Asia — Asia / Armed to the Teeth
(Wild Places, 1980/1995, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-03-01I don't understand why I'm reviewing this in Exposé... maybe it's the Mellotron? Without being too judgemental on a genre that I inherently dislike in the first place, the 70s American hard rock/melodic rock axis (somehere in the Boston, Styx, Frampton area), I must say that this has little to do with anything commonly referred to as "prog rock." Amongst this strong US bent are hints of groups like Deep Purple, Rainbow, and NWOBHM like Saxon or early Iron Maiden. Asia have a directly commercial sound with quick choruses, lots of oohing and ahhing, arena rock style guitar playing (posing galore) and an eternal middle of the road tempo that takes out a lot of the dynamics that a band like this could benefit from. Listeners coming from the "classic rock"/prog rock axis may be more comfortable with this as there is a lot here easy to grab onto. The albums are similar, athough the self titled one is slightly more interesting, and adopts some obvious influences from Yes or the Moodies at times. 2-on-1 CDs are always a good deal for the money, yet I'm sure this would appeal more to the 70s hard rock fan than most readers.
Related artist(s): Asia
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more