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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tess Parks

Blood Hot

Review by Gary Hill

When this works, it really works. Dreamy music that combines fuzz driven sounds with folk rock, and psychedelia is the order of business. The main issue here is that there just isn’t enough variety so it tends to get a bit samey. Overall, this set would probably be stronger if a few tracks from the middle of the album had been removed altogether. Still, this is quite good even in this configuration.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Somedays

I love this tune. It’s got a cool dreamy texture, but yet a real rock and roll kind of vibe. This has a lot of glam rock in the mix. It’s a fun one, that’s for sure.

Gates of Broadway
A slower cut, this has a great Mazzy Star kind of feeling to it. It’s feedback laden and echoey and just drenched with cool.
When I Am Young
This comes in very much like some kind of old-school psychedelic rock. That element merges with the fuzzy kind of hard rocking sound that’s been heard on the first couple tunes. This really makes me think a lot of The Velvet Underground.
Refugee Camp
Slow moving and a bit mellower, this is otherwise similar to the stuff on the rest of the disc. I definitely hear Mazzy Star on this. This seems to drone on a bit more than some of the stuff and drags the set down because of it.
Stick Around
Much mellower, this cut has some symphonic elements to it. It’s not a great tune, so fortunately it doesn’t stick around all that long.
Open Your Mind
This rocks out a lot more. It’s a feedback laden noise-fest. It’s also very intriguing.
Walk Behind Your House
There’s not a big change here. It’s noisy, moody and dreamy. It’s also pretty cool.
Goodnight Love
Moody folk music with more of the same sounds as heard on the rest of the set is the order of business here. This is good, but the formula is starting to wear a little thin.
This Time Next Year
Somehow this one manages to stand a bit taller. The melodic echoey sounds just seem to work better. Additionally the guitar soloing about is a great touch.
Life Is but a Dream
Here’s another that’s more effective. It’s not that the main premise is drastically altered, but just that this one seems to work better. It’s set in that same kind of moody, dreamy, trippy sound that has been the order throughout.
Love Around
A little more rocking, this one definitely suffers from the monolithic nature of the disc. However, the powered up jam later does help. Still, the Hawkwind-like jam later is pretty cool. This is definitely one of the more energized tunes here.
 
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