Exposé Online banner

Todd Grubbs — As the Worm Turns
(Grbbworm, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-05-29

As the Worm Turns Cover art

Listening to an album like As the Worm Turns brings to mind a lot of different thoughts. Here’s a Florida guitarist I’ve never heard of putting out an album featuring guest appearances by fairly well known singers (Zak Stevens of Savatage, John Wesley of Porcupine Tree, and Todd Plant of Cryptic Vision). A little research shows that Grubbs has a number of previous albums in his catalog, apparently mostly instrumental, and is known as a shredder on the guitar. With the exception of one that’s just over eight minutes, all the tracks are of modest length, two to five minutes. And to be honest, there’s nothing especially complex here to put it into the realm of “progressive rock.” But the thing is, I really enjoy this album. The songs are really well written, and while they vary somewhat stylistically, to my ear they hearken to that time in rock music before genres were graven in stone, exhibiting the kind of range that Led Zeppelin had, encompassing heavy stomping blues rock, delicate acoustic ballads, and more. Grubbs’ range as a player reminds me a little of Mike Keneally in that he can handle pretty much anything but isn’t really a show-off. Another part of the appeal is evidenced by the longest track, “Stay Alive,” where there is a beautiful string arrangement in the first half and a killer riff in the second. The guest vocalists are all excellent, and in addition to the “name” singers, the relative unknowns Emily Velasco and Melanie Sims are both very strong. For fans of progressive rock who also enjoy more mainstream rock that flirts with progressive elements but doesn’t tread the neo-progressive road, Todd Grubbs is worth checking out.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Todd Grubbs

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sylvan - Artificial Paradise – There's lot of music in the land between mainstream and neo-prog, and this is another one. They hail from Germany and this is their third effort. The music is thoroughly composed and produced, still...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues