Exposé Online banner

Chameleon — Rising
(Shroomangel SR-CD0002, 1980/2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-01-29

Rising Cover artHistory is replete with young American bands that came of age in the early 70s, profoundly influenced by the then-current crop of British progressive acts. Some of these bands broke nationally (Kansas and Styx come to mind), but most were local heroes not generally well known outside the cities where they played — Pentwater, Cathedral, Happy the Man, Ethos, and Babylon, for some examples that made it out of the recording studio with product. Just as many more worked their magic with solid local followings but left no recorded legacy. Houston based four-piece Chameleon (also known as Lorien in their earlier years) falls into the latter category, though with this release, which includes recordings from throughout their career — although most are from 1976 and 1978 sessions, their legacy is solidly preserved. “Texas Cyclone,” a nine minute track from ’74 that opens this set recalls the glory days of The Yes Album, with a little ELP, Flash and Gabriel-era Genesis blended into the mix of ideas. Certainly not a bad starting point, and a respectable effort it is. The remaining dozen cuts here are equally impressive in the compositions, tight arrangements, and superb ensemble playing by all members. Singing duties were shared by several members, with different voices are at the fore at various points, offering some variety. The influence of later period Floyd, VDGG, Camel, and King Crimson are also in evidence, although as time went on the band developed more of their own sound. What is most impressive about this set is that it doesn’t sound like a collection of odd demos recorded at different times; a lot of time was taken to restore and remaster these tracks so they sound like the reissue of a real album from the period. A solid recommendation here for fans of 70s prog.

Filed under: Archives, 2013 releases, 1980 recordings

Related artist(s): Chameleon

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Periferic 2000 Folk-World-Ethno from Hungary – Concurrent with Periferic’s second space/prog rock compilation comes another collection of Hungarian folk/ethnic music. Whereas last time they featured many groups with a slightly modern bent, whose...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues