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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Straight Shooter

Get Straight / Five

Review by Gary Hill

This new release of two albums (one for 1978 and the other 1983) on one CD captures an intriguing band. The act has enough of prog angle to them for me to make the argument to include them under that heading, but it is more AOR in nature, and not all of it is prog at all. This is an entertaining set from start to finish, though, no matter how you classify it. It should be noted that I previously reviewed the album opener on a compilation disc. I've used that track review here for the sake of consistency.

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Track by Track Review
Get Straight
Friday On My Mind

Keyboards bring this into being, but the cut is more of an AOR rocker. There are some proggy things here, but this is overall a hard-rock tune. It reminds me quite a bit of Sweet, really. It has great energy and drive and really rocks. The keyboard solo section, though, does bring the prog angles to bear. There is even some space rock on display as it works back out to the song proper from there.

Look At These Eyes
Mellower concepts that are decidedly proggy bring this cut into being. This is eventually works its way out to harder rocking zones. I'm really reminded of Vanilla Fudge in a lot of ways. This is driving and a bit psychedelic. It's also very strong. It works through some intriguing twists and turns.
Early Morning View
Much more of a mainstream hard rocker, this has some unique angles. I'm reminded to some degree of Max Webster in its quirkiness.
Need You So
A mellower cut, there is a healthy helping of both psychedelia and space rock built into this. There are some parts of Hawkwind's catalog that this track calls to mind for me. There are some distinctly proggy things at play at times here. There is a cool hard rocking grind later along this road.
Summer In The City
This starts with a keyboard solo section that is so classy. That holds the track for more than a minute. They eventually work out to the song proper from there. This is a cover, but they really reconstructed this piece. The instrumental break on this pulls it into a full proggy jam with some killer synthesizer work.
Thoughts On My Pillow
A mainstream rocking concept is in the driver's seat for much of this song. That said, when it drops to a mellower section, that feels a bit on the proggy side. From there it gets into a keyboard heavy instrumental section that feels a bit like ELP.
Oh - Sometimes
Intricate guitar starts this. That part holds the track for a time but then ends. A similar motif, with the addition of keyboards serves as the backdrop for the first vocals of the tune. This evolves gradually for a lot of its run. It powers out later into some harder rocking, soaring stuff, though. It continues to change and grow along the road. This track is almost eight-and-a-half minutes long, and all that time is used to take it through so many twists and turns. A proggy instrumental section later even makes me think of Mike Oldfield to some degree. This is one of the highlights of the disc.
Distant Scream

Much punchier, this has a real new wave vibe to it. It's a fun tune, but feels a bit dated.

Looking For You
This is more of mainstream hard rocker. The new wave concepts from the previous song are gone, but this is not a proggy piece.
Straight Waves
An instrumental piece, this is much proggier. It has some hints of new wave. I can make out some 1980s Rush elements, too. It's a classy cut.
Set Me Free
A hard rocking sound brings this cut into being. There are some new wave elements in place, but it's also got some hints of prog. This has some really dramatic moments.
I'm On My Way
This hard rocker has some real metallic angles to it. In fact, I'm reminded to some degree of Iron Maiden on this. The instrumental section really does take it into some proggy zones.
Cruisin' Every Night
the proggy concepts are pretty well gone here. This is a fairly generic hard rocker.
Hidin' Away From Your Spell
There are some new wave things back on this number. This is another no frills rocker. This gets way too repetitive late, and I'd consider it to be the weakest thing here.
Rescue Me
This isn't bad, but it's also not all that special. That said, the instrumental section does manage to take it in some cool directions.
On the one hand, this is another fairly generic tune. That said, there are some minor proggy elements, particularly in the keyboard work and the instrumental break.
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