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MacKenzie Theory - Out Of The Blue CD (album) cover


MacKenzie Theory


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.30 | 23 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars MACKENZIE THEORY was the project of one Rob MacKenzie, guitarist extraordinaire. They were an Australian band and they released two albums back in the day. This record "Out Of The Blue" was released in 1973 and recorded live in studio before a small audience. We get a smattering of applause after each song. It's an all instrumental affair with the guitar and electric viola dominating the sound. The viola is played by classically trained Cleis Pearce and man she can shred. They sound like a cross between MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and the DIXIE DREGS. The guitar is complex and often sounds like an acoustic guitar to my ears. With that sound of viola and guitar usually taking turns leading the way this comes across as kind of one dimensional to my ears. I was hoping after many, many spins I would feel different but I don't.

"Extra Terrestrial Boogie" opens with guitar, bass and drums and there's almost a reggae vibe at first but it's brief. Viola comes in over the top and here we go. It settles before 5 minutes then it kicks back in hard quickly with a faster tempo. "O" has some outbursts with viola helping out before it calms right down with some strummed guitar. Viola to the fore after 3 minutes as it builds.The guitar starts to solo after 5 minutes but it will trade off with the viola.

"Opening Number" has some interesting guitar work, complex is the word as the drums and bass help out. Viola's turn before 3 minutes and check out the fast paced and fluid sound of the viola 6 minutes in. "New Song" is my favourite although the bonus track of this song done live tops it. Some viola expressions only to start then guitar and a full sound after 1 1/2 minutes. The viola is back after 2 minutes as the rest of the band continue. Some outbursts around 3 1/2 minutes followed by a calm with picked and strummed guitar. I like the viola 7 minutes in, my favourite section including the bass and drum work. The guitar and depth of sound impresses before 9 minutes.

"Out Of The Blue" has this faint sounding guitar intro that is blown away a minute in by a full sound and a faster tempo. Contrasts continue. Some ripping viola and guitar on this one. "World's The Way" is brighter sounding as we get this uptempo and catchy sound. A calm a minute in with picked and strummed guitar. Nice. The tempo shifts often as the guitar and viola take turns leading the way. A great way to end the album.

Despite many spins this just doesn't click with me. Yes it's an impressive performance by all involved but I'm just not warming up to it. I don't find this very jazzy either, just my opinion. Check it out though if you like hear some top notch playing.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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