Art Rock

Steven Wilson – To the Bone Review

Steven Wilson – To the Bone Review

“The solo works of Steven Wilson were in ascendancy by 2012’s accomplished The Raven that Refused to Sing, a musically morose but sonically warm homage to 70s prog rock which drew me in with its Fripp-isms and ensnared me in its powerfully emotive web. 2015 saw the decidedly harsher tone of Hand. Cannot. Erase., which similarly impressed me with its engrossing tale of obliteration with more modern tools. The prospect of a sequel named To the Bone surely had a number of AMG writers all hot and bothered. His production has always been top-notch while his music is constantly developing, promising at least that it would stand apart from prior albums to offer something fresh.” Reinvent, refresh.

1476 – Our Season Draws Near Review

1476 – Our Season Draws Near Review

“Known for its short summers and long, drawn out winters, New England is not the worst starting point for a winter-themed album. Fueled by isolation and frigid temperatures, 1476 hail from the infamous Salem, Massachusetts and their specialty is a mixture of art and stripped-down dark, atmospheric rock.” We didn’t land on 1476‘s rock, it landed on us!

Gazpacho – March of Ghosts Review

Gazpacho – March of Ghosts Review

Gazpacho has to be the worst name for a band ever. The soup itself is frankly a little on the unexciting side as it is, being a vegetable soup served cold. It’s actually Spanish or Portuguese, isn’t it? Being Norwegian, couldn’t they have chosen say, lefse or something? Not only is it tastier (Mmm, a bit of sugar and butter and I’m a Happy Metal Guy! NOMNOMNOM!), but it’s Norwegian! Like the band! Get it!? Well, anyway, needless to say I was less than stoked to actually dig my ear-fingers into this record. How could a band that can’t come up with a decent band name come up with good music? I mean, this is an existential question… really.

Kebnekajse – Idioten Review

Kebnekajse – Idioten Review

The 1970s were a fascinating period for Sweden. There was a ton of experimentation, it was the 1970s, but just like many other phenomena, much of what was happening in the outside world was mirrored in the funhouse mirror that is Sweden’s culture. So while Americans of the time, for example, flirted with Marxism, drugs and experimental music, all of that stuff got taken in different directions in Sweden. Reading about the so-called “Red Wave” (red as in communist) of the 1970s is actually really interesting, and seeing how that was showed up and was interpreted in other parts of the culture is a fascinating endeavor. It follows, then, that one of the most interesting things that came out of the era was called “progg” (that might look familiar to you), and it is not the same as what we think of progressive or symphonic rock that changed the face of rock in the US or UK. Instead, much of the scene was caught up in ideologies and were far more concerned with political thought than with music at all. (Rumor has it that one of the bands let everyone play every instrument because it would be unfair otherwise.)