Sunday, August 19, 2018

REACT TO: Notes Reviews YouTube Vids "Modern/Alternative Prog"+"Contemporary Prog"

So this is a bit related to the recent RADICAL RESEARCH Podcast about "GINNCORE."

So some of this is almost a rehash or a similar REACT TO entry, like that last one.

I guess 1st off to actually take these 2 videos separately, when the lines get blurry, and Notes Reviews kind of mentions that at the start of the "Contemporary Prog" Starter Pack video.

I guess Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson I would always put into either or both categories (or my desired label, progressive college rock).

Pain of Salvation, really other than the Road Salt albums, has always been a Prog Metal band. It's just they don't resemble Dream Theater or many of the bands with the Prog Metal tag/style exactly. But I am kind of with Notes Reviews in that in recent years, even citing beyond the Road Salt albums and a lot of Be I suppose, for some reason their sound is heard now almost more "Hard Rock" than Metal. But perhaps when they came up in the 90's and 2000's, their sound, sounded heavy enough, they fit in more with Metal and Prog Metal than Hard Rock.

That kind of opens up the can of worms about Hard Rock vs Metal, etc..more blurry lines, etc. I mean Porcupine Tree at times were pretty heavy, they could be called Metal. And by contrast, Opeth's recent records don't really sound all that Metal either.

So the other point that I can kind of see how these 2 videos differ is the perception I and I think many others have about differing between what the progressive rock community looks for in sound, format, and such within Festivals/Cruises, the small record labels for what is "prog" and what isn't. Or HOW MUCH, etc.

1 way to illustrate this is just take The Mars Volta and compare them to Spock's Beard. They are both modern bands doing a form of progressive rock, but while The Mars Volta are more "out there" and experiment a lot, Spock's draw from the 70's bands more clearly. Also just on textures and influences, I guess it seems more clear that the influences The Mars Volta take are outside of progressive rock artists, whereas Spock's and the hordes of other bands, especially the last 20+ years haven't.

Now the "Contemporary Prog" list almost seems to carry a lot of the KScope style of "Post-Prog" as KScope has said, and I think a high percentage of the artists on that label and on that Starter Pack below draw strong influence from Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson specifically (or Radiohead and Post Rock sound/artists too I suppose).

Other than maybe Phideaux and perhaps Anglagard, who are kind of an outlier in this "Contemporary" or "Modern" list as the album Notes Reviews chose is from 1992, and their history is actually a bit older than every other artist included on either list.

So that all being said, I do agree or at least like a lot of the picks, especially on the "Modern Alternative" Starter Pack.

I would probably pick a few different albums just with those artists
-The Dear Hunter, Act II at least as a recommendation,
-The Mars much as I find it flawed, a prog fan who enjoys Frances would probably be good to hear Deloused AND Amputechture
-Coheed Good Apollo 1 is perfect and In Keeping Secrets makes sense. I might go with 1 or both of the Afterman records instead of The Color Before the Sun, even as much as the narrative parts bug me on those Afterman albums.
-Pain of Salvation I agree with Remedy Lane and TPE. Be? I might still suggest Entropia and/or In the Passing Light of Day actually.

-Thank You Scientist- not a bad band, other than how much their singer sounds exactly like Claudio Sanchez from Coheed. I would look towards the band THREE instead actually (Wakepig or any of their last 3 albums)

-Closure in Moscow unfortunately sounds way too much like a The Mars Volta copycat for me.
-Dream the Electric Sleep is a good suggestion, but I would 1st recommend their album Heretics over Beneath the Dark Wide Sky
-I haven't heard Sky Architect nor Barock Project but now want to
-King Gizzard as Notes Reviews mentions, they seem to be about releasing quantity maybe over quality. The 1 record among the 5 or whatever they released in 2017 I have yet to hear, but probably will check out now on his suggestion and as the rating on rym is maybe the highest among those 5 records.

"Modern Alternative Prog"

-Pain of Salvation: Remedy Lane (2002)
(The Perfect Element I (2000), Be (2004))

-Coheed and Cambria: Good Apollo 1: I'm Burning Star IV: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (2005)
(In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003), The Color Before the Sun (2015))

-The Mars Volta: Frances the Mute (2005)
(Deloused in the Comatorium (2003), Octahedron (2009))

-The Dear Hunter: Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional (2016)
(Act III: Life and Death (2009), The Color Spectrum (2011))

-Thank You Scientist: Stranger Heads Prevail (2016)
(Maps of Non-Existent Places (2012)

Honorable Mentions:
Sky Architect - Nomad (2017)
Barock Project - Detachment (2017)
Closure in Moscow - Pink Lemonade (2014)
Dream the Electric Sleep - Beneath the Dark Wide Sky (2016)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Polygonwandaland (2017)

Among the "Contemporary Prog" starter pack:

-Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree: I agree with The Raven as I find it my favorite and SW's best. Hand.Cannot.Erase is okay, although I find To the Bone probably slightly better, but that also has a lot to do with I like the poppier tracks Steven Wilson has done. But it's pretty close.
PT, I absolutely do not agree with Fear of a Blank Planet other than how popular that record is. But I find it way too much of a downer and the lyrics hurt the music (and I find the Nil Recurring EP actually better). I would suggest In Absentia or Deadwing as a 1st PT album instead. And Lightbulb Sun at some point. I guess Sky Moves Sideways is fine for the Spacier period, although I can't say I prefer it over some of the others like Voyage 34 or Up the Downstair or even Signify.

-Anathema, both of those albums are good suggestions for anyone who finds his channel especially. I enjoy Distant Satellites and The Optimist about as much as those other 2. WBWH is my favorite, but I find them all pretty close.

-Gazpacho have never done much for me to be honest. They are just bland rock really, although I get why they are on KScope, I keep waiting for them to cover and then make music highly like the song from Marillion.

-Riverside, ADHD is actually the 1 record I quite like from them. Although it's hardly an all-time favorite, but after hearing many albums from and since, it still seems to be the 1 and only album with balls and punch. The riffs are heavy and in your face. And the vocals don't sound too David Gilmour-wannabe-like and airy, like so many of their others. The 2 recommendations, honestly I follow as they are popular, but are unlikely 2 records I desire to check out soon again myself. I suppose 1 suggested album could be the last record with their late guitarist Pietr was on, Love Fear and the Time Machine as I kind of enjoyed that 1 more and I know their fans loved it. I think many new fans were made from it.

-Phideaux. That album is the 1 and only record from him I have spent a good chunk of time with, but the truth it, I recall it was last in 2007 when it came out. But it's a good pick, and honestly 1 I mean to revisit soon as he may be an artist I've slept on a bit too much.

The HM's:
-Motorpsycho are a band I have checked out a bit, but never found the praise many others give them. Notes Reviews comments have me curious about that record though, which is one I don't think I've even heard or read about much. So I may want to check it out.

-The Pineapple Thief have been praised for ages on the forums. I honestly find them WAY too Radiohead-like to ever get into them. They have 1 good song or rather 1 song I like "The World I Always Dreamed Of," the chord progression is nice. Otherwise, I might as well listen to Radiohead except I can't stand Thom Yorke's voice either.

-Ephrat I've never heard of. But I wishlisted that album on rym,

-iamthemorning is a good suggestion, and I know Lighthouse got them a bunch of awards (and I bought the vinyl) but I would still look to Belighted over it by a lot actually.

-Anglagard (An-glah-gahhrrrd) Hybris is often considered their best and I have listened to some of it, but it was years ago. The prog scene love them and that album immensely, and I can't really disagree given my limited experience with their whole catalog.

"Contemporary Prog"

- Porcupine Tree / Steven Wilson: Fear of a Blank Planet (2007) /  The Raven that Refused to Sing (2013)
 (Hand.Cannot.Erase (2015), The Sky Moves Sideways (1995))

-Anathema: Weather Systems (2012)
(We're Here Because We're Here (2010))

-Gazpacho: Night (2007), Tick Tock (2009)
(Demon, (2014), March of Ghosts (2012))

-Riverside: Anno Domini High Definition (2009)
(Second Life Syndrome (2005) , Rapid Eye Movement (2007))

-Phideaux: Doomsday Afternoon (2007)
(Snowtorch (2011), Ghost Story (2004))

Honorable Mentions:
-Motorpsycho - The Death Defying Unicorn (2012)
-The Pineapple Thief - Variations on a Dream (2004)
-Ephrat - No One's Words (2008)
-iamthemorning - Lighthouse (2016)
-Anglagard - Hybris (1992)

That all being said, I would look towards those names I mentioned below and in the REACT TO GINNCORE entry below. And then just consider how many artists Notes Reviews chose (10, 5 from each).

Here's MY STARTER PACK (Novel) for progressive college rock. Now mind you, these all are NOT MY FAVORITES necessarily, but more what albums I would suggest 1st (and 2nd+3rd) to someone who doesn't know these artists.

-dredg - The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion (2009) 
(El Cielo (2002), Catch Without Arms (2005))

-The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute (2005)
(Deloused in the Comatorium (2003), Amputechture (2006))

-The Dear Hunter - Act V: Hymns with the Devil in Confessional (2016)
(Act II: The Meaning of and All Things Regarding Ms.Leading (2007), The Color Spectrum (2011)

-Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson - In Absentia (2002), The Raven that Refused to Sing (2013)
(Deadwing (2005) and Signify (1996), To the Bone (2017) and Hand.Cannot. Erase (2015))

-Oceansize - Frames (2007)
(Everyone Into Position (2005), Effloresce (2003))

-Three - Wakepig (2004)
(The End is Begun (2007), The Ghost You Gave to Me (2011)

-Anathema - Weather Systems (2012)
(We're Here Because We're Here (2010), Distant Satellites (2014)

-Mew - And the Glass Handed Kites... (2005)
(Frengers (2003), No More Stories...(2009))

-Kaddisfly - Set Sail the Prairie (2007)
(Horses Galloping on Sailboats (2015), Buy Our Intention, We'll Buy You a Unicorn (2005))

-The Reign of Kindo/Kindo - Rhythm, Chord and Melody (2008)
(Play with Fire (2013), Happy However After (2018))

Honorable Mentions:
Fair to Midland - Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is True (2007)
Coheed and Cambria - Good Apollo 1 (2005)
Anathallo - Floating~World (2006)
Apes and Androids/Call Florence Pow - Blood Moon (2008)
Godspeed You Black Emperor - Lift Up Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000)
Kiss Kiss - Reality vs. The Optimist (2007)
Muse - Absolution (2003)
Ours - Mercy (Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy) (2008)
Pure Reason Revolution - The Dark Third (2006)

Bend Sinister - Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers (2008)
Bent Knee - Shiny Eyed Babies (2014)
The Family Crest - The War: Act I (2018)
Foals - Total Life Forever (2010)
Kimbra - Vows (2011)
Major Parkinson - Twilight Cinema (2014)
Pepe Deluxe - Queen of the Wave (2012)
Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid (2010)
The River Empires - Epilogue (2010)
Small Leaks Sink Ships - Face Yourself and Remove Your Sandals (2015)

From (Among) Radical Research's Picks
The Mars Volta
Coheed and Cambria
Fair to Midland

2000's (Two Thousands)
Apes and Androids/Call Florence Pow
Godspeed You Black Emperor
Kiss Kiss
Porcupine Tree
Pure Reason Revolution

2010's (Twenty-Tens)
Bend Sinister
Bent Knee
The Family Crest
Major Parkinson
Pepe Deluxe
Janelle Monae
The Reign of Kindo/Kindo
The River Empires
Small Leaks Sink Ships
Steven Wilson