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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Hats off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

When the Kill Code Fails

Review by Gary Hill

This disc has kind of weird mix of sounds. In some ways, it’s less a mix than a clash. There are instrumentals that are purely electronic prog. Yet many of the full “songs” have a DIY stripped down rock sound. I’m including this under prog because enough of it fits that I think it works. That said, this isn’t going to make the “favorites” list of any prog purists. It’s well worth checking out, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
When the Kill Code Fails

Starting rather symphonic, a cool electronic rock vibe joins to move the cut forward. It turns toward a bit of a prog meets psychedelic rock sound for the vocal movement. There are harder rocking sections on this thing. It’s moody in a lot of ways. It’s very proggy, but also a little on the DIY awkward end of the spectrum in some ways.

Broken Wave
This instrumental is a space prog number. It’s all keyboards and quite pretty. It’s a definite change.
Layers
There really isn’t any progressive rock built into this. It’s more of a straightahead rocker. It has some alternative rock and psychedelia built into it. It’s just a little rough around the edges to me.
Connections
As this starts it has a psychedelia meets Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream kind of vibe to it. We’re taken out into spacey trippy stuff later in the piece. In some ways those later sections make me think of early Pink Floyd quite a bit.
Head in a Jar
They bring this one in with a lot of energy. The keyboards that come across the top bring the prog to the proceedings. The music and vocals on the verses, though, are more in line with a punk rock vibe. The cut gets other bits of prog as it goes, though. This is a more effective cut than the other two vocal numbers we’ve heard to this point. It works out to a bit of space at the end.
Link
Keyboards bring this in, and it makes me think of Kraftwerk quite a bit as it moves forward. This is another instrumental.
Going Down
With a hard rock sound, this has quite a bit of psychedelia in it. The flute brings a bit of folk prog sound. It’s another that’s a bit on the raw side.
I Still Remember You
This breaks the pattern we’ve seen so far of one electronic instrumental alternating with one vocal based tuned. This cut is the most proggy full arrangement we’ve seen. It has a lot of psychedelia built into it, but also some jazz. The instrumental break is a full progressive rock treatment, and a very cool one. This piece gets pretty hard rocking, but not enough so that the more subtle elements get lost. This is one of the highlights of the set for sure. I love the melodic rocking guitar solo.
My Clockwork Heart
There is a jazzy element at play here. A lot of this calls to mind the more guitar based melodic prog that’s somewhat common these days. There is still plenty of psychedelia here, too. It has definite DIY alternative elements, too.
Freerunning
This energetic jam seems to be part space rock, part fusion and part prog. It’s a killer instrumental with great work from all involved. I particularly dig the bass line on this.
Solace
Slow moving, mellow segments serve as the backdrop for some evocative guitar playing. The two things together serve to make it feel a bit like Pink Floyd. Around the two minute mark, it shifts to a harder rocking jam. The vocals come over the top and the arrangement has a bit of a psychedelic turned space rock sound. It’s a little rough around the edges, but still quite cool. The guitar that solos all over this thing really adds some magic. It works out to the opening segment to end.
Glass Lithium
This instrumental brings us back into the electronic territory. It’s another that makes me think of both Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream quite a bit. It works through quite a bit of musical territory along the road. It’s a cool piece for sure.
Alive
Bass starts this, and the cut launches out from there into a more straight rocking sound. The lyrics to this song seem so familiar to me for some reason. The tune has some definite jazz built into the arrangement. It’s energetic and quite cool, too.
 
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