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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mangoseed

Basquiat

Review by Gary Hill

I’m guessing plenty of people will argue with me putting this under the progressive rock heading. It’s definitely progressive music, but it’s often not rock. The main cohorts here are reggae, jam band sounds and space rock, but plenty of other sounds also emerge. This is intriguing and creative stuff. The vocals sometimes take a little getting used to, but overall, I really like this set a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Lioness

Metal, reggae, funk and more combine in here. This has a complex song structure and some unusual sounds. It definitely leans heavily on progressive rock angles. It also earns parental advisories on the lyrics.

Careful
The opening section here is very much modern progressive rock, feeling rather like the Police in some ways. Weird keyboard sounds come over the top as it continues, reinforcing that prog element. There is a lot of reggae in this, too. Electronic music is quite present here, too. This is unusual, and also very cool. It’s like progressive reggae in so many ways.
Brix – Tone
Space music, reggae and electronic music all blend in this number. It’s quite proggy in terms of the overall sound that emerges when those pieces are put together here.
I Shoot My Friends
This sounds like a live recording, and an audience one at that. It’s sort of a stripped back alternative rock meets reggae arrangement.
Devil in the Road
Another intriguing blend of sounds is presented here. Jam band music, space rock and reggae all combine in a fascinating and entertaining piece.
The Soul Bird
Electronic music and mostly spoken female voice combine on this song. It’s definitely more like an electronic prog piece than it is reggae.
She Is All
The female vocals from the previous number are heard at times here, tying this into that one. There is a lot of electronic music mixed into this. It’s also very much a progressive rock piece. Sure, there are reggae and jam band elements prominently displayed here, but the complex arrangement (along with some more definite prog features) land this one thoroughly under that heading for me.
Bali Men Interrupted
More or less an instrumental this is a fairly short piece. It sounds like it was recorded live and it’s very much a space rock jam.
Standing on High
Space rock and jam band sounds are the main culprits here. Sure, there is some reggae in the mix, along with some funk, but this is really a space jam.
This Life
The jam band sounds and reggae merge here. The vocal arrangement is among the most complex and effective of the set. I’d consider this to be one of the beset tunes here.
Rise and Shine
Modern progressive rock and jam band sounds are really the mainstays of this arrangement. There is some jazz built into this, too. Of course, reggae is also present.
Interruption
Feeling like a live rendition, this continues the musical themes of the previous piece. It’s essentially instrumental. It’s also short.
Thief Head
Although there is much more of a hard edged reggae sound to this number, it still has some proggy elements and some definite jam band leanings.
Army of One
Reggae, space rock and jam band music merge here. This is another killer tune and another that defies classification because of the mixing of sounds.
Bali Men
Space rock and reggae vocals are combined on this short closing piece.
 
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