Archive for King Crimson

TRIO OF MADNESS-Lost Time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

Well, it finally happened. After much anticipation, Trio Of Madness, the Somerville, New Jersey band, released Lost Time in March, 2017. Filled with 14 wonderfully looney tunes, the trio delivers a blend of psychedelic, surf, and progressive rock sounds, which merge into what can only be called “alien rock”. The album conjures up memories of my old arena rock days, with shades of King Crimson and Yes peering out from behind the wonderful melodies. There are different musical themes woven into songs by exciting changes and transitions. The album is guitar-centric, yet the rhythm section is a standout. Nick Charles’ solos and riffs deliver wonderful waves of melody, while Mike Wojik and Liz Gonzalez drive the music. There are cool effects, and I am certain I heard a bicycle horn. ‘Roswell‘ delivers a surf vibe which morphs into a sound that can best be described as The B-52s meet King Crimson, while ‘Birthquake‘ offers a psych’d out, funky, beach blanket bingo feel. At times it seems that the album is a free for all jam, but the music is brilliantly executed. This is an entertaining trip which, one can only hope, brings with it a safe return. And while the long term effects of listening to Trio Of Madness are, as of yet unknown, this is an insanely good time. Favorite tracks: ‘Lost Time‘; ‘Spaceships‘; ‘Showering At The Bates Motel‘;  ‘Mutant Song‘, with guest vocals by Geverend Dee. You really need to hear this. Play it loud, and remember to keep your eyes on the skies! You can listen and purchase Lost Time here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FRACTAL REVERB-Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

FR3I discovered Fractal Reverb in the spring of 2014, after listening to their ‘How To Overcome The Ego Mind‘ release. Recently, this trio from Lodi, Italy released a 15 track, 2 CD album entitled ‘Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind‘.

The album is filled with songs that deliver wonderful melodies, great guitar, cool effects, and dynamite sounds of strings. There are changes in time signatures that blow my mind, and I swear I heard cello!! The off beat drumming is reminiscent of Bill Bruford, and the use of effects such as feedback, echo and fuzz conjure up a psychedelic vibe. The songs are wonderfully crafted and arranged, with music that FR2transitions in and out of various movements, and lyrics that are both  introspective and socially relevant. The vocal tracks are dynamite, with incredibly sweet harmonies. Some of the tracks appeared on the 2014 release, but I had no problem listening to them on this album. I was particularly impressed with ‘Song Of Something‘, with its off beat drumming, wonderful harmonic guitar, and great changes. ‘Hidden Places‘ excited with its multiple movements, and way cool effects, while ‘Song Of Everything‘ offered a dynamite instrumental melody, and a very cool bass line. My favorite track, ‘20th January 2013‘  is simply a beautiful piece of music, while being incredibly powerful at the same time. The sound of strings is an added bonus.

 

 

Songs To Overcome The Ego Mind is an incredible journey. Progressive Psychedelic Rock, a sort of FR1fusion of Yes, King Crimson, and Rush. The sound is wonderfully full, and complex, incorporating different orchestral themes within each track. A progressive free for all that is perfectly executed, and often unexpected. The album drives forward, taking you places that you never imagined existed. A brilliant piece of work! This is the kind of album you put on and just let it play, allowing the music to envelop you, and hold you within it. An epic sound. An epic album. Certainly one of the most incredible collections of music I have heard in a long time, and definitely on the shortlist for the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album of The Year 2015!! Check it out for yourself, and then purchase at least 1.  http://fractalreverb.bandcamp.com/

 

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UNIFIED PAST-Shifting The Equilibrium

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

up1I like Progressive Rock. I like Yes. I like King Crimson, Flash & Gentle Giant. There is now a new band on the list. Unified Past, with their album Shifting The Equilibrium, is Progressive Rock the way I remember it.

The vocals are ethereal, delivering melody lines and lyrics that are seductively sublime. Pay particular attention to “Today Is The Day“. The bass lines come at you from places I have never been, just check out “Peace Remains In up3This World“, and the drumming is devastatingly powerful. The guitar work is brilliant, with riffs that surprise and excite, and the synthesizer rocks, particularly on “Smile“. The album is wonderfully melodic. There are exceptional changes, and some way cool harmonics on “Deviation From A Theme“.  Favorite track: “Etched In Stone“, with its sweet, acoustic guitar, and a wonderfully orchestrated medieval theme.

up2Shifting The Equilibrium has an amazing amount of stuff going on. Each listen allows you to hear more and more. Unified Past has the ability to construct tracks that come full circle, while taking you down several roads between beginning and end. And the CD comes with a lyric booklet!! This is some of the best Progressive Rock I have heard in a long while. Check it out for yourself here. Sit back, put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and prepare to be amazed! The only thing missing is the dry ice.

 

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PETER MURRAY-On Druckfarben, And More

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

pm4I set out to do an interview on the progressive-rock band, Druckfarben. As I sat down with Peter Murray, bassist, I instead found myself immersed in his story. Not a bad afternoon at all.

We began by comparing notes about progressive-rock bands, from Yes, King Crimson, and Flash, to Rush and Kansas. We taked about Gentle Giant. We talked about music. We discussed the lack of airplay progressive-rock received in the 1980s and 1990s and how it could be considered underground. We talked.

Peter is an easy interview. Ask a question and he will talk. He has stories to tell. Stories from his days with Surrender Dorothy and the major label deal; stories of his singer/songwriter solo album; stories of his pm3learning the bass line to Yes’ Close To The Edge, for the first Druckfarben gig . He is animated, and energetic. He has strong opinions on music, and the music industry. He is a musician, but foremost, he is a music fan. His interests cross all genres. If it is good, Peter appreciates and enjoys it.

We discussed The Beatles influence on progressive-rock, and queried whether Sgt. Pepper could have been the 1st progressive-rock album. As Peter sees it, progressive-rock is not so much a genre of music, pm5but an attitude. An attitude that encourages experimentation. An attitude to do something that is not usually done. An attitude that impacts not only the song writing, but the instrumentation and arrangements as well.

We delved into bass players, and I asked about his favorite. In true Peter Murray style, he couldn’t or wouldn’t identify one. Instead, names started swirling around the table: Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Mark King, Robbie Shakespeare, Stanley Clarke, to name a few. Paul McCartney came up, and it was agreed that he is perhaps the most under rated bassist around. It was here that I saw the true passion for music in this man. He told a story of how, as a writer for Bass Player magazine, he traveled to England to interview Colin Moulding and Mark King. With his face ‘lit up’, he spoke of spending an afternoon at Moulding’s farm house, drinking tea, and listening to the as yet unreleased ‘Apple Venus’.  Very cool.

pm6We talked about Druckfarben, which grew out of  Classic Album’s Live. All of the band members have a love for progressive-rock. They enjoy playing and performing. Peter looks like a man who is having the time of his life. Bassist, song writer, teacher, author,  producer. This is an accomplished man, a Renaissance man, who shows no signs of slowing down.  Despite his impressive resume, there was no name dropping. An incredibly talented guy, who is kind, humble, and grateful.  Peter Murray is simply, a nice guy. A nice guy who just loves music. Hard not to like him.

 

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FRACTAL REVERB-How To Overcome The Ego Mind

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

fractalreverb2Fractal Reverb, from Lodi, Italy released their EP ‘How To Overcome The Ego Mind‘ in May, 2014. It includes 4 studio tracks, 3 demos, 1 live rehearsal track, and 1 unplugged song. I have no idea where the band got its name from, but its cool as anything. So is the music.

The 1st track on the album, “Spleen“, has a great base line, cool changes, nice harmonies, and some dynamite drumming. “Dystonic Wave”  has amazing vocals that appear to be double tracked, a fraxtalreverb3wonderful melody, and a way cool bass solo. The changes in tempo and musical theme make “20th January 2013”  an exceptional track. The bass line rocks, and the guitar, wonderfully melodic. The guitar riff and solo carry the melody, until vocals begin almost 4 minutes in. “Natural Sounds” has a great melody, with a wonderful riff, and a powerful rhythm section highlighted by a great bass run. There are several movements that seem to blend effortlessly, and the ending is dynamite. The melody and great vocals of “Blindfolded“, the acoustic track, are superb.  “Hidden Place“, the live rehearsal track, has great off beat drumming and great effects. There are changes in tempo and time signature that remind me of early Yes. Very cool.

 

 

 

Fractal Reverb delivers an exceptional collection of music. The songs range from 6-8 minutes long, and incorporate several musical themes. There is a Rush feel going on here, but there are elements of Yes, and King Crimson as well. This band has the ability to fractal reverb1incorporate several movements into 1 song with flawless transitions, and bring it back every time. As if playing with our emotions, they take us on a long, strange journey, and then bring us back home again. The lyrics touch on issues of ethics and humanity, and the instrumentation, while simple, is surprisingly full and complete. It is progressive-rock with an edge. Sort of progressive-grunge. Check it out. Listen, and then listen again. A wonderfully exciting album.

You can listen and download here: http://fractalreverb.bandcamp.com/album/how-to-overcome-the-ego-mind-ep

 

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ALYEUS-Forty Days At Sea

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

alyeus3I have always been a fan of progressive rock. Most of my 20s were spent listening to Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Flash. My interest in the resurgence of progressive rock bands currently releasing material in Canada, is piqued every time I discover a new one. Alyeus (pronounced Ah-lie-us), another London, On band, released their 12 track debut album, Forty Days At Sea, in September, 2013. As part of a 3 album project, the first release is actually the middle piece of the opus. Only a prog-rock band could make sense in that. Citing Pink Floyd, Dream Theatre, and Black Sabbath among their influences, these guys have a unique take on the genre.

The ambient, atmospheric rock that filled arenas in the 1970s, wafts through this album on waves of hard rock. Forty Days At Sea is filled with wonderful changes and transitions. There are beautiful harmonies, particularly the operatic sounds on “VII“. The guitars are amazing, playing hard alyeus2rock riffs over progressive instrumentation. The riff in “Triton’s Horn” is reminiscent of Steve Howe, while the power chords convey the energy of this band. There are cool effects, and some amazing bass on “The Chambers” and “The Keeper“. The vocals are cool, laying somewhere between Geddy Lee and Jon Anderson, and the drumming is spectacular throughout.  The music is incredibly melodic, with wonderful themes woven in. There are way cool tempo and time signature changes.The use of instrumentals throughout the album, serves to set the mood for the next theme. Pay particular attention to “Dreaming In Waves“, and “Elysium“, which evokes shades of Yes’ Tales From Topographic Oceans. The coolest song on the album, “Forty Days At Sea“, is a great song in any genre.

alyeus1Alyeus delivers an exceptional concept album with themes that are dark and disturbing, and music that is hauntingly melodic. This is an album that should be listened to in its entirety, from beginning to end at one sitting. If you like progressive rock, and musical themes, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out. Finally, a band that brings back the way cool concept album. You can listen to and purchase Forty Days At Sea here.

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THE SUPERLATIVE-Chester

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

tsup2The Superlative released their 6 track debut album, Chester, in March 2013. I was pretty upset that I didn’t find out about it until December, 2013. Influenced by the likes of The Who, The Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, The Allman Brothers, and I Mother Earth, among others, had me interested. This 5 piece band from Ottawa, On., delivers a sound I can best describe as rockgae.

tsup1Inner Muse” has great fuzz guitar over a reggae beat. There are great changes and a wonderful guitar solo that lies just under the power rock vocal track. In “Anthem Of A Degenerate” we are treated to nice transitions from reggae to rock and back again, a great melody and very cool guitar riffs and solo. The wonderfully creative vocals at the end of “Dancing In My Mind“, take nothing away from the great guitar solo, nice change in tempo and a way cool blues riff. I really like  “Hot Summer Dub“, with its sweet melody,  and cool changes. There are some interesting psych rock guitar effects here that make me think of Tommy James & The Shondells. tsup3 “Dark Nights (Don’t Look So Pretty)” nails it. A great pop melody and harmonies, with  wonderful  guitar work underneath, amazing transitions, and a kick ass ending. Yep. Nails it! There is a way cool bass line in” The Beast Within“, as well as, a great vocal track and a dynamite riff.

These guys are definitely talented. They rock, and they rock hard. The songs contain a reggae beat, layered with a pop melody, rock guitar, and hints of blues and psych rock. The album is dynamite, providing a guitar driven sound with a wonderful rhythm section. And if that is not enough, the album artwork is very cool. Definitely 1 for the collection and a band to keep your eyes on.

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