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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

And They Are Us

And They Are Us

Review by Gary Hill

This duo consists of visual artist /producer Dustin DeMilio (aka Dust Magnet) and guitarist Christopher Schreiner (aka Drop.Kick.Pop). At Music Street Journal we’ve reviewed Schreiner before when was operating under the moniker “The Guy.” This album isn’t precisely progressive rock, but it’s pretty close. It’s also clearly progressive music. There is a lot of electronic sound and space music in the mix. Whatever you call this, though, I like it a lot. It’s unusual, but also very interesting and entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Last Day of Summer

There is a spoken voice sample at the start (and later along the ride) that I think might be William Shatner. Either way, this gives way to a pounding, rocking jam that’s also rather stripped down. Guitar and piano seem to fight with percussion for control. This is unusual, but it’s also very cool.

Groove Modulator
We do get a groove on this. That said, the atmospherics and crunchy guitar sounds really lend a lot of the sound. Bits of sampled voice (I recognize a couple quick Michael J. Fox bits from “Back to the Future” as an example) are included on this along with space rock elements. There are some strange shifts and changes as this continues, but it remains intriguing.
Odyssey
This starts very symphonic. From there, though, it shifts out to an odd, but very cool soundscape. It has electronic music and a lot of soundtrack styled sound. This is almost space rock in some ways. There are more symphonic elements at play later in the piece, too. Overall, this is one of the oddest, but also one of the most successful compositions here.
Elvish Has Left the Building
Although this is also rather odd, it’s got a lot of cool packed into it. It alternates between a mellower, electronic space music and a more rocking element. At times it feels close to something Djam Karet might do.
Mind of the Machine

Although there aren’t huge changes from the last piece, this is almost more mainstream than that one was. It’s got more of a groove to it. The contrast between harder rocking and mellower is still in place, though.

Twin Radio Mouse
This does have a dual element to it. On the one hand there’s the gentle, mellower dreamy tapestry that bookends it. That section holds the bulk of the piece. Then, there is also the hard rocking edgier movement. The combination makes for a great piece of music. This does have some female non-lyrical vocals that are probably samples or loops.
Nihongo
Although there is still a trippy, dreamy vibe to a lot of this, it’s also got more of a straightforward rocking sound from the guitar soloing. It still has space music and electronics built into the mix, though.
HX-1
Dark and mysterious, this is powerful. It’s got a great combination of electronic space weirdness and heavy guitar.
Horizon (MIC)
Trippy and yet also possessing some real rock, this has a great groove. At times it makes me think of Pink Floyd just a little. There is definitely a spacey quality to this.
My Own Private Travelizer
In a lot of ways this is even more trippy and dreamy than the other music here. Still, it does manage to rock, as well. The whole thing is very effective, any way you slice it.
 
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