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
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more