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Yezda Urfa - Boris CD (album) cover


Yezda Urfa


Eclectic Prog

4.17 | 323 ratings

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5 stars Definitive set of mid-70s symphonic rock that will leave you wondering where these guys have been hiding... and they're Yanks, too. What makes this record stand out from the pile of Yes and Gentle Giant wannabes is the easy-going attitude and relaxed production - it was recorded as a demo after all - jumping from dazzling prog dowsed with walls of keys and guitars to Celtic pastorals and clever vocal arranging. You'll swear lead singer Rick Rodenbaugh is a woman, and sometimes the group strays into unsure waters flirting with Country ('Texas Armadillo'), commercial jazz and folk. But mostly it's just some of the best stateside symph you'll ever hear.

Clear inspiration is taken from the prog spectrum of their time including Giant, Renaissance, Gryphon, Caravan, Yes, ELP, a distant Crimson influence and even Zappa, yet somehow it's reconstituted in an unexpectedly original way with less academic pretense and more a desire to just play, 'Boris' at times sounding like the band walked into the studio one afternoon and said "Hey, let's make a record today". The album opens on a twee note but slowly builds and suddenly we have an instant unknown classic staring us in the face, with Phil Kimbrough's synths squealing nobly above a powerful backdrop of acoustic & electric axes, Brad Christoff's heroic drums hacking through layers of tough prog, and Mark Tippen's guitar the backbone. It's 10 minutes of music no classic era Prog lover should be without. Kimbrough's contemplative piano sets the tone for instrumental 'Almost 4.6 Yea', another wild and wonderful bit sounding quite cutting-edge for '75, and no lack of rock power. 'Tuta in the Moya' is playful and eclectic, splitting between crashes of freeform jazz, country rock, refrains of harpsichord and culminating in a beautifully extended chorale. And 'Three Tons of Fresh Thyroid Glands' is typically outstanding, tasteful but powerful and overflowing with maddening time signatures and absurd rhythmic tumbling.

Utterly recommended to almost anyone reading this review and an absolute joy to discover. Hats off to Greg Walker.

Atavachron | 5/5 |


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