Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    9,769

    Good article on new progressive rock

    A good article outlining some of the best prog releases of 2005.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/karnic...0602080757.asp

    February 08, 2006, 7:57 a.m.
    The Alternative Grammys
    Underappreciated good stuff.

    Award shows are almost invariably about three things: p.r., p.r., and p.r. The leaders of an industry get together not to honor greatness or artistry but instead to recognize those who most fully exemplify the things that make money.

    Thus it is with the Grammy awards, the recording industry’s big annual event, which will be shown on CBS tonight. What makes money today in the recording industry is apparently two things: intellectual simplicity and overt passion. Thus the nominations for major awards tend toward works with simple, driving beats, lyrics that express an uncomplicated point of view, and wailing or shrieking vocals loosely derived from the gospel-music tradition. (The drawling inflections of rap seem to derive from country music more than anything else, which itself has gospel roots.)

    Jonah Goldberg aptly described the prevailing attitude of contemporary pop music on NRO last week as “canned rebelliousness.” The appeal of canned rebelliousness, I would submit, is that it allows a consumer to feel both individualistic and one of the crowd. That appears to be a central premise of consumer culture, as it happens.

    To demonstrate the industry’s appeal to all types of people (and hence lure them to the record stores and websites), the Grammy-nominating committees strive for some variety in selecting candidates for the major awards, covering all types of music — except anything truly ambitious or challenging. This year the Album of the Year category, for example, includes works by Paul McCartney, Bono, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, and Gwen Stefani — something for the ’60s generation, another for Gen X, and three major contemporary styles, but nothing artistically earth-shaking or new. The nominations for Record of the Year drop the two oldsters and add Gorillaz and Green Day, a couple of spunkier offerings for the kiddies. For Song of the Year, the nominees cover a few more styles by including Rascal Flatts, Bruce Springsteen, and John Legend.

    Given the huge number of categories — more than 100 — there are always some nominees whose music does something out of the mainstream and worth doing (such as Adrian Belew, Death Cab for Cutie, and George Jones), but the bulk of the attention goes to the moneymaking superstars. This is an industry, after all, not a charity.

    But there is a positive artistic story here as well, though we won’t see much evidence of it at the Grammys. Modern digital technology is making music production less expensive, and modern telecommunications technology is making it ever-easier for independent artists to reach consumers eager for music that is more challenging, enlightening, and, yes, pleasurable than the commercial products the Grammys and other awards programs honor.

    As a result, there are countless artists making very good music these days, and although they will not win Grammys any time soon, numerous releases in just the past year demonstrate that a significant number of artists are venturing outside the boundaries to create music that is simultaneously interesting, pleasing, educative, and challenging.


    Introducing…
    Among the most promising recent debuts are the appealing retro-progressive rock album Peace Among the Ruins, by Presto Ballet, and Motions of Desire, by the talented Norwegian band Magic Pie (the lyrics of which are sung in English). The latter release is delightfully inventive and enjoyable, with a definite classic song in the 20-minute opening track, “Change,” a tune that spices up classic, Yes-style progressive rock with elements of hard rock, soaring power balladry, folksy pop, jazz fusion, funk, and whatever else they found in their kitchen sink during the recording sessions. These guys can play.

    As good as those discs were, the Debut Album of the year is A Doorway to Summer, by Moon Safari, produced by Tomas Bodin of the Swedish prog giants the Flower Kings. Like the legendary rockers Yes, Moon Safari creates long, progressive rock songs filled with memorable melodies and bright, cheerful, musical textures. Acoustic guitar, Hammond organ, analog synthesizers, mellotron, soaring vocal harmonies (all sung in English), and other classic early ’70s sounds are prominent in the mix, and there is real energy in the performances. This is one of the most tuneful, buoyant, and delightful albums of recent years.


    It's Not Unusual to be Unusual
    Genre-mixing and revival of forgotten musical forms are often good ways of generating original music, and some very interesting and unusual recent releases have taken that route. Might Could, for example, is a Maryland-based group composed of three guitars and one bass, all acoustic. In their aptly named All Intertwined, they perform highly complex but tuneful instrumental music simultaneously reminiscent of 1980s King Crimson, ’70s fusion jazz, Baroque-era sonatas, and even a touch of flamenco. It works, and it’s good.

    Ed Englerth’s D.I.A.L. Business has an unusual and very pleasing musical style combining elements of jam bands, jazz, progressive folk, blues, and modern melodic rock. Englerth’s masterful guitar playing, direct and unpretentious vocals, and thoughtful lyrics are increasingly impressive upon repeated listenings.

    Raw-Word, by Gypsy Carns, The Blues Preacher, an album of classic-style gospel blues consisting only of voice, dobro (a type of acoustic guitar), and kick drum and cymbal. Carns’s sound is highly reminiscent of Blind Willie Johnson and the Rev. Gary Davis, which is high praise indeed. In fact, thanks to the better recording quality, Carns’s work is more immediately enjoyable than some of what his great predecessors did.

    The Origin of Consciousness, by the Texas-based band the Underground Railroad, is an idiosyncratic album of odd, jazzy time signatures, strange chord sequences, unusual sound textures, and philosophical lyrics, yet it has an undeniable appeal as the band manages to place memorable melodies in their distinctive sonic mixture.

    Izz, a New York-based progressive-rock band whose earlier albums showed impressive instrumentation and a level of melodicism reminiscent of 1970s pop groups such as Badfinger and the Raspberries, released the somewhat harder-edged My River Flows. The new album is heavier and more guitar-oriented at times than the band’s previous work, but the solid vocals, strong tunes, and thoughtful lyrics are still there.

    Symphony for a Misanthrope, by the American progressive-rock band Magellan, has the musical intricacy (long, keyboard-driven songs in punctuated rhythms ranging in pace from restrained to frenetic), “wall of sound” density, morally centered lyrics, and passionate tenor vocals of Trent Gardner that we have come to expect of this veteran progressive band. Two brief, classical-oriented interludes add further sophistication to the sound.

    The Dreams of Men, by Pallas, and Believe, by Pendragon, are two solid releases by veteran British progressive groups, each showing renewed energy by taking a step beyond their usual comfort zone to include socially engaged lyrics and an occasionally harder-edged sound. The Brass Serpent, by the American band Akacia, is a beautiful album of epic progressive rock with Christian lyrics.

    Dracula, by the veteran 1970s Italian progressive rock band Premiata Forneria Marconi, is a dramatic, spectacular rock opera based on the novel of the same name. Sung in Italian by a variety of vocalists and featuring arrangements ranging from gentle folk to crunchy metal to angelic choirs, it’s a grand, operatic, very Italian good time.

    Spock’s Beard is a veteran, California-based group that started recording in the early ’90s and pioneered a sound combining the strong melodic appeal of the Beatles with the instrumental virtuosity and sonic complexity of progressive bands such as Yes, Genesis, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Octane, their latest release, includes a long suite, “A Flash Before My Eyes,” in which the band illustrates the last moment of a modern American man’s life as it races before his eyes after an automobile accident. Ranging from pop to metal to folk and classical-inspired passages, Octane shows a highly talented band of independent artists exploring interesting new sonic territory.

    One Small Step is another impressive release by Manning, led by and named after the British singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist Guy Manning. Manning has a highly expressive baritone voice (although it is marred by an occasional lisp) and conveys strong passions without overdramatizing. Manning’s songs, though long and progressive in style, are very accessible, taking the form of driving rockers, lilting ballads, jazz inflections, and the like. The instrumentation revolves around and complements the main vocal lines, which are invariably interesting and use Manning’s voice to fine effect. The lyrics show an appealing concern for rightness in personal and social moral choices.

    The English band Tr3nity features philosophical lyrics, earnest vocals, swirling washes of keyboards, and melodic, blues-based guitar solos in long songs that passionately express the dilemmas of living in a postmodern world of fleeting emotional connections and uncertain values. The music on their third album, Precious Seconds, is highly accessible and deliberately catchy and melodic, occasionally reminiscent of bands such Pink Floyd and Kansas but with a sound all its own. The grandeur the band is able to create with electric instruments is a testament to the widespread availability of sophisticated recording technology at relatively low cost.

    Deadwing, by Porcupine Tree, the veteran English band led by Steve Wilson on voice, songwriting, guitar, and keyboards, is another excellent album of driving, hypnotic, passionate music of the sort for which the band is justly renowned. It’s a tuneful mixture combining elements of progressive, metal, and ambient music.

    Wall Street Voodoo, a two-disc solo recording by Roine Stolt, leader of the Swedish progressive rock masters the Flower Kings, demonstrates once again that Stolt is one of the most prolific and talented musicians of our time. Wall Street Voodoo hearkens back to the sounds of the late ’60s as Stolt’s lyrics look at the world today, measure it against Christian ideals, and find it wanting. Combining blues, psychedelia, hard rock, country rock, funk, and other sounds of that musically exuberant era, but with an original sound of its own, Stolt’s tight musical arrangements and virtuoso guitar work evoke memories of classic performers such as Cream, Frank Zappa, and Jimi Hendrix — and his willingness to limit the self-indulgent soloing gives the recording a strong sense of musical logic.

    The English band Arena offers a progressive-metal sound that combines heavy guitars with sophisticated keyboards, a complex interplay of melodies, and dramatic vocals. Their current release, Pepper’s Ghost, consists of seven songs (ranging from four to thirteen minutes) that tell colorful stories set in the Victorian era. The narratives, given graphic-novel treatment in the artwork insert, deal with exorcisms, premonitions, time travel, serial killings, black magic, and other heavy-metal fare, but the Victorian setting makes for a very interesting variation. The music is appropriately grand, dramatic, and operatic.


    And the Album of the Year Is…
    The race for Album of the Year was extremely close this time, and the following four artists all created recordings of highly impressive quality.

    The Florida band Little Atlas just keeps getting better. Their second and most recent album, Wanderlust, combines strong melodicism, philosophical depth, and musical sophistication. The vocal melodies are significantly catchier than those of most major-label pop groups, and the arrangements, featuring complex interplay between guitars and keyboards, eccentric rhythms, unusual chord progressions, and quick changes of tempo, make most rock music seem stuffy by comparison.

    Mimi’s Magic Moment, by the brilliant, Chattanooga-based quartet Salem Hill, consists of four epic songs in the classic progressive rock style, distinguished by memorable melodies, intelligently varied tempos, instrumental virtuosity, complex melodic interplay, sophisticated lyrics, and expressive vocals. As always, Carl Groves’ tenor voice is a great strength, and the complex vocal harmonies are used to grand and stirring effect, as in the chorus of “All Fall Down.” Guest performers such as singer Neal Morse, keyboardist Fred Schendel of Glass Hammer, and Kansas violinist David Ragsdale add further variety to the band’s distinctive sound. The overall effect of the recording is that of a masterful group of musician/composers at the top of their game.

    The Inconsolable Secret is a two-CD release by the American progressive rock group Glass Hammer. The lyrics and musical concepts are based on The Lay of Lirazel, a 20,000-word narrative poem written by singer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Babb. (Full disclosure: this author helped edit the published version of the poem.) The compositions are highly ambitious, ranging from intelligent art rock to medieval, classical, and early romantic music, with several passages reminiscent of early 20th century composers such as Ravel, Debussy, and Vaughn Williams. These sections in particular have the beauty of great classical music. The Inconsolable Secret is an essential recording for those interested in contemporary music that aspires to classical standards.

    The Album of the Year is ?, by Neal Morse. In his third rock album since leaving Spock’s Beard a couple of years ago, Morse’s new release follows the pattern of Brian Wilson’s brilliant album SmiLE in presenting an album-long suite of songs in which recurring musical and lyrical ideas tie the entire piece together into a coherent and moving whole. But whereas Wilson’s sound was pop-based and dipped liberally into older forms of popular American music for its inspiration, Morse’s album sticks largely to more contemporary influences.

    Morse is a brilliant composer of appealing melodies, and with his passionate, Lennon-like voice, he sings highly spiritual lyrics in musical settings ranging from immensely catchy, Beatlesque pop through funk, soul, hard rock, metal, bebop, hip-hop, folk, psychedelic, jam bands, progressive, jazz fusion, adult contemporary, Celtic, southern rock, and even a full choir, is, among other good things, an amazing tour of American musical virtuosity, and its lyrics demonstrate the artist’s passionate commitment to and understanding of Christianity. This is a great recording, and it well deserves recognition as Album of the Year.

    — S. T. Karnick is an associate fellow of the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research and editor of The Reform Club.

  2. #2
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on some faraway beach...
    Posts
    2,916
    Is the Neal Morse album really that good? Why haven't youze guys been spreading the gospel? I thought people didn't like his singing that much? Guess I should probably try to give it a listen ... anyone wanna help me out?

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Posts
    9,025
    Yeah, I'm in the same boat...I like SB, but I never thought Morse was anything special and didn't really care for his earlier solo releases...But there's no doubt he has potential.

    I haven't heard the albums by Magellan, Presto Ballet, or Underground Railroad mentioned either, they any good?

    Thanks for the good read, FA

  4. #4
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville
    Posts
    1,112

    ?

    ? is pretty good, but it's chock full of christian messages (doesn't bother me). I can't rant and rave about it becasue it isn't THAT good. Those other titles are a lot better (Pendragon, Pallas, Roine)(at least to me)(but I like neo anyhow)(how come the writer did not mention IQ, I shall have to cut off his hand)

    It's the most tolerable piece of music my Mr. Morse for me thus far, even tho I like Transatlantic too.

    ? sounds like typical NM music or even Spocks Beard but it does not have that signature bass sound like all of the SB titles do.(w/ NM in them)

    Troy has a copy coming his way (I copied the cd to 8 track for him), so we will see what he thinks, in his infinite wisdom.

    Dave

  5. #5
    Close 'n Play user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    I'm looking forward to hearing ?. Personally, I can't stand the heavy-handed christian thing, so I'm really on top of hearing this.

    This reviewer seems to love every progressive album that came out last year. Perhaps they are just new to the musical style, so they love it all. the piece comes accross as not very discerning.

    That "Little Atlas" album that writer picked as one of the best of the year was lame. I wrote this review for another site:

    A "Little Atlas" band member was kind enough to send me a copy of their 2005 CD "Wanderlust" for review, wanting my no-holds-barred, warts and all style review. Strength of conviction, I like that.

    It’s a medium rocking AOR-style prog album with many timbre and cadence comparisons to be made to Rush. Particularly “The Prisoner” which sounds an awful lot like parts of Farewell to Kings. There are lots of dramatic proggy chord progressions, syncopation, soaring synth pad washes and requisite 70s *bloopy* synth solos for fans of this kinda music to sink their earteeth into.

    The playing is top notch displaying a ton of chops and fluidity and while the production is a little bright at times, the recording is clean, balanced and open. I like that it retains its “liveness”, that it isn’t over-processed.

    Sounds great so far, huh?

    For all that, it’s only not bad though. I mean it’s OK, you know? I’m just not terribly engaged by it. It’s SO safe sounding. It just doesn’t take any real risks or chances. Every song feels familiar, like I always know what the next note is going to be. Vanilla.

    The lyrics are pretty juvenile and corny too. A lot of that has to do with the melodramatic presentation too, but there are so many clichés and over-baked metaphors that’s it’s hard to take very seriously. The kiss of death when it’s meant to be taken seriously. Any sense of playfulness, of “we’re having fun creating this music” is lost on me. It’s all too earnest, too serious. I have nothing against sober and serious if the writing deserves it, but the fact is, the songwriting behind the lyrics is forgettable. The CD has got a great gloss on it, but if you strip that gloss away, there’s not much underneath it.

    I realize that this is a real Yin/Yang review, but that’s pretty much how I feel about the CD too. Sometimes I want to hear that band I talk about in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. Clearly, they are pandering to a very specific audience of which I AM a member. All the correct buttons are pushed. I LIKE these sounds specifically BECAUSE they are familiar. Aural comfort-food. It rocks and it sounds cool.

    At the same time, it’s empty calories for me. After 10 + plays, there are no songs sticking with me, no melodies that I can recall. Nothing that makes me think “dummmm, dum-deeeee-dum . . . yeah, I gotta play that again!”

    And I hate being pandered to. It feels all very calculating and “positioned” for a very specific audience. It’s way too transparent. For me, music is much more rewarding when it’s challenging or surprising in some way. Sadly, that itch goes unscratched with this album.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085

    Little Atlas

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    That "Little Atlas" album that writer picked as one of the best of the year was lame.
    I have their first album which I picked up after hearing one of their songs on a ProgRecords sampler. The song was very AOR, but stuck in my head. The rest of the album was like that. It was okay, but I wouldn't classify it as "serious" prog. Nonetheless, not to be too hard on them, everything on the album was better IMO than most stuff played on contemporary radio.

    Have you heard Frogg Cafe, on the same label? I really enjoy their second album, Creatures. I haven't heard their newest album.

    If you want to get rid of Little Atlas, send it on.

  7. #7
    Close 'n Play user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    Have you heard Frogg Cafe, on the same label? I really enjoy their second album, Creatures. I haven't heard their newest album.

    If you want to get rid of Little Atlas, send it on.
    Sold it on the used market, sorry.

    I wrote a review of that Frogg Cafe for the same site (progressiveears.com) last year too and it sparked a true bloodbath. Basically, the owner of the record lable and friends of the band jumped all over me. It was actually pretty funny, but tiring to keep up with as it went on for page after page. It's funny, cuz if you read the review you'll see that I really didn't HATE the thing:


    This new Frogg Café disc is getting a lot of love at PE and other music boards, so I was pretty keyed up to actually get a copy from PE expressly to write a review of it. Been spinning it a lot trying to see what all the fuss is about . . .

    I can’t figure this out. I like music that’s syncopated and frequently changes time. Constant key changes in songs are incredibly important to me. I appreciate the use of vibes, brass and violin in a rock context. There’s no question that these guys can really play with nuance and subtlety. For all that, this album just doesn’t resonate with me. I mean, it’s OK, I suppose, but there’s 3 general things about it that make it hard for me to connect with.

    1. Can these guys take any more cues from Kansas? I suppose it’s the violin carrying the melody so much and Robby Steinhardt vocal tone that are the strongest tell. There seems to be some chordal and key similarities as well. The horn arrangements are very Zappa-esque. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Kansas in their day and I’m STILL a big Zappa-phile today, I’d just like to hear a band with more of it’s own sound and vision.

    2. There’s a thinness to the sound. The arrangements feel light to me, lacking *whomp*. I’ve read that there are massive amounts of tracks and recording finesse that went into these songs, but a lot of it seems to be lost in a muddle of midrange. Too many pointless parallels stepping all over each other.

    There’s also an overcompressed quality to the recording. Too flat, like a lot of the instrument dynamics have been squeezed out. I also think the vocals are too dry, too up front. I’m not a fan of the singer’s throaty phrasing and excessive pronunciation of consonants in his sustains. “You’re so Cerrrrrrrrr-tain!”

    3. The songs are too long and meandering. Being a prog-head, I don’t have an automatic aversion to songs running longer than 3:45 the way a lot of people do, but these songs are all over the map and hard to get to know. There isn’t a lot of structure to hang on to. Hey, go for 9 minutes, but have a reason to, not on every song. Most of these songs on this disc would have been fine at 4 minutes, but I find them wearing out their welcome at 6-10 minutes lost in soloing and repetition that doesn’t necessarily serve the songs.

    Positive reinforcement:
    The climactic track 7 is the real exception to some of these issues. The recording’s more open allowing instruments some breathing room. While I hear a lot of FZ cascading notes in the writing, there are elements in the arrangement like the Superfly wah guitar that are decidedly unique. I suppose it’s not supposed to be a fun song, but it has a real playful quality that I enjoy.

    I bet this is a fun band to see live. The interplay of brass, woodwinds and vibes in a large rock band context would be a blast to watch develop on stage. The energy would be contagious and the audience would feed the band. But like the Dead, that energy is hard to get down in the studio. This recording seems to have sucked the life out of these songs.

  8. #8
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Hey! Over here!
    Posts
    2,746

    An odd article...

    when you consider the source. But as happy as I am to see those band names in print, I do notice that he seems to love everything. As I stated on another website, a lot of people who listen to contemporary Christian rock are blown away when they hear something the calliber of Salem Hill, Glass Hammer, or Neal Morse, because a lot of contemporary Christian music is so devoid of originallity or artistry. They tend to clone mainstream acts and inject Christian lyrics. And Praise format is just as formulaic and dull. Except you can't say that in certain circles because of the , "Hey, what's the matter with you" type attitudes that any PTL music is awesome.

    I happened to pick up Morse's One last year. A few months ago I lent it ot a preacher friend of mine who just so happens to be a professional musician (piano) and his dad was a well renowned jazz musician from the Seattle area. So he could appreciate the intricate structure and complexity of the music. He also liked the story telling and the faith based plot. But at the same time, he understood why something like this was obscure. He said things like, "Most people aren't going to be able to pick up on everything going on here", "this is real sit down and listen type music, too busy for a lot of people", and "Non-christians really listen to this, huh?" BTW: He had no concept of progressive rock, neo, retro, or otherwise. I sorta got the impression he was impressed, but only to an extent. I do know a lot of Christians don't see any point of streching christian music beyond its current boundaries and still view music as a worship tool, and not a ministry.

    It does seem this Karnick guy has a strong christian background and therefore is drawn to a certain sect of prog, which feature introspective, spiritual themes, though not always as overtly christian as Neal Morse. I think some proggers hate it when he uses the term 'christian' too much because they think he's trying to co-opt an entire genre. I don't think he has an agenda beyond wanting to tell people about this new music he's found, but he should be prudent about it and expand his horizons along the way. Christians tend to believe they have cornered the market on decency and spirituality. Prog is a music driven genre, not an agenda based one.

  9. #9
    Close 'n Play user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    Where's the Kino? Echolyn? PRWL?

    As it is, he seemed to like the strongly anti-religious Deadwing only grudgingly.

    Too much thinly veiled agenda in that review from what's essentially a NeoCon magazine.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085

    Nit-picking

    I think you're behaving like a regular music critic. It sounds like nit-picking. It's not what you said, it's really the way it was said.

    I think that Creatures is, for the most part, an excellent album. I sounds like you're looking for a revelation. Yeah, almost all prog bands are derivative sounding, especially if they are any good.

    You do say some very complimentary things about the band, which is good. I just think that when you can recognize the difference between the total quality of Frogg Cafe compared to, let's say, Little Atlas, then you should concentrate more on the positives that whether there is too much mid-range or whether the songs don't have enough "oomph." It's like you hid the positives inside the negatives instead of laying them out clearly.

    Anyway, killer band IMO, and I hope they only get better as they get more confident and experienced in the studio.

    BTW, they started out as a Zappa cover band in and around NYC.

  11. #11
    Close 'n Play user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    You do say some very complimentary things about the band, which is good. I just think that when you can recognize the difference between the total quality of Frogg Cafe compared to, let's say, Little Atlas, then you should concentrate more on the positives that whether there is too much mid-range or whether the songs don't have enough "oomph." It's like you hid the positives inside the negatives instead of laying them out clearly.
    That review pissed off a lot of people close to the band. However, there were also a lot of people that went "hmmm, you know, he's right. I hadn't noticed that."

    I think the Frogg Cafe and Little Atlas were actually very similar (even tho they sound quite different) in the sense they they were competant, but flawed; colorful, but uninspired.

    I've never been one to candy coat.

  12. #12
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Hey! Over here!
    Posts
    2,746
    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Sold it on the used market, sorry.

    I wrote a review of that Frogg Cafe for the same site (progressiveears.com) last year too and it sparked a true bloodbath. Basically, the owner of the record lable and friends of the band jumped all over me. It was actually pretty funny, but tiring to keep up with as it went on for page after page. It's funny, cuz if you read the review you'll see that I really didn't HATE the thing:
    I did a review of one of PRR's acts (Man On Fire) and though I thought my review was rather positive, it got no response. I did like the album, but I had mentioned that the singer's vocals took some getting used to. That's actually an understatement, btw.

    It does seem that anything less than a completely fawning review of a PRR act will get you slagged over there at PE. I get the sense that they're 'one big happy family', what with Shawn Gordon getting a writing credit on one of the new MOF tunes.

    I do notice that some artists on PRR sound like a Kansas tribute band, and that is prolly the presence of David Ragsdale throughout the PRR's catalog. I like it so far, but it is going to get difficult to differentiate one band from another if they keep that up. I also notice that a lot of the artists seem to employ the same mixing scheme, and that the mid-range is a tad strident and the bass is a little anemic, especially on the new MOF and Salem Hill. The new K2, though, has thunderous bass.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular BradH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Research Station No. 256
    Posts
    643
    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    I've never been one to candy coat.
    I've got a live Frogg Cafe disc that was given out by someone connected with the band. It should've been released officially, it's that good. I haven't heard any of their stuff in the studio but this live thing is really cool. I'll send a copy.

    I agree about the writer for National Review coming from some kind of Christian rock angle but the only evangelizing I caught from it was the garden variety prog-rock kind. The sort of firebrand attitude that belongs in high school. That "canned rebellion" remark was good, though. Neo-cons? No, that would be the Weekly Standard where they have serious music articles. I mean, please.....how could all those bands that guy listed be that good? What is he? Tony the Tiger?

    "They're grrrrrrrreat!!"

  14. #14
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085

    Ah Yes, National Review...

    Quote Originally Posted by BradH
    I agree about the writer for National Review coming from some kind of Christian rock angle but the only evangelizing I caught from it was the garden variety prog-rock kind.
    I suppose that explains the Neal Morse choice. There would be a natural affinity to the overall concept from National Review. Makes sense.

    BTW, I thought that the Glass Hammer CD, The Inconsolible Secret, was a big letdown. There's about 30 minutes of interesting music there, which isn't much for a double CD. The first CD of the two is a complete write-off IMO (snooze). Like Morse, they are another band that promotes its religious affiliation.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville
    Posts
    1,112
    Oh yeth they left off Karmakanic too, the schmeebs.

    Dave

  16. #16
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    9,769
    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    That review pissed off a lot of people close to the band. However, there were also a lot of people that went "hmmm, you know, he's right. I hadn't noticed that."
    I would expect a bad, or even mediocre, review to piss off people close to the band. No-one likes to hear anything negative about the people that they are close to, even if it might be true.

    Shawn Gordon sent out so many emails flogging the merits of Frogg Cafe, that I got tired of reading them and just started deleting them. I really haven't heard them much (a few spins of Creatures, which didn't do all that much for me) so I can't comment personally. But it seems like Shawn Gordon has invested a lot of time and money into them and has a vested interest in their success. So your review, if not entirely favourable, would put him in a position of needing to defend his investment.

    Speaking of Shawn Gordon....guess who sent me the link to that article...because some of his bands were mentioned in it.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085
    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Speaking of Shawn Gordon....guess who sent me the link to that article...because some of his bands were mentioned in it.
    I was wondering why your were going home from work to read National Review.

    (Actually, some of their stuff is very insightful on the political front, whether you agree with their ideological viewpoint or not.)

  18. #18
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    9,769
    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    I was wondering why your were going home from work to read National Review.

    (Actually, some of their stuff is very insightful on the political front, whether you agree with their ideological viewpoint or not.)
    I have absolutely no idea what National Review is. I just though that it was interesting that anyone was writing about these bands.

  19. #19
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    1,994
    So no new pocupine trees?
    Look & Listen

  20. #20
    Close 'n Play user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    I've had some real knock down, drag outs with Shaw Gordon over at PE. The guy is a shameless shill for his product. Say anything negative about any of his products and the guy gets personal on ya. He's a douchebag in fine upstanding businessman's clothing. Ego bigger'n mine, even.

  21. #21
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    9,769
    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Ego bigger'n mine, even.
    Now that's saying something.

  22. #22
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Hey! Over here!
    Posts
    2,746
    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    I would expect a bad, or even mediocre, review to piss off people close to the band. No-one likes to hear anything negative about the people that they are close to, even if it might be true.
    Maybe that's why I don't get Van Allen Belt in the mail any more...

  23. #23
    Close 'n Play user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Now that's saying something.
    I agree!

  24. #24
    Close 'n Play user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    Maybe that's why I don't get Van Allen Belt in the mail any more...
    No, I've just kinda stopped making new music due to lack of interest from anyone but me.

    Here's the last one I finished. It's a song about poo.

    http://www.designshed.com/toonage/brownies.mp3

  25. #25
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    below the noise floor
    Posts
    3,636
    Very cool article. I think I'll put every one of those releases on my wish list.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •