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Ovrfwrd - StarStuff CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.05 | 36 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars These serious proggers from Minneapolis have done it again--and the quality and improvements just keep getting better with each release!

1. "StarStuff" (5:09) awesome space music instrumental with an A-B-A-C-A-B structure! (9.5/10)

2. "Firelight" (5:37) opens with dirty Hammond organ giving us warning for what's ahead in a URIAH HEEP kind of way. By 0:50 the full soundscape has been revealed, by 1:45 the soloing styles of the guitar and organ--at least until the halfway point, at which time the organ serves notice that "part 2" is about to be unleashed. Some cool riffs, motifs, and tempo shifts in that second half thought the song ends feeling kind of unresolved. (8.75/10)

3. "Let It Burn [King George]" (5:58) strumming guitars, acoustic and electric, with flute, bass, organ, piano, and drums filling the space quite sumptuously. Nice switch up at 1:44. This music reminds me of early FROM.UZ. The pastoral flute and tinkling piano and cymbals is nice--but then the flute unexpectedly goes off running, leaving the rest of the band to try to catch up. Nice! Bluesy guitar solo around the 4:00 mark is inspired by the flute, but then takes it further--almost into heavy metal or at least ROBIN TROWER territory. Nice. (9/10)

4. "Look Up" (8:21) a very pleasant excursion into jazz-rock fusion territory--turning more bluesy-psychedelia as the guitar takes over and wails. This is, for once, a rather full and complete sounding song--but, I hate to say it, but it is screaming for a vocalist and some lyrics. (13.5/15)

5. "Daybreak" (2:48) opens with an emotionally-bouncing chord at the low end of a solo piano, which is then joined by the right hand. By the end of the first minute, both hands are moving around the keyboard in a contemplative improvisational way. I'm so reminded of both MAGMA's "Coltrane sundia" as well as an early MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA piece. (4.5/5) 6. "Zathras" (4:35) picking electric guitar and arpeggiating piano weave in and out of each other's paths in a minor key before being joined by cymbals, bass, kick drum, and Mellotron strings and then, finally, around 2:30, full drums. Nice full-band cohesion in expressing this four-chord progression. Wah-ed electric guitar solos in the fourth minute with a more-restrained THE CURE "The Kiss" kind of way. Great ideas and execution but, yet again, the song feels unfinished, unresolved--like it's just a jam. (8.75/10)

7. "From Parts Unknown" (6:25) a little more sparse and spacious--kind of Post Rock-ish--in the opening of this one. The chord progression here is quite similar to that of TOM PETTY's "Free Fallin'" which, for me, is a negative. Nice drumming and solo guitar performances. Like the slow flange of the strumming guitar as the piano and drums start to go crazy for the finish. (8.5/10)

Total Time 38:53

A band who seems to love taking a riff, sound, or chord progression from other classic bands songs to inspire their own jams. All band members are quite proficient instrumentalists, and competent sound engineers, but in order to achieve that top-tier status and recognition, I need to see more development and "finishing" of song ideas. Also, several of these songs are really begging to be sung over. Time to take the next step, boys!

B+/4.5 stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection; some very fine performances of a diverse palette of instrumental prog rock.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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