The Underground Railroad — The Origin of Consciousness
((Not on label) Long Dark Music LDCD04, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01
I found the Underground Railroad’s debut CD to be an uneven affair. Some parts were very good, others less interesting, and in general, the band seemed to be in search of a direction. With their second effort, they seem to have hit their stride. For the most part, they take after the style developed by Echolyn, but have their own spin on it, adding touches of jazz fusion into the mix. The complex arrangements fairly sparkle with bright energy, but they drift out of major keys enough to keep it from feeling lightweight, conjuring up impressions of darkness from time to time. And unlike the previous effort, you get the impression this is really a band now. I’m going to avoid the “original or not” argument, and just say that I find the whole quite an enjoyable listen and that the most relevant referent from the past is UK. The musicians employ their technical facility without coming off as showboating. The arrangements twist and turn, with many varying sections and tricky rhythmic patterns. While it’s not strictly a concept album, three of the tracks deal at least obliquely with the “bicameral mind” theory of Julian Jaynes, but knowledge or agreement with that idea is certainly not necessary.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
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