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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mooch

Stations of the Sun

Review by Gary Hill

I usually like Mooch albums a lot. I like this one, but not as much as I expected to like it. It tends to run a bit too much towards theatrical performance art and operatic classical for my tastes. Still, it’s got plenty of great music and even when it misses my personal taste mark, it’s not by much and that’s a purely subjective thing. The easiest reference for this time around would be Renaissance (the band, not the musical period) but there’s plenty of prog and psychedelia to go around here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Yule Garden

A beautiful melody starts this. Then it shifts towards a psychedelic meets progressive rock sound not far removed from both early King Crimson and Curved Air. This moves along a fairly straight line, but there are variances throughout that line. It’s got some definite classical elements on the closing instrumental movement.

The Holly King and the Oak King
Energetic and psychedelic, this is another cool song. It reminds me a lot of Renaissance in many ways.
Imbolc Chant
This is quite classical in nature and a bit weird. Yes, psychedelia and prog are both present here, too. It’s just a little too odd in terms of the vocals for my tastes.
Equinox
A lot of that classical element is heard as this opens. This time, though, it works better and is quite similar to the type of thing Renaissance often created in the 1970s. 
Come A-Maying
More purely progressive rock, this one again calls to mind Renaissance.
Summerland
Although the instrumentation is electronic, the musical modes are quite classical. This is mellow and quite intricate. The vocals tend to be a bit too operatic for my tastes, though.
The Holly King and the Oak King
Dreamy and electronic, this is still quite classical at the same time.
Fred Barleycorn
This is playful and fun. It still represents the same blend of songs we’ve heard throughout, though. That said, there are some male vocals here, setting this apart. There’s also an instrumental section that makes me think of some of Rick Wakeman’s work, too.
Looking Inward
Here we get more dreamy, psychedelic meets prog music that has a lot in common with Renaissance.
A Samhain Mask
Now, this is more pure progressive rock. It really reminds me a lot of Curved Air.
Wheel of the Year
Quite classical in nature, this is still electronic based prog. There are sections of vocals with more rock/folk leanings. But there are also some that are a bit over the top operatic. I’m not overly crazy about this song. I think it’s one of the weaker ones here and probably not the best choice to close the set.
 
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