nad sylvan courting the widow

Album Review: Nad Sylvan – Courting The Widow

How many of you have been waiting for Genesis to come out with another album? No, not the 80’s, Phil Collins-led poppy Genesis, but the Peter Gabriel proggy kind? Well, that might not happen anytime soon, but there are several musicians currently reimagining and borrowing from Chapter 1 of Progressive Rock Music History. Take Nad Sylvan’s latest album “Courting the Widow,” released last Friday. I know, Nad is quite an interesting moniker (not to mention his attire), but it is arguable that he has released the closest thing to a new Genesis album in decades. His affiliation to the remarkable band is apparent, considering his vocal role in many of Steve Hackett’s reinterpretations of Genesis songs in his latest album/tour “Genesis Revisited.” This time, Nad takes center stage in “Courting the Widow,” an album filled with amazing supporting musicians, and a nod-of-the-hat to that classic prog sound.Read More »

Top 5: Best Caligula’s Horse Songs

Aussie progressive/alternative rockers Caligula’s Horse recently released their third album “Bloom,” their first off of record label Inside Out Music. With a different approach to the album’s writing process than in prior releases, singer Jim Grey and company may have released arguably one of their best albums to date. But how many of the songs off “Bloom” are deserving of being in Crash And Ride Music’s Top 5?

Here are Crash And Ride Music’s Top 5 Best Caligula’s Horse songs:

5. “Dark Hair Down”

One of their first singles off their album “The Tide, The Thief, & River’s End,” this was the song that got me into the band. Its energetic opening chords cuts through your surrounding noise, demanding attention.

4. “Daughter of the Mountain”

(Sadly, I cannot find a video online to show you!)

Another energetic introduction, but it’s the chorus that sticks with the listener’s head. “’This is my choice, father’” she saaaaid!”

3. “This City Has No Empathy (Your Sentimental Lie)”

One of the most experimental songs they’ve released, the listener will be fooled by the acoustic introduction. This song is on my bucket list to see live, and you will see why by the song’s end. “Passionate” doesn’t begin to describe it.

2. “Marigold”

The first single off their latest album, the preceding song “Bloom” blends perfectly into this track. That opening drum beat is supercharged, and is pushed to the limit in the song’s chorus.

1. “Into the White”

The longest track off “River’s End,” the drastic ups and downs of this song keeps the listener on their toes. The flute in the song’s bridge sets up one of the most collectively brilliant arrangements the band has ever performed.

There you have it; Crash And Ride Music’s Top 5. What songs are in YOUR Top 5?

Album Review: Caligula’s Horse – Bloom

As this site continues to fill up with mentions of amazingly talented bands from Australia, I must stop and thank one band in particular that has opened my eyes to the land down under. If it weren’t for progressive/alternative rock/metal band Caligula’s Horse, I might’ve simply passed over some of my current favorite records, including their 2013 hit “The Tide, The Thief & River’s End.” A modern staple in the alt-prog scene, it only took two albums from Caligula’s Horse to grab the attention of major music label Inside Out Music, who signed them earlier this year. Now with their first release with the label, Caligula’s Horse has released a contender for album of the year in “Bloom.”Read More »

Album Review: The Pineapple Thief – Magnolia

I’ve been mulling over my iTunes recently looking for something new to listen to. Insert The Pineapple Thief, a band I love, but haven’t been showing much love lately. Drawing comparisons to top-notch progressive rock bands like Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, and Nosound, and indie/experimental bands like Death Cab For Cutie and Radiohead, any listener of the band can easily hear these influences throughout each of their albums. All of them are quite amazing pieces of art, but I cannot help but repeat their latest album “Magnolia.”Read More »

Single Review: TesseracT – Messenger

Big news was released from Kscope yesterday: TesseracT has revealed its first single off their upcoming album “Polaris.” After another lineup change, singer Daniel Thompkins has returned to the band, providing a lower registered voice left off by former frontman and falsetto master Ashe O’Hara. The single, “Messenger,” is a perfect teaser to fans of the band, and a welcome back to the lead singer.

Lasting around three and a half minutes, “Messenger” picks up where songs off their last record “Altered State” left off. With mainly clean vocals, Thompkins’ passionate voice is center stage, proving that the switch in vocals was well worth it. I’m not going to lie, I was a huge fan of Ashe O’Hara. In fact, it was the album he fronted that got me into the band in the first place. Since the single is shorter, we are unable to tell what depth Thompkins will bring to the album, whether he can provide those falsetto notes that he simply couldn’t hit off their recent live album. After listening to the song, I was relieved that the band provided a lower pitch with their instrumentation to better compliment Thompkins’ lower voice. In addition to Thompkins’ clean vocals, we are given a preview of those passionate screams that Ashe never entertained. It was the one thing lacking in their near-masterpiece, that extra effort needed to increase the emotion on that album. I can’t wait to hear how Thompkins will incorporate his screams and growls into “Polaris.”

Speaking of the band’s instrumentation, I can’t get enough of their djenty sound. I have hailed drummer Jay Postones in the past, who provides not so much the speed that other prog metal bands have, but instead a much more technical skillset. He shines again on the single, with deep floor pedal hits and cymbal crashes. He alone is worth a listen, and leaves me in anticipation for the rest of the album. The deep sound continues with the bass and electric guitar, which bounce their low tones off each other. I particularly enjoyed the subtle inclusion of keyboards in “Messenger,” especially towards the song’s end. Helping to relax the listener, the song fades out with keyboards and sound manipulation, furthering the progressive direction they’ve been heading towards since their first album.

The lyrics are a little vague, but it comes across as a breakup song. Time will tell if the album follows the concept. In the meantime, I will praise the amazing bridge section, containing the most passionate vocal delivery and the greatest collaborative effort from the band:

“Apathetic, interaction, another distraction / A lack of compassion for the weak / You don’t see”

With so much anticipation being built for their upcoming album, “Messenger” is the perfect single to release off of “Polaris.” Although short, it perfectly teases the listener, providing a glimpse of Thompkins’ reuniting vocals and top notch instrumentation. I am sure fans will be satisfied with this record after their single release. Be sure to support this band as they release their upcoming album in September.

Check out the official music video for “Messenger” below:

Album Review: IQ – The Road of Bones

There aren’t a lot of bands that I listen to that I’ve only heard one of their many records. This next band is one of them, but luckily from everything that I’ve read, the one album I’ve heard happens to be one of their best. This band has been sitting in my iTunes library for some time now, and in fact, I don’t even know how it got there. It took until my friend Niv’s amazing post about this same album for me to re-listen to it. What resulted was complete fascination. Can someone tell me how the band IQ has been sitting in my iTunes library un-listened for so long?! Thanks Niv; I owe you one.

IQ is a veteran rock band from England, currently consisting of Peter Nicholls on vocals, Mike Holmes on guitar, Tim Esau on bass guitar, Paul Cook on drums, and the newly added Neil Durant on the keyboard. I can describe this band in one word: epic. Well, I can also say they fall in the progressive rock category, highlighting all that was fascinating about the 70’s, but reinvented for modern ears using influences from multiple generations. IQ has been around since the early 80’s, and have continued to carry the torch for progressive music that was left behind by bands like Genesis and Yes around that time. Having only heard their newest album “The Road of Bones,” I can only imagine all that I’ve missed over the years.

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