Regal Worm — Pig Views
(Uranium Club, 2018, 2LP / CD)
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.
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.).
Related artist(s): Regal Worm (Jarrod Gosling)
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more