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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Stick Man - Mysterious Female – Colorado's Neil Haverstick is now simply "Stick Man." For this writer, there used to be some shock value listening to music played on 19 tone (and even more unusual) scales, but after listening to...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues