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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ry Mohon

Not Like the Bread

Review by Gary Hill

Although I’ve landed this under progressive rock, I can see some people arguing about that. Let me say that I’ll stand by that label. This is closer to something like the Radiohead type of proggy music. Not everything here is prog rock, but somehow there are prog rock aspects to a lot of this. There is a sense of disharmony to a lot of it. That’s the kind of dissonant sound that was such an integral part of the Rock In Opposition movement. This has a lot of psychedelia and space rock sound to it. For all those reasons, this fits under prog rock.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s address the music. This is very much a DIY kind of thing. It is not delicate. Nor is it really pretty. It has a lot of things that are detuned and out of key with one another. I don’t know if that’s intentional or not. The thing is, when two sounds are close to in key, but not actually there, they set up a type of resonance. It's the same principle that sets up when tuning a guitar. As the two strings get into tune with one another, the resonance disappears. That resonance is played here almost like an instrument. It becomes another layer of sound. And, it’s very effective. I’m sure this isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely unusual and odd. It’s also very compelling. I actually like this album a lot, because of its imperfections, not in spite of them. If they are unintentional, then it’s a happy bit of chance. If they are intentional, it’s brilliant.

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
Opener

This starts with a little spoken thing. Then a guitar bit comes into this with a weird sort of sound. As the other layers of sound join, it’s crunched up and hard rocking. This is very much a psychedelic rocker with a raw energy to it. It’s a bit strange, but it’s also cool. It has some unusual changes. This has some definite dissonance, but it adds to the charm.

1179 Boylston (Fading Away)
Acoustic guitar brings this into being. The arrangement fills out as the cut moves forward. There are some hints of hip hop on this, but overall it lands more along the lines of alternative rock with psychedelic edges. There are even some hints of the progressive rock of acts like Radiohead. I really dig this song, and particularly some of the spacier sounds that come in over the top.
Do
In some ways this is stranger. It’s also somehow more compelling. This has a dreamy, trippy psychedelia meets dream pop kind of vibe.
Hollow
A weird dissonant guitar part is at the heart of a lot of this. Yet, it also gets some trippy layers of sound. The combination of those two things creates the music for a good chunk of this. It fires out to some hard rocking stuff beyond that, though. That part really has a space rock vibe with the overlayers washing over the top.
New Recording 37
Although this has some issues with key consistency, that adds to the charm of the piece. It’s very much of a space rock, trippy kind of number. It still has some definite energy. There are some powerful moments in the growing section at the end.
You're Not There
This is basically an acoustic guitar based song. It is somewhat detuned, too. There are layers of sound over the top that lend the trippy, proggy things to the piece.
Shock
Folk music is merged with psychedelia and more in this stomper. It’s perhaps not the proggiest thing here, but it has some definite prog bits in it. Some of the instrumental work later gets chaotic and weaves disharmony. It definitely clashes, but somehow that works to create an almost hypnotic effect.
 
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