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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

My Education / Theta Naught Sound Mass

Sound Mass II: Spiritual Docking

Review by Gary Hill

This is instrumental space rock. It’s also very cool. It definitely lands toward the more pure progressive rock side of space rock. That said, in terms of Music Street Journal content, space rock always lands under prog. I like this album a lot. As space rock, most of the changes are gradually, but it definitely covers a lot of territory.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Salty Tassels

This comes in gradually with atmospherics giving way to more melodic prog turned space rock. An instrumental, we’re taken through different sections here. At times it’s harder rocking and other points mellower. It’s definitely space rock in that the changes are always gradual.

Spiritual Docking
There are definitely moments of this that make me think of Hawkwind’s Hall of the Mountain Grill album. This rocker is very much the same kind of space rock as the opener was, but it’s also not anything close to a carbon copy. Somehow parts of this make me think of Meddle era Pink Floyd, too.
Meanwhile, Approximately 20 Miles Outside of Chico..
A bit noisier, this is very definitely space music. It has a voice talking sort of in the background throughout. It has some cool grooves, too.  
bAmf
Although this piece doesn’t break a lot of new ground, it’s a very effective one. In some ways it almost feels like a more melodic extension of the previous cut.   
Sammy's Sounds, Saturday Night
Although there are no huge changes, I think this is my favorite piece of the whole disc. At over eleven minutes in length, it’s the longest. It comes in with a slow jazzy vibe and builds gradually out from there. There are sections of this that again make me think of Pink Floyd a bit. The funny thing is, a lot of this makes me think of the later sections of “Layla,” but with a prog/space rock edge to it.
Bonus Tracks
 
Dingerland

This number reminds me of Hawkwind’s “Void City” quite a bit. It’s another great space rock jam. This includes some pretty prominent keyboard elements at times.

End Masse
A harder rocking piece, the space rock jamming on this is quite energized and powerful. There are some sections late in this track that make me think of a cross between Iron Butterfly and The Doors. The percussion element on this piece seems more pronounced than on the rest. That’s reinforced by the fact that a drums only section ends this.
 
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