IZZ — My River Flows
(Doone DR5-669563, 2005, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2006-05-01
You have to hand it to IZZ, five years of hard work is increasingly paying off in terms of recognition. Their third proper studio release, My River Flows, continues their trend of melding progressive, pop, and alt-rock, not terribly far from Spock’s Beard terrain but with stronger hints of Yes. The opening title track is heavier than anything previously attempted, and threatens to break into total chaos by the end. This heaviness, perhaps a hat-tip to the direction taken by band such as Porcupine Tree, is something I sometimes hoped for more of in Sliver of a Sun and I Move, and yet IZZ never forgets the core melodic sensibility, replete with positive themes and consonant harmonies often belying the seriousness of the lyrics, that has fuelled their popularity to date. The most striking interlude is probably the female vocal passage in “Deception,” which sounds a lot like the theatrical Japanese symph of bands like Mr. Sirius. Closing the album with a six-part opus seems almost obligatory, but since it’s the first epic they have foisted on the listening public we can be forgiving. Now poised to perform at NEARfest after hitting pretty well every other progressive festival over the past few years, the group seems ready to reach the upper echelon of modern prog groups in terms of popularity, and it would be well deserved.
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
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
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
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more