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December 2020 - Issue 145
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - This Mortal Farce
Review by Gary Hill
This is the third set from this act that I have reviewed. It's the second I've put under progressive rock.
Jon Anderson - Song of Seven - Remastered & Expanded
Review by Gary Hill
This new edition of Jon Anderson's Song of Seven album is all class. First you get the remastered set.
Mohamed Assani - Ayesha and the Mullah (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I've generally been landing the music from Mohamed Assani under progressive rock, mainly because of the way it creatively merges sounds into an artistic tapestry.
Barnes & Barnes - Holidaze In Lumania
Review by Gary Hill

While this isn't precisely a tight fit under progressive rock, it is definitely "art" rock, in more ways than one.

Nick Campbell Destroys - Lo-fi Bass Music for Quarantine
Review by Gary Hill

This three track EP is intriguing. It's not precisely progressive rock, but it is definitely art rock and progressive music.

Cosmopolis - The Distances (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed a previous single from this act. I landed that one under progressive rock as I thought
DarWin - DarWin 2 - A Frozen War
Review by Gary Hill
The new set from prog act DarWin, this might be even better than the first one. In fact, this is likely to make my "best of 2020" list. 
Djabe - Magic Stag
Review by Gary Hill
There is always something special about the music Djabe makes. They have previously made my "best of the year" list, and they just might land on my "best of 2020" list with this new release.
Doctors of Space - First Treatment
Review by Gary Hill

This collection of instrumental space rock pieces is solid and classy. One of the trio responsible for this is Oresund Space Collective's Dr. Space, and you can always count on good space music from him.

Gazpacho - Fireworker
Review by Gary Hill
You really can't go wrong with Gazpacho when it comes to modern progressive rock. This new set is no exception.
Kevin Godley - Muscle Memory
Review by Gary Hill

Kevin Godley is best known for his tenure in the band 10cc. That band is probably best known for the hit song "I'm Not In Love," but that was just one side of the act.

Gone from My Sight - Twenty Twenty
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite an intriguing set. It's not precisely progressive rock, but it is definitely art rock.
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl - Artlessly Falling
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that I'm not necessarily the target audience for this release. If you like your music adventurous to the point of things like Rock In Opposition, this is probably aimed at you.
Hawkestrel - Pioneers of Space
Review by Gary Hill
Alan Davey is the man who is most responsible for Hawkestrel. It's basically his baby.
Hawkwind Light Orchestra - Carnivorous
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed a previous set from Hawkwind Light Orchestra. I wondered at the time why that one wasn't released under the Hawkwind banner.
Hemisphere - American Dreams
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is quite interesting. It's perhaps not all progressive rock, but it's almost all jazz rock.
John Michael Hersey - The Reincarnation of a Rock
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual album. It's decidedly progressive rock based. It's a series of shorter pieces, with both instrumental and vocal numbers.
jefff - Windows (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed another single from this act last issue. That one did not fit under progressive rock, but this one clearly does.
Jostaberry - Greener Grass
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing and unusual set. The music here is at times nearly pop-oriented.
Junk Magic - Compass Confusion
Review by Gary Hill
I'm willing to bet you haven't heard anything quite like this. There is a lot of classical music in the mix.
Krief - Chemical Trance
Review by Gary Hill
This album is actually released under the name Krief, and not the artist's full name of Patrick Krief. I previously reviewed another set from him, and that one was billed under his full name.
Last Charge of the Light Horse - The Sand Reckoner
Review by Gary Hill
This act is intriguing. They have a lot of roots music in the mix.
Low Standards, High Fives - Are We Doing The Best We Can?
Review by Gary Hill
If you haven't been following music closely for the past decade or so, you might think that punk rock and progressive rock are about as far apart as you can get.
Øresund Space Collective - Four Riders take Space Mountain
Review by Gary Hill
Øresund Space Collective is one of the most consistent acts on this (or presumably any) planet. Yet, each album is still different.
The Pierce Project - Songs for Emi
Review by Gary Hill
This is a peculiar set. That doesn't mean it's a bad set.
Potter's Daughter - Casually Containing Rage
Review by Gary Hill
This new EP from Potter's Daughter delivers on the kind of quality music that I expect from the act.
Reuter Motzer Grohowsky - Shapeshifters
Review by Gary Hill

Markus Reuter in combinations with various musicians has created quite a catalog of intriguing instrumental progressive rock. This new collection with Tim Motzer and Kenny Grohowski is no exception.

Barbara Rubin - The Shadows Playground (Piano Works)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a unique release. As you might guess piano is a large focus here.
Ruthless Cosmopolitans - Ruthless
Review by Gary Hill
This is a short set that isn't precisely a tight fit under progressive rock. It's clearly art rock, though.
Samurai - Samurai
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new edition of a lost album from 1971. I had heard of this band before, but never heard them.
Scotty Seed - Hallow's Eve
Review by Gary Hill
This is clearly not the tightest fit under progressive rock. A lot of people will likely disagree with the decision to land it there.
The Smallest Creature - Magic Beans
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed a single from this act. I landed that under progressive rock. I'm doing the same here, but it's not the tightest fit from start to finish.
Ray Thomas - Words & Music
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new collection of music from Ray Thomas. You probably know Thomas as a member of the band The Moody Blues.
Trapeze - Trapeze (2 CD Expanded Edition)
Review by Gary Hill

This new release is a double CD version of the 1970 self-titled debut by the band Trapeze.

Trapeze - You are the Music, We're Just the Band (Deluxe Edition)
Review by Gary Hill

I am putting this under progressive rock for a couple reasons. For one thing, this band often lands there.

Unicorn - Slow Dancing – The Recordings 1974-1979, 4 CD Remastered & Expanded Set
Review by Gary Hill
Unicorn were an interesting act. They were not precisely progressive rock, but I've generally put them there.
Vipid - Memories
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of instrumental electronic prog albums by artists like Synergy, this should feel familiar to you. It's very much in line with that school of music.
Rick Wakeman - The Red Planet
Review by Gary Hill
The argument could be made that the Rick Wakeman solo releases of the 1970s were the golden era of his career outside of Yes. Surely they set the bar next to which his later releases would be judged.
Bridget Wishart & the Band of Doctors - Ghost
Review by Gary Hill

I had no idea what to expect here. Well, I had ideas that it would be a space rock set, and some of it is, but I really didn't grasp just how much territory this album would cover.

Nate Wooley - Seven Storey Mountain VI
Review by Gary Hill
I suppose you could say that this is a single since there is just one piece of music on the disc. At over 45-minutes of music, that song is the very definition of epic.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes
Review by Greg Olma
In 1994, Black Sabbath was at it again with another line-up and another album. 


Electric Sister - Miss American Vampire (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
Too bad I didn't get this one sent to me earlier. It would have fit well into our October issue.
Scorpions - Animal Magnetism
Review by Greg Olma
The Scorpions never really managed to make a dent in the American market until 1979’s Lovedrive.  Once they were able to tour the US, and the NWOBHM hit, the stars started to align for their path to success.
Sonic Fuel - Karma (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another single from this act. I liked that tune a lot and considered it to fall under the category of hard rock or alternative rock.
3000 AD - The Void
Review by Gary Hill
This band is being promoted as a thrash metal act but with a crossover edge. If that crossover means to punk and particularly hardcore, I would agree.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Patrick Ames - Essential Workers (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
Patrick Ames music is often rough around the edges, but full of genuine feeling. Such is the case with this number.
Bear Away - Never in the Same Place
Review by Gary Hill
This short EP is all hard rocking and energetic music.
Joe Bonamassa - Royal Tea
Review by Gary Hill
This new album from Joe Bonamassa might be his best release to date. The opening track, which definitely leans toward progressive rock in a big way, could well be the best song he's ever done, too.
Norine Braun - December Falls
Review by Gary Hill
This is the new holiday set from Norine Braun. I previously reviewed another release from her, and I would say that this is definitely the superior set.
Bushwick Blooze Band - Waiting (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This is the second single from Bushwick Blooze Band that I've reviewed.
Charlie Christmas - Spotty Coverage
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another set by Charlie Christmas and was really impressed by it. I like this, too, but not as much as that.
Da'Vinci - Stardust
Review by Gary Hill
This four-track EP is electronic and experimental. A lot of times I land music like that under progressive rock, but I don't think it fits with this set.
Grapefruit Sound Lab - Eight Days Across America
Review by Gary Hill
This new album from Grapefruit Sound Lab is available both as a digital release and as a vinyl LP. While I've reviewed the digital version, the songs are the same on both.
Headcat 13 - Headcat 13
Review by Gary Hill

Headcat 13 is a new band, but in some ways it isn't. The band HeadCat consisted of Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead), Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats) and rockabilly legend Danny B. Harvey (Rockats).

Idiot Grins - Thoughts & Prayers
Review by Gary Hill
I have reviewed a couple discs from Idiot Grins previously, but they didn't really prepare me for this one. 
KaseoGems - I'm On Fire (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
Although this artist's name is both unusual and new to Music Street Journal, the act is not entirely novel for coverage here.
Eric H. F. Law - Better Angels
Review by Gary Hill
I suppose the simplest description here would be folk rock.
Lord Sonny the Unifier - (All My Friends Live) Underground (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I like this artist quite a bit. His sound is always modern, but rooted in older musical styles.
Lord Sonny the Unifier - I Love You World (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This is another in a string of singles from Lord Sonny the Unifier that I'm reviewing in this issue of MSJ.
Lord Sonny the Unifier - Knockout (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I've reviewed quite a few releases from Lord Sonny the Unifier. He is typically an artist who seems to have his eye both on the past and the future.
Lord Sonny the Unifier - Pay The Man (When You Leave) (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I have reviewed several things from this artist in the past. I would consider those to be stronger than this, but that's not really an indictment of this piece.
Lost American - Robot Spark (Rauch von König remix) (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I really like the blending of sounds on this. number. The tune is very much a catchy and effective number.
Paul Maged - Culture War
Review by Gary Hill
Paul Maged always delivers. It seems to me that he keeps putting out better and better music, too.
Metaspion - Cryptomeduza
Review by Gary Hill
There are definitely hints of heavy metal at times here, but more often industrial music. That said, the electronic elements are one of the largest driving factors, leaning it toward EDM.
Erich Mrak - No Ways (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
Erich Mrak has been releasing quite a stream of singles. His music tends to be high quality with a pop and soul sound.
Red Light Runner - Under the Weather
Review by Gary Hill
Alternative rock, emo and punk all merge on this short disc. It's a solid set that works well from beginning to end.
Shihori - I Cover You (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I have reviewed several songs from Shihori. This is one of my favorites, actually.
SofaTramp - Wax On
Review by Gary Hill
This thing almost landed under progressive rock. There is a lot of electronic music basis here, calling to mind people like Synergy and Kraftwerk.
SONI - ft Izzy Austin - Savage (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This new single is all class. It has a lot of modern sound, but there are definite classic leanings at its core.
Starveya - Let You In (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
Based on this one song, I'd definitely be interested in hearing more from this artist.
David Thompson - the wall
Review by Gary Hill
Do you remember the electronic pop music of the 1980s? If you do, you'll find familiar elements here.
Treasure Gnomes - and Lachi - Messages (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This new single lands firmly in the zone of dance music. As such I'm not the target audience by any means.
Various Artists - #MeTooMPLS
Review by Gary Hill
This album is a charity release to show support for sexual assault survivors and raise money for Planned Parenthood.
Various Artists - Christmas On The Range - 26 Festive and Swingin' Country Tunes
Review by Gary Hill
This collection of old school country holiday songs is just plain fun. Not everything here is my kind of music by any means.
Various Artists - Headin' For The Christmas Ball: 31 Swing And R&B Christmas Crooners
Review by Gary Hill
This new collection from Bear Family includes a whole playlist of holiday music. There are a few instrumentals, but it's mostly vocal music.
Various Artists - Punk Rock Christmas 2
Review by Gary Hill
This collection of punk holiday tunes has some real gems. Not everything here is as successful, but nothing really falls flat.
Various Artists - Rock All Night (10 inch vinyl EP)
Review by Gary Hill
This new vinyl release from Bear Family Records is a reissue of a soundtrack record from the 1950s. It has a nice mix of vocal and instrumental tunes.
DVD/Video Reviews
Nick Campbell Destroys - Lo-fi Bass Music for Quarantine
Review by Gary Hill

I also reviewed the music of this in this issue on an EP from this artist. Here is what I said about that song:

Lost American - Robot Spark (Rauch von König remix) (music video)
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed the digital single for this song in this issue of Music Street Journal, but here I'm looking more at the video for the piece.
Erich Mrak - Girls (video)
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed the audio single of this number. This time around, we're looking at the video which has recently been released.
The Rolling Stones - Steel Wheels Live Blu-Ray
Review by Gary Hill
This latest Rolling Stones live release was recorded in 1989. The release includes the Blu-Ray and a double CD set of the audio of the show.
Shihori - Perfect Imperfection (music video)
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed the digital single of this song in the previous issue of Music Street Journal, but the artist has now released this video.
Shihori - Soul Trip (music video)
Review by Gary Hill
This video is essentially one scene. It's a close-up glitzy video of the artist lip-synching the song.
Sluka - Iko Iko (music video)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new video from an artist I have reviewed quite a bit. In fact, I actually reviewed the song itself on its original album, Ready to Connect.
Sundogs - Freedom (music video)
Review by Gary Hill
When I reviewed this song on the album from which it came, I mentioned that it was a proggy song. Well, taken outside of the context of that album, like in this music video, that prog nature really shines.
Interviews
Jostaberry
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Bruce Hamilton of Jostaberry from 2020
 
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