Stop Posing, Ugly Boy
I've always liked prog-rock but I do know that a lot of it is charmless and irksome at best and excruciating at it's worst. However, I still can't understand the critical blank spot it creates for most "rock" reviewers. I've recently spent hours reading Toby Creswell's dull and predictable "1001 Songs" (1001 blog entries by any other name but it's supposedly more auspicious because it's been published on paper - bugger off Toby) and he only mentions a couple of prog tracks and then with lots of derisory comments like "worst music imaginable" and so on. It's the punk rock year zero shit that I thought would have died out when post-punk came along months later in 1978. Nevermind.
Here's a few more bits of ultra-good-prog for you to chew on:
mp3: Illes - Nem Erdekel Amit Mondsz
mp3: Picchio Dal Pozzo - Merta
These are 2 outstanding tracks from Andy Votel's new compilation : Prog Is A Four Letter Word (elequently reviewed here by Dominique Leone).
The 1st is just a simple 70s pop song more than anything else but it has a great riff - almost as enticing as Os Mutantes' "A Minha Menina". I imagine I'm lucky I have no idea what he's singing about. The 2nd is a more atmospheric, spacey track, reminiscent of Gong's instrumental passages with some lovely synth playing. I'd never heard of these hard-to-find bands at all and I'll be carefull before I actually buy a full album by them but they're ear opening just the same. Votel's great little comp should be purchased by every home, including Creswell's.
mp3: Univers Zero - Chinavox
On a more avant avenue are Univers Zero who took up the stridency challenge in the 80s and still managed to give us some great things. As you can imagine by the pic at the top, they were a very serious bunch but don't let that put you off too much. Just keep it in the back of your mind at all times and fling it at them when they verge on the ridiculous. Which can be often. This is very digital sounding (ie not as good as the 70s) but it has oboe and guitar and so on to leaven the Ensoniq or whtever they used. The devil's marching band theme gets a bit annoying after a while too but, overall, I actually like this quite a bit.
Well, there ya go, not a partuicularly good post but the music's OK at least.