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

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pink Filth - Seventeen Bubblegum Smashes! – Um. This is not Pink Floyd, it is Pink Filth. The name is not only a clever pun to fool high school stoners into buying the album (if they could find it in any store on this planet) but it also is a...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues