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Moongarden - A Vulgar Display Of Prog CD (album) cover

A VULGAR DISPLAY OF PROG

Moongarden

 

Symphonic Prog

3.57 | 98 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I've enjoyed much of this album initially from DJ Tony's radio show on AIIRadio.net, a show which is excellent for hearing new progressive rock bands and other independent artists (and entertaining in its own right as well). Moongarden's 2009 album, A Vulgar Display of Prog, with its apparently kiddie-drawn cover (from a child who presses too hard on the pencils), offers a generous amount of music, laced with thick electronic sounds, but I can only be enthusiastic for about half of it. Indeed, the "epic" of the album isn't one at all, as it starts off wonderfully but moves into territory that is disappointing and hard to listen to. Still, the album is brilliant in many places, and deserves an audience- just beware that it wanders into some untraditional territory.

"Boromir" A swirling electronic texture followed by powerful electric guitar begins the album. The verse is over some sputtering electronic music as blasts of electric guitar and Mellotron fill out the discordant refrain. The main theme is quite fluid and very fitting.

"Aesthetic Surgery" The electronic sound concluding the first song flows directly into this one, and after a light bit of piano, a completely new song begins, this one with a progressive alternative rock style. A heavy riff takes over soon, with various electronic tones cutting through in various places.

"MDMA" Astringent guitar and obtrusive electronic tones move right into this song. The vocal melody and bass work, however, are particularly strong. The lead guitar solo is another highlight.

"After MDMA "From Lezooh to Miryydian"" This interlude might do for a lengthy automobile advertisement on TV, the ones that have the fancy sedan speeding along a mountainous road and making tight turns (because no other cars exist on that stretch of road, of course)- very commercial music but not bad.

"Wordz and Badge" One of the heaviest tracks, this is borderline heavy punk, eventually using a distorted bass and light drumming underneath the forgettable verse. While the vocals are decent, the best part from me is that slippery synthesizer solo during the second half, as the rhythm section just grooves along. The stammering electric guitar that follows, however, just doesn't do it justice.

"Demetrio and Magdalen" This is some lighter fare from the band on this album, with easygoing electric guitar, Mellotron, and a good rhythmic backing. The vocals are pleasant, if a little overbearing. There's a lengthy guitar solo during the second half, but I must admit, the piece loses my attention there.

"Enter the Modem Hero" This is a challenge to get into, because the electronic music is so overwhelming and borders on tacky. The vocals don't help much either. Other times, it sounds like neo-1980s pop music.

"Compression" Beginning with light percussion and guitar, this piece has a Mellotron that is a bit artificial in context. Compositionally, it is simplistic, and sounds like an old R&B love song (Al Green or Marvin Gaye, perhaps). The electronic Eastern sounding bit after this is a mess though, honestly. In fact, I think it's really annoying and ruins what could have been a spectacular progressive pop song. Instead, it drags on, puttering along, with sickening synthesizers. The hip-hop section is equally embarrassing and difficult to listen to without cringing. Overall, it's drawn-out and does nothing for me except for the delightful first segment.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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