Push & Profit

SKU: 128764-01
Label:
Strung Out
Category:
Progressive Rock
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The band's first album has a bit of a commercial veneer but there is foreshadowing of the great music to come with their next full-on prog release.

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  • This is confusing and perhaps some Italian customer can provide an explanation.  Some years ago New Trolls splintered (well more than once actually) and lawsuits ensued.  Over the years various members of the band have reunited in different lineups presenting their iteration of New Trolls.  Surprisingly most of these releases are actually pretty good.  At the present I believe there are (or were) 4 different versions of New Trolls and the lawsuits continue to fly.  This is a release by four of the members: Gianni Belleno, Giorgio D'Adamo, Vittorio De Scalzi, and Nico Di Paolo. They are recording under the name La Leggenda New Trolls.  This is a continuation of the Concerto Grosso series and as such the music was composed by Luis Bacalov.  The band is augmented by Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice of Genova.  Its an immaculate recording and stays faithful to the sound of the first two albums with the exception that half of the vocals are presented in English.The kicker (as I understand it) is that this is actually a posthumous release.  De Scalzi and Di Paolo lost a lawsuit which prohibits them from using the New Trolls name.  If I've gotten the story wrong I'd love to be set straight.  I find it all very odd but at the same time they all seem to turn out quality albums.
    $18.00
  • Far From Forgot is the first part of a proposed trilogy from former Enid guitarist Francis Lickerish.  He left The Enid in 1981 and wasn't heard from again until the Secret Green project from a few years ago.  This is more or less an extension of that album.  The music is very similar to The Enid - epic scope symphonic music with a rock infusion.  Lickerish plays guitar along with Jon Beedle, Hilary Palmer sings and plays flute.  There are a whole range of musicians filling out the soundscape.  What Lickerish has created is something very much akin to Mike Oldfield's Celtic influenced period.  Quite a beautiful album.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • This is yet another iteration of the splintered New Trolls.  This version of the band features drummer Gianni Belleno and keyboardist Maurizo Salvi.  Although the albums occassionally wanders off into a more pop friendly direction, for the most part this one stays true to the band's prog period.  Salvi offers up some nice ornate, baroque stylings on keys.
    $14.00
  • The White Ladies was the third album from Trace (now billed as Rick van der Linden and Trace).  Its a conceptual work that is often criticized for the use of narration and vocals, which truth be told can be a bit annoying after awhile.  Overall the playing is top notch with plenty of van der Linden's trademark keyboard pyrotechnics.  This new edition comes with 13 previously unreleased demo tracks.
    $16.00
  • After many years of unauthorized bootlegs and promises for a legit release its finally here.  A Night On Bald Mountain is considered by many to be one of the finest examples of progressive rock from a US band.  You can debate all you want as to what is the best - let's all agree that A Night On Bald Mountain is in the upper echelon of prog.  The New Jersey based band released this classically influenced album in 1975.  Produced by ex-King Crimson keyboardist Ian McDonald, the album had a very European feel.  Elements of all the English giants can be found here - ELP, King Crimson, and Genesis.  Lots of keyboard pyrotechnics and more than enough wicked guitar and flute to satisfy everyone's taste.This long awaited reissue features mastering by Larry "Synergy" Fast and incldues two previously unreleased bonus tracks - a cover of King Crimson's "Pictures Of A City" as well as "Robot Salesman".  Housed in a nicely embossed digipak cover.  BUY OR DIE!
    $14.00
  • We've had a hell of a time getting our hands on this album but its finally here and more than worthy of your attention.  In fact this is an album that is going to ride high on many 2014 top 10 album lists.This is the first full length release from this six piece band based out of Bergen, Norway.  The core sound of the band is rooted in classic progressive rock.  Think in terms of the aggressive side of Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson.  But there is more at play here.  A strong jazz element is at play as well.  I'm reminded of Jaga Jazzist and perhaps a bit of Frank Zappa and Mr. Bungle.  There is no doubt we are going to hear quite a bit from this band in the future.  BUY OR DIE!"An impressive album of refreshingly unique music that crosses many sub genres, including space-psychedelia, symphonic, heavy prog, avant-jazz and experimental/post metal. Wonderful vocals, very tight interplay among all band members with no one member or instrument really standing above any other--though the presence and performance of the saxophone is highly notable. This is complex music played so tightly. And the astonishing 14- minute epic, "God Left Us for A Black Dressed Woman," must be heard to be believed.1. "Oh My Gravity" (9:49) starts as a jazzy stop-and-start piece that picks up in intensity in the second minute before shifting to a melodic ballad in the vein of the heavier side of FROGG CAFÉ. The male vocalist sounds to me like something between RADIOHEAD's THOM YORKE and TODD RUNDGREN. Around the six minute mark the spiraling, swooning music sounds a lot like some of the louder stuff from MOTORPSYCHO's The Death Defying Unicorn. This feel continues into the seventh minute when organ and horns take turns embellishing the staccato music. The bare-bones, bluesy final 45 seconds is bizarre but so cool! A powerful and surprising opener to this unusual album. Very high marks for compositional prowess and instrumental performance. (9/10)2. "Wind Shears" (6:32) opens in a very psychedelia/spacey 1960s way. Then at the one minute mark it settles into a jazz groove with first sax and then jazzy guitar and Hammond organ filling the lanes over the rhythm section. Clavinet is added for a GentleGiant-like bridge before a polyrhythmic KING CRIMSON "Discipline"-like weave appears to support a brief ghost-like vocal. At 3:20 the sound gets much heavier over the same arpeggiated weave, nearly drowning out the still-soloing sax and organ. This is just like TOBY DRIVER (Kayo Dot/Maudlin of the Well)! At 4:05 things get quiet and sparse again, with the music vacillating from soft and delicate to heavy and abrasive. A very melodic kind of psychedelic big band section plays out for the final minute. Again, bizarre but so cool! (9/10)3. "Eschaton Hero" (8:29) opens with some guitar, keys & sax riffs repeated over latin percussion. At 1:00 everything settles down into another quiet section with a delicate vocal in Stian Økland's upper register. Beautiful chorus/bridge at 1:47 gives way to an unpretentious bass solo before settling back into the delicate vocal music. Same awesome bridge at 2:49 leads into a heavy section into jazzy chaos--all performed over the most simple, calm drum play. At 4:52 it gets even heavier as it plods along for a minute in support of a fuzz guitar solo. Finally the drums start to play--to match the frenzy of the rest of the band--then everything stops so the band can yell "Yay!" Then a variation on the previous frenzy picks back up until 7:05 when everything settles back down into the soft groove of the initial vocal section for a dirty sax solo before letting Stian finish the song out in his high voice. Well conceived and performed, just not my favorite. (7/10)4. "Extraction" (6:34) begins with another odd intro of two or three parts before settling into the vocal support section--which begins heavily before falling into another RADIOHEAD-like bluesy section. At 2:20 a neat Hammond section leads back into the heavy full band section that opened the vocals, then, again, drops off for the beautiful support of a multi-voice- supported section. At 3:45 a very smooth, stripped down electric guitar solos, until there is a full return to explosiveness at 4:20. A bouncy "O Yo Como Va"-like Hammond section at 4:40 gives way to a kind of Latin weave before falling back into the heavier rock weave from the first vocal section to end. (8/10)5. "God Left Us for A Black Dressed Woman" (14:12) opens with another KC "Discipline"-like weave that morphs and flows, polymorphs and grooves for two and a half minutes before decaying into a simplified form for a bluesy ROBERT PLANT-like vocal section. This song's amazing vocal performance could also be compared to some of the finest MATTHEW PARMENTER/DISCIPLINE works. Some incredibly powerful sections in this song--especially the multi-voice vocals in the eleventh minute and the following heavy full-band part. A very DISCIPLINE-like soft section then ensues with a slow build to an awesome crescendo and frizzed finish. The song evolves, shifts, twists and turns and surprises throughout. Again there are several parts that remind me of MOTORPSYCHO's Unicorn. Without question this is one of the best prog "epics" of the year! (10/10)Aside from the above references to Motorpsycho, King Crimson, Radiohead, Toby Driver, Matthew Parmenter/Discipline, the overall impression this album leaves me with is similar to that of DIAGONAL's eponymously titled debut album from 2008. SEVEN IMPALE's City of the Sun is a wonderful collection of masterfully composed, executed and recorded songs.A 4.5 star album that I can't see giving anything less than five in that it is a treasure for the ages!" - Prog Archives
    $14.00
  • "A new live album offers up highlights from the 2010 world tour that Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson and singer/bassist Greg Lake mounted as a duo.  Live from Manticore Hall features reworked renditions of several classic tunes by the lauded prog-rock trio, including "From the Beginning," "Tarkus," "C'est la Vie" and "Lucky Man.""Live at Manticore Hall is an introspective revisit to some of the music of ELP," notes Emerson.  "It was a delicate transformation that we present now."Adds Lake, "I think this album offers a very interesting perspective upon how Keith and I work and create together."Here is the album's full track listing:"From the Beginning""Introduction""I Talk to the Wind""Bitches Crystal""The Barbarian""Take a Pebble""Tarkus""C'est la Vie""Pirates""Moog Solo"/"Lucky Man"
    $18.00
  • Archangel is the side project of Ubi Maior (and former The Watch) keyboardist Gabriele Manzini.  Like the first album, this one is a concept piece.  I guess vampires are in vogue these days so we get stories of Countess Bathory, Nosferatu, et al.  The musicians on the album are drawn from Ubi Maior, Red Zen, and some other Italian bands.  The key to the album is the return of Damian Wilson who once again stands out as one of the featured vocalists.  The music is squarely in the prog rock vein with a keyboard orientation but with an overall harder edge.  The overall tone of the album is gothic dark.  Manzini includes two cover tunes - he takes his own spin on BOC's "Nosferatu" and Roxy Music's "My Only Love".
    $15.00
  • "Never say Casey Crescenzo lacks ambition. If this guy had been in the control room for NASA’s lunar mission, he would’ve been griping about how we weren’t thinking “big” enough. The Providence-based songwriter is the self-styled Proust of prog rock. If he’s so vain, it’s because the song is about him, though what it’s really about is the aporia of existence and the cyclical nature of life, etc., etc.Restraint might not be Crescenzo’s strong suit, and he’s probably not moving any records with his sense of humor. But six albums into his career as The Dear Hunter, he’s right where he feels most comfortable: in the middle of an epic album cycle that explores the birth, life, and eventual death of his navel-gazing nom de guerre.When we last left off in summer 2009, The Dear Hunter’s overarching narrative had just reached the conclusion of Act III. That’s three full albums dedicated to the convoluted story of a boy who comes of age in the early years of the 20th century, with three more still to go. Before picking up with Act IV, however, Crescenzo stepped away from his magnum opus to focus on writing another concept project, a series of nine EPs about the color spectrum. Some musicians choose cocaine as their preferred drug. Crescenzo might be the first to develop a genuine addiction to big-picture rock records. Even 2013’s Migrant, the first non-conceptual album in the Dear Hunter catalog, feels like a grandiose production. Crescenzo described it as a “slightly more stripped-down” record, but that’s like calling a humpback slightly smaller than a blue whale.Whether you love or loathe The Dear Hunter will likely depend on factors bigger than one album, or even six. Like The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria, and other modern acts that fly the prog flag, this isn’t a band for those who seek out rock music for its simple, visceral pleasures. The stakes on a Dear Hunter record are high as heaven, and Crescenzo genuinely sounds like he’s trying to squeeze more out of his talents with each outing.This much holds true on Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise, the long-awaited continuation of the six-album concept series that began in 2006. If the complexity of Crescenzo’s songwriting has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade, so has his fans’ eagerness to extract a coherent story from his lyrics. Online forums overflow with musings on The Dear Hunter’s hero (or anti-hero — we’re never quite sure), and it seems the band’s mythos has benefited from the internet culture it has evolved alongside.All of this obscures the fact that Crescenzo is far more interesting as a musician than as a lyricist. His “story” is too often hindered by vague, flowery language and one-dimensional characters saddled with names like Ms. Terri and Ms. Leading (get it!?). We’ll leave the more narrative aspects of Act IV to annotation sites, which seem to have been made for highly textual bands like The Dear Hunter. Suffice it to say there’s some batshit stuff going on here, though much of what happens in the protagonist’s story is rooted in Crescenzo’s own life. Here’s the dirty secret: Strip away the concept, and you’re not really losing all that much.As far as the actual music goes, Crescenzo has never sounded more willing to take chances. The results are sometimes strange, sometimes thrilling, and sometimes both. A title like Rebirth in Reprise suggests that repetition can be a cleansing or purifying act, but Crescenzo doesn’t sound like he’s moving in circles here. He throws the whole damn sink into opener “Rebirth”, which transitions from a choral invocation into a chamber waltz with a flick of the maestro’s wrist.Crescenzo enlisted Bay Area musicians the Awesöme Orchestra for this chapter of his tale, and he sure gets his money’s worth. They steal the show on “Rebirth” and lend a snappy, swinging rhythm to the epic centerpiece “A Night on the Town”, making it feel shorter than its interminable nine minutes. Aside from texture, the orchestral arrangements add a crucial sense of time and place. Act IV is supposed to take place in the early 20th century, and the horns especially evoke the Jazz Age. It’s a good look for The Dear Hunter, a band that’s always relied heavily on atmospheric elements but has never sounded as confident in their tools as they do here.In some ways, Act IV is the most ambitious entry in the series yet. It’s also among the more accessible. Tucked into all that prog silliness are some successful standalone pop songs. “Waves” is a pretty, contemplative rock ballad that takes its cues from the anthemic folk rock that’s blossomed in the years since Act III. The song’s soaring guitar line is reminiscent of Icelandic indie rockers Of Monsters and Men, and its lush production is typical of the genre. “The Squeaky Wheel” is more of a conventional piano rocker, but its subtle variations remain interesting throughout, and Crescenzo’s voice shines at the front of the mix.Other cross-genre stabs at pop accessibility don’t work out quite so well. “King of Swords (Reversed)” is powered by a disco beat that feels anachronistic at best and cheesy at worst. Not even Crescenzo has the power to bring disco back.In fact, the back half of Act IV — pretty much everything that follows the three-part continuation of “The Bitter Suite” — features more stumbles than outright triumphs. It’s most successful in its quiet moments, like the acoustic ballad “The Line”, which chronicles a relationship fading and fizzling. In this way, the song calls back to “Waves” and suggests that there’s something cyclical about the album’s sequencing. It’s too bad that “The Line” is followed by the murky “Wait”, whose existential lyrics (“Will I ever know heaven or hell/ Or is eternity something worse?”) want to hit hard but don’t carry the same immediacy as a simple love song. At moments like these, Crescenzo sounds like he’s merely playacting at profundity, or at least reading a little too much Nietzsche.For all of its many excesses, Act IV basically represents Crescenzo at the height of his powers, and fans will likely eat it up, digest it, regurgitate it, and sidle back up to the table for another helping. As for the uninitiated? That depends on the sensitivity of your bullshit meter. There will always be people who want more from rock music than music. They want literature, mystery, capital-M Meaning. They want the hand of God in the grooves of the vinyl. Crescenzo is fun because he’s down to take on that impossible role of savior. Whether it all amounts to a car crash or a meteor shower, give him this: We can’t look away." - Consequence Of Sound
    $14.00
  • Third album from this superb Italian prog ensemble now reduced to a trio.  The band now consists of two keyboardists Beppe Colombo and Corrado Grappeggia, and multi-instrumentalist Claudio Colombo who plays drums, flute, guitar, and bass.  The trio is augmented by some special guests: David Jackson (ex-VDGG), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), and Dino Fiore (Il Castello Di Atlante).  The music takes on a little bit more of a modern feel but for the most part it stays true to the roots of "Rock Progressivo Italiano".  Plenty of wicked keyboard parts mixed with some heavy guitar leads.  Yeah vocals are in Italian as if you didn't already know. Over the past 3 or 4 years the Italian prog scene has exploded with excellent bands.  Pandora is clearly near the top.  The whole package comes in a nice tri fold mini-lp sleeve.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • Now here is a beautiful slice of contemporary progressive rock.  Anubis is an underrated band from Australia - bands down under don't seem to get the attention they deserve.  Hitchhiking is their third full length album.  2011's A Tower Of Silence was a big hit around here and frankly when it arrived it came as a huge surprise.  This long awaited follow up reinforces that the prog rock world needs to take notice.  The music has a cinematic Floyd-like feel.  Vocals from Robert James Moulding are emotion driven and have plenty of impact.  This is not a band who's music is filled with tons of soloing but what's here is solid.  In other words this is not old school prog - its very forward thinking but with a modern sound.  Highly recommended."I have long dreamt of an Australian progressive rock album that would inspire me to click the repeat button, in order to drift through its world all over again, and I am happy to declare that Hitchhiking to Byzantium has been on constant rotation for weeks at this point. Bringing an enchanting blend of Floydian melancholy and the energy of Rush to the table, Anubis have come to stake their claim as heavyweights in the Oz scene with their third opus.Whilst being equally impressed with their 2011 album A Tower of Silence (which I have only just heard recently also), I have found myself returning to Byzantium more to explore the subtle nuances contained within the album’s ten tracks. ‘Fadeout’ as an opening diddy is like riding a gentle breeze for just a short while before being swept up in all the drama and opulence of ‘A King with No Crown’, a reference quality track on every level, cinematic in scope and full of drama and tension and certainly an inspired choice as opening single for the album. ‘Dead Trees’ is a classic prog cut with all the bells and whistles sporting a vocal performance that harkens to a young James Labrie and a chorus that will have you by the balls from the first time you hear it.I mentioned a notable influence from Floyd and Rush earlier, but if I was to be honest, I would love to ask them if they are fans of American prog band Tiles and those wonderful Brits Anathema, because both bands are called to mind on this album amongst others like Sweden’s Anekdoten. The title track is a sublime centrepiece and features a plaintive aura that is sent soaring when spine-tingling female backing vocals lace the chorus. It’s so hard to choose a favourite song when they are all so filled with creamy goodness, but any of these three  - ‘Blood is Thicker than Common Sense’ (a seductive groover), ‘Tightening of the Screws’ (a majestic slice of melancholia reminiscent of early The Pineapple Thief) or ‘Partitionists’ (a lyrical and musical marvel) - could easily take the title for this humble listener.The final triptych features dark drama in ‘Crimson Stained Romance’, a song that reminded me most of a classic Floyd epic, the 15+ minute ‘A Room with a View’, which is nothing short of a sweeping symphony of moods and tones and the closing ‘Silent Wandering Ghosts’ sounds exactly like its title would suggest, haunting and transcendent with an outro to die for.These seven talented lads are a gifted lot, with every performance of outstanding quality, enhanced by a jaw-dropping production that let’s every instrument tell its own little story and play its part in this emotionally resonant work that as the band state themselves: "I feel that there's more of us in there - the hurdles that life throws at us and the only way to feel true inner peace - by examining the love around you. It's certainly an introspective record - but it's real life. It's about you, it's about me, it's about all of us. Hitchhiking to Byzantium. That journey is life."And somehow I believe them." - Loud Mag
    $15.00
  • Official (?) release of a live performance that has been circulating among tape traders for decades.  This was a live in the studio performance recorded for the BBC in 1973 in front of an invited audience.  Its a classic gig that features Wishbone Ash's Andy Powell on Ashes Are Burning along with Al Stewart.
    $14.00
  • When the vinyl came in I proclaimed this as one of the frontrunners for album of the year and nothing has changed since.  Stunning album.Agusa is an instrumental quartet from Sweden.  The band is derived from members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hoofoot.  This is a VERY retro sounding album that will appeal to fans of Kebnekajse, Pink Floyd, and perhaps even Anglagard.  No symphonic elements - just straight up organ, guitar, bass, and drums ripping it up over four long tracks.  Very dynamic sounds going on - shimmering echoey guitar leads that will remind you of Kenny Håkanson or Achim Reichel battling it out with undercurrents of organ that erupt into solos.  Overarching the music is a mystical psychedelic vibe - like this whole thing was cooked up in an Arab hashish den.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • Fireballet's much maligned second album Two, Too finally receives an authorized release.  Much of the criticism of the 1976 album stems from the awful cover art.  Its definitely something those guys wish they could take back and in a sense they did since they used something different for this CD.  All the prog rock elements of the first album are still in place but the tunes are a little bit shorter and the production is definitely slicker.  Its also clear that Yes became a big influence on the band - check out "It's About Time".  Frankly if you listen to the album objectively it has a lot of merits.  Does it stand up to their first?  No...but it definitely offers something solid for prog fans with open ears.  Definitely worth revisiting.  Comes with one previously unreleased bonus track.
    $14.00