Exposé Online banner

Roots of Consciousness — Roots of Consciousness
(Syn-Phonic SYNCD12, 1993, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1994-05-01:

Roots of Consciousness Cover art On first listen I wasn't sure what to make of this debut release from Atlanta's Roots of Consciousness, a four piece of guitars, keys, bass and drums, with vocals by all. After a few listens those distorted and grotesque voices, the quirky arrangements and seemingly over-familiar themes from the 70s began to grow on me and provide a window to an inner side of this band that combines an experimental 60s neo-psychedelicism with the hard-rock mystical approach of early-Rush and bands like UFO. These two comparisons work well for a starting point, yet there are other elements in this sound that are not that easy to categorize, some fairly original ideas that juxtapose elements of the simpler 70s hard rock with the progressive elements of the same period. The weird distorted dialog and such may annoy some as being gimmicky, but taken in the spirit of the times the music seems to represent, they are quite appropriate. Tracks like "Remorse," the lengthy four-parter "( )," and "Candelabra" go far to clarify the dark vision that the album overall seems to embrace, both lyrically and musically. "Lethe Wharf," an instrumental that sounds a bit too up-to-date among the album's other tracks, tinkers with dissonance. Topping the album off is the not- intended-to-be-serious track "For Radio Airplay," with it's spoken vocals riddled with bleeped four letter expletives! In all, this is one that fans of the early Rush sound and the more experimental facets of the early 70s might appreciate wholeheartedly.

by Mike McLatchey, 1994-02-01:

These guys inhabit that area of progressive rock that tends to make me cringe. Influences? Rush, Marillion, maybe even Be Bop Deluxe. This type ofmusic is more in an "art rock" vein - very vocal oriented (and in that Fish kind of vein), straight song structure, little or no depth of sound, cliched ideas, and when they do tend to broaden themselves instrumentally it seems forced rather than natural. Take "Put You Away," which sounds like an updated version of late seventies/early eighties Rush with annoying "Cygnus X-1" like narration. One thing I do like about some neo progressives is the lushness of some of the music, yet Roots seem to be lacking heavily in this area. A lot of their music reminds me of stuff like the Ventures ("Candelabra") trying to do progressive rock. I suppose this is a more unique approach than the average neo but it still doesn't sound good to my ears. I doubt this will be high on many lists.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 2 , 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Roots of Consciousness

More info

Latest news

2019-04-10
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

2019-03-25
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

2019-03-20
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

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cafeine - La Citadelle – I'd first heard of these guys a few months ago via their contribution to the A Propos d'Ange compilation, their song being one of the highlights of that disc. La Citadelle is the band's...  (1995) » Read more

The Cosmic Jokers - The Cosmic Jokers & Galactic Supermarket – Give LSD to the Haight Ashbury scene in the bay area in the late 60s and you have the flower power generation; give it to a bunch of young radical German musicians and you have the Ohr, Pilz, and...  (1994) » Read more

Caryn Lin - Honour the Rain – Caryn Lin is a violin player who plays on one track of the Project Lo disc. Here, on her solo album, we find overdubs of echoed pizzicato and such over which a rather spatial violin flies....  (1996) » Read more

Mad Juana - Acoustic Voodoo – I was going to say, “Here’s one out of left field” but that’s unfair. Mad Juana comes from somewhere outside the ballpark entirely, from some dark, candle-lit back-alley...  (2008) » Read more

For Absent Friends - Square One – If you like more rock with your progressive, this is the album for you. Dutch band For Absent Friends’ eighth album is 45 minutes of solidly played (dare I say it?) neo-progressive that is...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues