Hobopope and the Goldfish Cathedral – Grunt Gullet Pogrom (pronk)

It’s tempting to say that the Hobopope project hasn’t been well documented enough, but I think I’m just saying that I wish Paul David Rhodes would write and record some more songs. This release, from a few years ago, brings together pretty much all the material that I’ve heard, in versions that I think can safely be regarded as definitive. It’s not easy to make much headway with a project like this. Few venues outside of major urban areas are going to want you to make a sound like this on their premises, it’s very hard to find musicians capable of playing such complex, abstract compositions, and although there’s a …

Regal Worm – Use and Ornament (avant-prog)

‘Detail’ seems to be the watchword by which this album was conceived and constructed; I hesitate to say that it’s all about the arrangements, as it’s clearly about much more, but a conspicuously enormous amount of effort has gone into them. Ideas abound in every area, in an album which is clearly a paean to much of the best music that progressive rock has produced; stylistic cues come from many sources, including folk, jazz and sixties psych-pop, and melodic or harmonic devices are presented in a rapidly cycling kaleidoscope of nuanced affective conditions. However, it is in the constant, subtly modulated…

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

This music is the brainchild of Michael Woodman, guitarist and vocalist in Thumpermonkey, written using the immersion composition techniques described in The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook. The method seems to work. I have no idea what method he employs when writing for Thumpermonkey, but that seems to work too, and for several reasons Eat Your Robot sound a lot like his other band. One reason is the lyrical style; another is the way the melodies are phrased; another is Woodman’s singing, which is highly distinctive; and equally important are his guitar playing and riff writing, which are a …