Are you supposed to grow out of your prog phase? I’m not sure, and I’m sorry to say that my need for keyboard wankery and ever-shifting tempos, time signatures, and 20-minute long songs continues unabated. Finch was another band I discovered listening to episodes of Sea of Tranquility, but resorted to YouTubes clips to hear then since they’re not available on streaming platforms. A Dutch instrumental prog band that briefly existed from about 1974-1978, their second album Beyond Expression cater to everything that was popular in prog at the time: long, symphonic structured songs, a heavy emphasis on keyboards and changing tonal shifts within the songs. Your mileage may vary, there’s a lot here I found that really works, both as great background music and when you dig in deeper for that classic prog headphone experience.
Continue reading “Finch: Beyond Expression (1976)”
It’s another late night. We’ve switched from scotch to red wine, but we’re ready to continue down the track by track path of the monster that is 70s hard rock. Uriah Heep may have solidified their classic lineup and earned their biggest hit to date with “Easy Living'” on 1972’s Demons and Wizards, but the real hard rock punch came a year earlier with the mesmerizing Look at Yourself. The progressive side hasn’t yet fully come into its own; instead we get pounding guitars and organs and an overall more metal release. I was thrilled to find a great copy – a first US pressing at my local shop Needle + Groove for a song. A few listens convinced me of its merit, and for a while I was happy to say it was my favorite of their releases I had heard to date. Now that I had a serious dive into the followup, let tear this sucker up track by track and still if my assessment still holds true.
Continue reading “Uriah Heep: Look at Yourself (1971)”
Okay ladies and gentlemen…I have had more than a few drinks, the stereo is turned up loud, and I’m ready to continue down the path of classic 1970s hard rock, as initiated all the way back in July of this year when I waxed poetic about the Sea of Tranquility YouTube channel. Let’s keep the train rolling with some of the vinyl I picked up over the last few months, starting with a band I knew by name but was woefully ignorant of musically…the mighty Uriah Heep and their dynamic fourth album Demons and Wizards. I think at this points I’m enough sheets into the wind to do more of a reaction review, even though I’ve heard the record a number of times already. Flare your pant bottoms and grab your wicker basket of wine…it’s time to do this.
Continue reading “Uriah Heep: Demons and Wizards (1972)”
The first thing I noticed were the drums: this rolling, almost jazz-like feel to the way Jacques Johnson would use the snare, accenting offbeats and sliding rolls like he was soloing against the tremolo fury of “Chasm,” the opening track on Apophenia, the debut full length from USBM by way of NYC band Belus. By respecting the more traditional aspects of black metal without being beholden to its staid tenets the trio create an immediate, accessible album that’s never content to sit back and ride a blast beat; not when it can roil and churn its way through various riffs and changes.
Continue reading “Belus: Apophenia (2017)”
I had no idea who the Groundhogs were when I first heard about them. It came, like so many of the albums I eventually fell for, from a list. Specifically from Decibel Magazine’s Stoner Rock special all the way back in 2007.Their Top 20 Stoner Rock Albums of All Time list was okay, if a bit,well…underwhelming. But tucked away was also an article by Scott Seward dubbed The Filthy 50, where he lists out as it states in the article “50 forgotten late 60s/early 70s thud-rock masterpieces.” And number one of that list was Thank Christ For the Bomb. When I started collecting vinyl it became the #1 must-have on my wishlist, and the good news (besides the fact you can read his article for free here) is that the album holds up superbly as a killer early hard rock record. It’s filthy, it’s thunderous, and those guitars are just sublime.
Continue reading “Groundhogs: Thank Christ For The Bomb (1970)”
Boris is a band that evolves with you. I remember first discovering them when Pink was released back in 2005, and you could argue this was the start of their more “accessible phase” so maybe it was good timing, coming in at a point where the band was injecting their unique style into molds with recognizable shapes. I kept listening as they moved forward, but their previous, more drone and noise inspired works always felt distant and unconnected for me. As I grew older and experienced more music, their sonic signature continued to align closer to mine, until the point arrived where I find myself more often than not turning to the band’s entire catalog based on my mood and my emotion/mental needs. So enter Reincarnation Rose, which on the surface is a single being used to push Wata’s collaboration with Earthquaker Devices on a new fuzz pedal modeled after her tone, but on a deeper, more personal level for me marries what I originally loved in the band, and what I grew to love the more I listened, and the more I opened up to music.
Continue reading “Boris: Reincarnation Rose (2021)”