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

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Flëur - First Four Albums – Flëur is essentially the Ukrainian duo of Olga Pulatova (piano, vocals) and Elena Voynarovskaya (guitar, vocals) along with a variety of other players on flute, cello, violin, keyboards, bass, and...  (2008) » Read more

Tipographica - Tipographica – Hello... I'd like to report a Frank Zappa sighting — actually not a visual sighting, but after hearing the first few minutes of this debut disc by Japan's Tipographica, I'm convinced that Zappa's...  (1994) » Read more

Qoph - Pyrola – It’s been entirely too long since this Swedish band’s 1998 debut. Since that time, the band has formed their own label and started singing in English. Their basic sound is intact, however,...  (2005) » Read more

Colour Haze - All – Colour Haze is a German band that is new to me, though they have been recording since 1995. You can pretty much trust any Elektrohasch release to be great, and All, Colour Haze’s seventh release, is...  (2009) » Read more

Ron Boots - Liquid Structures in Solid Form – Ron Boots has firmly established himself as a force in electronic music. His latest release is, as always, accessible top-notch electronic music. The title track gradually unfolds over the...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues