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February 2017 - Issue 122
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Asia - Alpha
Review by Gary Hill
As I sat down to do a retro review of the single of "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes," I realized that I've never reviewed this album. I decided to resolve that issue.
Asia - Heat of the Moment / Ride Easy (vinyl single)
Review by Gary Hill
The old school Asia singles are cool because they generally include b-sides that aren't available on the main albums. This is no exception.
Asia - The Smile Has Left Your Eyes / Lying to Yourself (vinyl single)
Review by Gary Hill
One of the cool things about these vintage Asia singles is that the song on the flip side is typically not included on the album. That makes these worth having. 
Bandzilla - Bandzilla Rises!!!
Review by Gary Hill
Is this progressive rock? Probably it is not.
Dewa Budjana - Zentuary
Review by Gary Hill
This album has some vocals, but they are world type things, more as instruments. 
Larry Coryell - Barefoot Man: Sanpaku
Review by Gary Hill
The fusion is strong with this release. It's a powerhouse jazz styled disc with some exceptional instrumental work.
Curved Air - Curved Space & Infinity: The Curved Air Rarities Series Volume 2
Review by Gary Hill
This new release takes two Curved Air spin off albums and puts them out under the Curved Air heading.
Deus Ex Machina - Devoto
Review by Gary Hill
This group is an Italian prog band. That is significant because Italian prog is a sub-genre all its own.
Esquire - No Spare Planet
Review by Gary Hill
One could expect Esquire to sound like the music of Yes (and particularly Chris Squire). One half of this band, Nikki Squire, used to be married to Chris Squire, and they do share some musical reference points.
Gentoo - Structures
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps this doesn't fit under "prog rock." It's clearly not rock music.
Grit - Live at Kramus Deluxe Studio
Review by Gary Hill
It's a safe bet a lot of people will argue with this landing in prog. It's noisy. It's raw.
Ingranaggi della Valle - Warm Spaced Blue
Review by Gary Hill
This is such a cool album. It's modern in some ways, but really the grounding is within the more old school type of prog. There are symphonic things here, jazzy prog elements and more. 
Jack O’ the Clock - Repetitions of the Old City - I
Review by Gary Hill
This is a very impressive album. It has so many shifts and changes throughout.
Kaipa Da Capo - Darskapens Monotoni
Review by Gary Hill
You really can't beat Roine Stolt if you like melodic prog rock. This album is a brand new set from a variant on his 1970s band Kaipa.
Leviathan - The Legendary Lost Elektra Album
Review by Gary Hill
No, this is really not prog rock. It is, however, for the most part proto prog.
Lucifer’s Friend - too late to hate
Review by Gary Hill
This new disc from the legendary 70s rockers probably wouldn't land under prog rock on its own strengths.
Nicolas Meier - Infinity
Review by Gary Hill
Let's make one thing clear at the start: this is really not progressive rock. It's very much progressive music, though.
The Mugshots - Something Weird
Review by Gary Hill
I've reviewed these guys before, and liked them. Well, that hasn't changed.
Nektar - Down to Earth
Review by Gary Hill
This Nektar album might not get the attention of Recycled or Remember the Future, but it's really a classic Nektar set.
Øresund Space Collective - Visions of...
Review by Gary Hill
I always like this band. Their brand of space rock is all improvised.
The Raptor Trail - Devil on an Indian
Review by Gary Hill
The prog rock these guys do is very much guitar oriented. It's modern, but has its roots in classic prog, too.
Klaus Schulze - Another Green Mile
Review by Gary Hill
This is an odd, but quite interesting disc. It's electronic, but it also rocks at times.
Sista Maj - Series of Nested Universes
Review by Gary Hill
This is instrumental space rock. It's quite cool stuff. It has a pretty wide range of music, but as is the case with most space rock, the change is always gradual.
Sonar - Black Light
Review by Gary Hill
Imagine combining Djam Karet with California Guitar Trio. You'll probably find yourself somewhere in the range of this album.
Spirits Burning - and Clearlight - The Roadmap In Your Head
Review by Gary Hill
There is quite a range of sound here. It is all definitely prog rock, but within that realm there are things like electronic music, folk prog, space, fusion and more.
Stoner Pop - Stoner Pop
Review by Gary Hill
I have no question about putting this under "progressive rock." Other than the last tune this definitely fits.
Three Man Army - Third of a Lifetime
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new digitally remastered edition of a 1971 album. This band might be one that got lost in the mists of time, but that's a shame.
Tohpati - Tohpati Ethnomission - Mata Hati
Review by Gary Hill
You can always count on Tohpati to deliver some great music.
Tomita - The Planets
Review by Gary Hill
This retro review looks at one of Tomita's most famous albums. I've always liked this one a lot.
The Tubes - Live At German Television: The Musikladen Concert 1981
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed the DVD of this last issue, but this time around it's the CD release. I have to say, the Tubes are a hard band to classify.
Vangelis - Heaven and Hell
Review by Gary Hill
I like Vangelis' blend of electronic and symphonic music. This album features vocals from Jon Anderson on one song, a real bonus to me.
Vangelis - Opéra sauvage
Review by Gary Hill
Vangelis is an artist who always does a great job of working within electronic elements to create something unique and rather symphonic. This album is no exception.
Rick Wakeman - Lisztomania
Review by Gary Hill
Have you ever seen this movie? I have seen it a couple times. It's definitely strange.
Rick Wakeman - No Earthly Connection
Review by Gary Hill
This is a great album, no question about it. It's the classic example of how Rick Wakeman works with the combination of rock and symphonic music.
Rick Wakeman - Rhapsodies
Review by Gary Hill
As you might guess from the layout in the track by track, I've done this retro review from the vinyl version of this album.
Rick Wakeman - Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record
Review by Gary Hill
I remember that when I first heard this album years ago I wasn't all that impressed. Listening to it now, I'm not sure why I didn't love it. 
Rick Wakeman - Rock N Roll Prophet
Review by Gary Hill
This is a rather odd entry into the Rick Wakeman catalog. Wakeman has said that he intended it as a spoof of music like The Buggles.
Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Review by Gary Hill
There are many who would consider this Rick Wakeman's strongest solo album. That argument has merit.
Rick Wakeman - White Rock
Review by Gary Hill
This album was composed for the 1976 winter Olympics. The music is essentially instrumental, but there are chorale vocals in places.
John Wetton - King's Road: 1972-1980
Review by Gary Hill
This is a compilation set from John Wetton. 
John Wetton - Live at the Sun Plaza Tokyo 1999
Review by Gary Hill
This live album is pretty good. It suffers a bit in terms of sound quality.
John Wetton - Live in Argentina 1996
Review by Gary Hill
John Wetton's known in some circles mostly for his prog rock work in bands like UK and King Crimson. His solo career, though, has a lot of AOR mainstream rock in it. 
John Wetton - Live in Osaka 1997
Review by Gary Hill
It's easy to think of John Wetton as a prog artist. His work in bands like UK and King Crimson (and even Asia) lend credence to that argument.
John Wetton - Official Bootleg Archive Vol 1: Deluxe Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This six-CD box set is quite cool. Each of the shows has a bit different flavor. 
Wingfield - Reuter - Stavi - Sirkis - The Stone House
Review by Gary Hill
If you like freaky guitar based instrumental prog, you are sure to dig this. It has fusion and a lot more built into it.
Yes - Love Will Find a Way / Holy Lamb (Song for Harmonic Convergence) (vinyl single)
Review by Gary Hill
If you are looking for a sampling of flavors of Yes' Big Generator album in a vinyl single, you can't do much better than this. 
Yes - Rhythm of Love / City of Love (live) (vinyl single)
Review by Gary Hill
If you want to get this song on vinyl and have a cool B-side, this might be the answer.
James Young - Songs They Never Play on the Radio
Review by Gary Hill
First things first, this is not the James Young from Styx. This James Young spent a lot of time playing with Nico of Velvet Undground fame.
Ziguri - onetwothreefour
Review by Gary Hill
This is a very weird album. I like the majority of it quite a bit, though.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Al Atkins - Reloaded
Review by Gary Hill
Al Atkins is probably best known as the original singer for Judas Priest. You can find his name on some of the early Priest albums as one of the writers of a number of their songs.
Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations: The White Album
Review by Gary Hill
I first heard of Diamond Head years ago when they were listed as a big influence on Metallica. I don't think I've ever actually heard them before, though.
Joe Lynn Turner - The Sessions
Review by Gary Hill
This is essentially a compilation disc of cover tunes from Joe Lynn Turner.
Witche's Brew - Against the Grain
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that I really don't like the vocals on this album. Beyond that, though, the sound is quite cool.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
The Beat Farmers - Heading North 53 N° 8° E
Review by Gary Hill
This live album from the Beat Farmers is fun. Their brand of cow-punk is often funny.
Nick Black - Deep Blue
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds here is great. It's hard to call this purely modern music. In fact, it would be sorely inaccurate.
Popa Chubby - Catfish
Review by Gary Hill
Popa Chubby is a blues musician. While that's a true statement, it really doesn't cover it.
Color You - The Grand Trine
Review by Gary Hill
This release is quite an interesting one. There is a lot of modern alternative rock meets pop here.

John Coltrane - Trane 90
Review by Gary Hill
This four CD set was released in honor of the 90th birthday of the late, great, John Coltrane. It's quite an intriguing disc.
The Convent - 1986-2016
Review by Gary Hill
I've never heard this band before. If you like the new wave sounds of acts like the Cure, this is definitely your kind of thing.
Cranky George - Fat Lot of Good
Review by Gary Hill
In some ways, I would liken this outfit to the kind of music Camper Van Beethoven created. Now, I'm not saying that this like that, because it isn't.
Dave and Sugar - Greatest Hits / New York Wine & Tennessee Shine
Review by Gary Hill
This is a "two albums on one CD" reissue from Dave and Sugar. I don't really remember this act.
Chris DeMarco - Genetic Marker
Review by Gary Hill
This disc has a lot of strong music. There are a couple mis-steps, too. Personally, I think it's a case where less would have been more.
Detective - It Takes One To Know One
Review by Gary Hill
I remember buying this years ago on vinyl. I'm a Yes fanatic, so the fact that Tony Kaye was in the band meant I had to have it for my collection.
Detective - Live from The Atlantic Studios
Review by Gary Hill
This new release is a live album from Detective. It was originally released as a promo album, part of a series of live promo discs.
Little Diamonds - New Orleans Bound
Review by Gary Hill
There is a real roots music movement these days. This is likely to appeal to that crowd.
The Electric Hellfire Club - Necessary Evils - The Best Of
Review by Gary Hill
I had heard of these guys, but I don't think I'd ever heard them before getting this CD. I had read that they were techno metal.
Elf - Carolina County Ball
Review by Gary Hill
Here we have a reissue of the 1974 release from Elf.
Elf - Trying to Burn the Sun
Review by Gary Hill
This new reissue is quite cool. Don't expect to hear the kind of stuff Dio did in his solo career.

Flaunt - The Antics of More Youthful Times
Review by Gary Hill
I like this set quite a bit. It has a modern soulful feeling to just about everything.
Hollywood Monsters - Capture the Sun
Review by Gary Hill
The main guy here is Stephen Honde. He is the main writer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and much more.
Verena von Horsten - Alien Angel Super Death
Review by Gary Hill
This might actually fit under progressive rock. Certainly parts of it would.
Ian Hunter - Sampling in Reality
Review by Gary Hill
There is a whole school of music that's focused on slightly rough around the edges rock and roll with less than great singers.
Jordan Hurwitz - Lovesick
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed another disc from Jordan Hurwitz previously. She is a great singer.
Flaco Jimenez - Fiesta (Live in Bremen)
Review by Gary Hill
This really does feel like a fiesta. If you enjoy Mexican music that's partly traditional and partly based in jazz and rock and roll you'll love this.
Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House - Big Jay's Latest & Greatest
Review by Gary Hill
This album is a classy set. I'm not blown away by everything here, but it works reasonably well.
David McWilliams - Lord Offaly
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new reissue of an album from 1972. I like the blend of folk music and mellow rock on this set.

           

The James Montgomery Blues Band - The James Montgomery Blues Band
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a strong album. The brand of blues here is decidedly electric.
The Multi-Coloured Shades - The Lost Tapes (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
This new 10-inch vinyl disc is cool. It's on red vinyl and has two songs on each side. That makes it land in the 20-minute range.
Chris Murphy - The Tinker's Dream
Review by Gary Hill
Celtic music and country music are surely kissing cousins. All you have to do is to listen to some down-home old school country to make that clear.
Outlaws - Legacy Live
Review by Gary Hill
This new double live CD is from the Outlaws' 2015 tour. These guys were always, in many ways, the quintessential Southern rock band.
Richard Palmer-James - Takeaway
Review by Gary Hill
Richard Palmer-James is probably best known for writing some lyrics for the John Wetton fronted version of King Crimson.
Pink Fairies - Naked Radio
Review by Gary Hill
These guys were a part of the same London scene that saw the rise of Hawkwind. In fact, at times there was a hybrid of the two groups going under the name "Pinkwind."
Jeremy Poland and Lantz Dale - Timeless Soul
Review by Gary Hill
This kind of soft rock based pop music is the kind of thing that really works on top 40 radio.
Hugh Prestwood - I Used to Be the Real Me
Review by Gary Hill
There was a time when folk music was a big part of the popular culture. Don't get me wrong, it still is to a large degree.
Paul Revere and the Raiders - Spirit of 67
Review by Gary Hill
I think these guys tend to get a bit of a bad rap. The outfits and poppy choruses probably have a lot to do with that.
Righteous Hillbillies - Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway
Review by Gary Hill
These guys are really a great band.
Sound of Curves - Gone Gatsby
Review by Gary Hill
These guys land in the territory of the modern alternative rock based pop music. Much of the music here is a bit on the generic side within that heading.
The Survival Code - Broken Strings
Review by Gary Hill
The three songs here are high energy alternative rock.
Matt Townsend - The Drifter and the Dream (Part I)
Review by Gary Hill
I like folk music. This EP really fits the bill for me exceptionally well.
Ike and Tina Turner - The Complete Pompeii Recordings 1968-1969
Review by Gary Hill
This set encompasses three individual albums. That said, these albums are each rather on the short side, in the neighborhood of half an hour.
Uriah Heep - Words in the Distance 1994-1998
Review by Gary Hill
This new three CD box set compiles three Uriah Heep albums into one convenient set. It comes in a nice box.
Ray Vaughn - Wounded Bird
Review by Gary Hill
This album has a punk, DIY kind of edge to it. That's mostly from the vocals.
DVD/Video Reviews
Aswad - Live At Rockpalast: Cologne 1980 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
These guys are considered one of the most successful reggae acts from the UK. Here in the states, though, they are more or less unknown.
Black Uhuru - Live At Rockpalast - Essen 1981 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You really can't go wrong with this outfit. I guess I mean Rockpalast, as well as Black Uhuru.
Judy Collins - Love Letter To Sondheim DVD
Review by Gary Hill
In this concert Judy Collins paid special attention to the music of Stephen Sondheim through his songs and some words about those songs. She's backed up by a symphony orchestra.
Peter Green - Man of the World: The Peter Green Story DVD
Review by Gary Hill
When you ask a lot of people about Fleetwood Mac, they only know about the modern era with Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.
Heart - Live at The Royal Albert Hall with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This new video (recorded in 2016) finds Heart at the Royal Albert Hall with a full orchestra. There are a lot of things to like about this DVD.
Morphine - Journey Of Dreams DVD
Review by Gary Hill
As talented as Morphine were, I think that had there been justice they would have been a lot more of a well-known act.
Brad Paisley - Life Amplified World Tour; Live from WV DVD/CD Combo
Review by Gary Hill
If you watch this DVD it's really easy to see why Brad Paisley is so popular. First off, he can really sing.
Peter, Paul and Mary - 50 Years with Peter Paul and Mary DVD
Review by Gary Hill
In so many ways Peter Paul and Mary represented the spirit of the 1960s folk movement. Their music certainly captured it very well.
Rush - Time Stand Still DVD
Review by Greg Olma
Rush have never been more popular than they are now.  I know this because I have been a fan since 2112, and not until the latter part of their career do they finally get the recognition they deserve. 
Various Artists - New Orleans Music in Exile BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
I think anyone who really enjoys music, and particularly music in the way it relates to a specific area will really like this documentary.
Sid Vicious - Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps for a lot of people the exposure to the story of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen started with the film "Sid and Nancy."
Interviews
Bandzilla
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Richard Niles of Bandzilla from 2016
California Guitar Trio
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Paul Richards from 2017
Esquire
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Nikki Squire of Esquire from 2016
Richard Palmer-James
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Richard Palmer-James from 2016
Pär Lindh Project
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Par Lindh from 2016
Spirits Burning
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Don Falcone of Spirits Burning from 2016
Concert Reviews
Queensrÿche - Live in Chicago, Illinois, December 2016
Review by Greg Olma
Queensryche has been making good on their promise of rebuilding their brand these last few years.  They started by releasing two great albums and then they proceeded to tour the hell out of them.  
 
 
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