Saturday, October 18, 2014

CD Review: New Progressive Rock Albums From ST37, Guru Freakout And My Education With Theta Naught Sound Mass

Texas psychedelic/progressive rock band ST 37 are released their latest album "I'm Not Good" on October 14th through Cleopatra Records. Since starting out in 1987, the band has found a local following that has slowly grown and spread across the U.S. They have found themselves on tour with Sonic Youth, Hawkwind, Chrome and Guru Guru. The new album features a dozen songs that exercises for your mind. Beginning with the experimental sound movement "Down On Us," the has an early Pink Floyd influence on their sound of this latest release. The band comes together for the heavy progressive rock of "Doppleganger," which really shows off the band's outstanding musicianship. ST 37 fly off course with the frenzied keyboards and sound bites of "Dirty Little Homewrecker," before finding their way again on the seventies-type rocker "In Crowd." They turn Edwyn Collins' "Girl Like You" into a ten minute space trip and showcase their experimentation to the fullest extent on the backwards riffs of "Eroica Horns." One of the album's highlights is the slow-building "Feeding Friendzy" that has some extraordinary guitar playing on it. To find out more about ST 37 and their latest release "I'm Not Good," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com.

Next is the debut album, "Mothership" from the multi-talented singer/percussionist Mani Neumeier and instrumentalist/producer Jurgen Engler which was released just last month. The duo formed the new band Guru Freakout in 2012 with Scott Telles on bass. The trio got together in the studio to jam and see if there was any chemistry between the musicians. The music was so good, that they decided to record their rehearsal on a small digital recorder and add two of the songs from those sessions as bonus tracks. The two-song album begins with the expanded prog-rock of "Notre Dame (Mothership)" as the song pushes past the thirty-minute mark. The spaced-out guitar and the steady rhythm put your ears on high alert as you continue your journey with Guru Freakout. The second song on the album is the steady climb up "The Snows Of Mt. Bonnell," which contains some exciting solos and more adventurous sound. The three bonus tracks consist of two of the songs from the band's rehearsal sessions and a live version of "Elektrolurch-Mutation" that has the musicians locked into a deep grinding rhythm. To find out more about Guru Freakout and the new album "Mothership," plesae visit cleorecs.com.

Also new from Cleopatra Records is the joint venture from post-rock bands My Education and Theta Naught Sound Mass. The new album entitled "Sound Mass II: Spiritual Docking," combines classical string instruments with standard rock instruments to create a more mind-expanding sound with touches of intellect added to the music. This album has been two years in the making and was finally released on October 14th. The five song album begins with the slow-moving, atmospheric flow of "Salty Tassels." The band gets into a classic progressive rock grove and plays it safe on "Spiritual Docking," before bringing you on a journey with the perfect mix of soft and heavy music on "BAMF." The album also adds on two bonus track that were recorded back in 2011 when the two bands met and collaborated for the first time. Both tracks have a more upbeat rock tempo with a more adventurous resulting sound. To find out more about the new album "Sound Mass II: Spiritual Docking," please visit cleorecs.com.

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