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Yezda Urfa - Boris CD (album) cover

BORIS

Yezda Urfa

 

Eclectic Prog

4.18 | 259 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pushing Prog a Bit Further

Yezda Urfa was an absurdity loving American prog band that never got a record deal during their time together. Their history as a struggling band is crucial in understanding their discography. BORIS, their most famous "album" actually served as their demo for some time. Their second, SACRED BABBOON, was an attempt to self-produce a more complete album product while still shopping for a deal. Many of the same songs were re-worked and re-recorded for the second work, and it is a bit difficult to completely separate the albums. However, I tend to agree with the band that SACRED BABBOON is the better work. BORIS is the band's signature, however, and so I will give my review of it here.

As has been said a million times, Yezda Urfa is a hybrid of the prog giants. Lead vocalist Rick Rodenbaugh sounds uncannily like Jon Anderson, and guitarist Mark Tippins leans heavily on Steve Howe's sound and licks. The music, however, is more eclectic with a mixture of Gentle Giant intertwining lines and Gryphon-like pastoralisms. The synth playing is more in the Camel vein or maybe even Keith Emerson. The rhythm section is tight and spastic, giving the band its "Hyper Caffeinated Gentle Giant" reputation.

On BORIS, perhaps the biggest drawback is too much eclecticism, a lack of focus. The twisted honky-tonk of "Texas Armadillo" has little relation to the band's actual sound, other than it's silly and fun. "Three Tons of Fresh Thyroid Glands" switches from hyper-prog to medieval singalong abruptly and not necessarily with musical purpose. "The Basis of Dubenglazy While Dirk Does the Dance" follows suit, beginning with a section very reminiscent of "Sound Chaser" and then proceeding to get more jerking and angular, including a "Knots" style vocal section. While the song offers all the tasty morsels one would expect from taking Relayer and doubling its intensity, it is also just as chaotic and unfocused as you'd expect as well. "Dubenglazy" is BORIS in its full glory, warts and all.

Three songs: "Boris and His Three Verses including Flow Guides Aren't my Bag," "3, Almost 4, 6 Yea," and "Tuta in the Moya" all made it onto SACRED BABOON and deservedly so. Each has a more distinctive melodic theme, a bit more focus, and simply better songwriting. Unfortunately, on BORIS, no song gives us the best of both worlds (insanity and songwriting). For that we'll have to wait for the more official album, which I'll review next.

My biggest suggestion on Yezda Urfa is to ignore the current ratings here on PA and get SACRED BABBOON first and then take in BORIS if you want the full recordings of the band. Great little known prog, but this is not the essential album. 3/5

Negoba | 3/5 |

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