Regal Worm — Pig Views
(Uranium Club, 2018, 2LP / CD)
by Henry Schneider, 2018-09-22:
The third part of the Regal Worm trilogy, Pig Views, hit the streets on July 13, 2018. For this installment Jarrod Gosling used a more song-based format and delivers nine songs, with two bonus songs on the pink vinyl double LP version. There are a number of strangely named songs such as “Rose Rubus Simlax Vulcan,” “Revealed as a True Future Tyrant,” “Rose Parkington They Would Not Let You Leave,” “Jag Vet,” “The Dreaded Lurg,” “Huge Machine You Are So Heavy,” and the bonus track “The Evil Eye Is Liquified.” All eleven songs feature Mellotron either in the background or as lead. The longer songs allow Jarrod to explore heavy psychedelic grooves, tempo changes, and mood shifts, with a mixture of bluesy jazz and Canterbury sound. I’m not clear how the album title Pig Views relates to the music, but the engaging songs take you on a variety of musical journeys. Chanted song titles, sounds of children playing, tasty sax riffing, female vocal harmonies, mournful organ, scratchy 78 rpm effects, poetic narrations, and reversed tapes enhance the songs. Some of the high points for me are the 15 minute song “The Dreaded Lurg,” with its shifting moods; the short 59 seconds of “Butterfly” with its vintage 20s jitterbug, poetic narration, and 78 rpm vibe; and the introspective “Huge Machine You Are So Heavy.” Quite a nice album with the bonus tracks engineered by the legendary Sean Magee (Rush, Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc.).
by Jon Davis, 2018-09-22:
Surely every progressive rock fan in the world has been paying attention to Regal Worm by now. If they aren’t, it’s time to start. Pig Views continues the amazing run of Jarrod Gosling producing unpredictable, complex music that draws from classic progressive rock but sounds neither deviravative nor stuffy. He has a way of bringing together some of the best aspects of 70s music in a fresh way that is both instantly engaging and worthy of repeated listening. Although the arrangements overall are dominated by keyboards, the album’s first track, “Rose Rubus Smilax Vulcan,” starts out with a delicate acoustic guitar part and a lovely vocal melody that works into a surprising section featuring Latin (or pseudo-Latin) chanting kind of like Orff’s Carmina Burana crossed with the chanting section of “The Ancient” off of Tales from Topographic Oceans. Every track features its own unique qualities, like the harp in “Rose Parkington They Would Not Let You Leave” or the double-Mellotron melody (flute and strings) at the beginning of “Pre-Columbian Worry Song.” Pig Views features only one multi-part epic track, “The Dreaded Lurg,” which covers many moods and sounds over a bit less than 15 minutes. In the midst of all of the vintage keyboards, saxophones features prominently in several tracks, providing both chordal punctuation and lead lines. Sometimes keyboard-heavy arrangements can sound lightweight, with less sonic impact than music with more prominent guitar, but Gosling manages to give his instruments real heft, partly by density (such as the doubled Mellotron parts I mentioned), and partly bringing in other sounds like the saxes and the occasional guitar. In addition, the bass guitar is often presented high in the mix with a gritty tone. The production is also an important factor, imparting the illusion of a full band playing rather than one musician doing the majority and only a few guests. When it comes to progressive rock in 2018, one of the finest bands going isn’t even really a band, but from listening you might not know that, and it doesn’t matter when the result is this good.
Related artist(s): Regal Worm (Jarrod Gosling)
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
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