
Better Man
On the one hand, this does have a lot more of that alternative rock concept. That's balanced with a more decidedly prog based arrangement, though. The instrumental section on this, with its magical keyboard elements, really takes it in more proggy directions.
Trapped in the Colours
This song is definitely one of the most prog-oriented things here. It's a real powerhouse with some killer instrumental work built into it. It grows and evolves more than anything else here does.
Turn to Me
Another melodic rocker, this has both alternative and prog elements at play. I dig the keyboard section that sounds like horns later. It also love the more powered up jam that ensues beyond it.
No Place Like Home
A ballad, this has plenty of proggy things at play. The vocal arrangement really sells it. There are quite a few twists and turns in one of the most dynamic arrangements of the whole disc. This is also one of the strongest pieces here. That makes it a great choice for both album closer and title track.


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