Exposé Online banner

Mars Hollow — World in Front of Me
(10T Records 10T10051, 2011, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-04-01

World in Front of Me Cover artNot content to rest on the laurels of their well-received 2010 debut, LA-based quartet Mars Hollow have returned quickly with their sophomore effort. This one has also rapidly garnered praise from prog fans worldwide, and it doesn't take long to understand why. The music here strongly evokes Yes circa Going for the One, or even some of the better Yes imitators like Starcastle or Glass Hammer. John Baker's lyrics aren't nearly as cosmic, though his tenor pierces the rich instrumental mixture with equal parts power and melodicism, reminding me of Ambrosia's Puerta and Pack. Other than an occasional solo or melodic lead he rarely grabs the spotlight with his guitar, instead letting his bandmates (Jerry Beller: drums, Kerry Chicoine: bass, Steve Mauk: keyboards) drive the material along. Despite the Yes similarities, these guys don't wallow in vintage bravura, and actually confine themselves to a relatively narrow textural palette with only brief forays into acoustics, as with "Mind over Matter" or the solo piano turn that precedes the 11+ minute title track. Nonetheless, Chicoine's aggressive Rickenbacker playing and Mauk's synth leads firmly root the band's sound in classic prog rock firma terra. It's not a perfect album: Beller's drumming often goes out of its way to fill space when a solid groove would better serve the arrangement, and some of the instrumental forays sound forced or overstay their welcome. But in general Mars Hollow have produced a superior album that justifies its acclaim.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Mars Hollow / Life After Mars

More info
http://www.marshollow.com

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Art Rock Circus - A Passage to Clear & Tell a Vision – Easy to follow narratives within the comfortable confines of a pop progressive melodic framework. Nods to epic classic rock arise here and there. In some places you can hear traces of Genesis,...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues