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Milkweed - Milkweed CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.11 | 22 ratings

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2 stars This album has a bit of a reputation for being some sort of obscure prog collectable, based mostly I suppose on the fact that it is obscure and somewhat hard to find which technically makes it collectable. I personally wouldn't classify this as progressive music, but rather more like a lot of 'artsy' new-wave stuff that was coming out around the same time. It reminds me at times of groups like the Vapors ("turning Japanese I'm really turning Japanese I really think so?"); some of the latter Martha & the Muffins stuff (like Milkweed M2M was a Canadian band); the Australian band Flowers (aka Icehouse); and even a little bit like some of Gary Numan's more poppy stuff.

The album is dominated by rather trite synth progessions that don't seem to have much inspiration or direction other than to demonstrate the number of chords and keys that Sergio Gonclaves can hit with two hands. The one distinction for these guys is their propensity for throwing in sometimes-spoken, sometimes-sung lyrics that tell some sort of disjointed pseudo-spacey tale of wandering around an abstractly-defined world pushing buttons and discovering odd beings and situations. I've tried to follow the storyline (there does seem to be one), but in the end the whole thing doesn't make much sense.

The front side of the album consists of three songs that all sound pretty similar: spoken- word rambling, synth progressions and rolling drum rhythms accented by a little bit of electric guitar and sporadic bleats of what sounds like a keytar. Nothing stands out on any of these tracks.

The second half of the album consists of the sidelong opus "Out for a Walk", a keyboard- heavy instrumental dirge that vacillates between piano and synth horn/string passages and seems to be loosely based or inspired by classical compositions, or at least is arranged in that sort of vein. I suppose this is the track that earned the band their 'progressive' label.

In all I was a bit disappointed when I finally had a chance to listen to this record. Considering its reputation I expected more. The band is full of relative unknowns in the prog music world, although I've Googled all the band member names and most of them pop up here and there on other records, mostly of a new-age nature. Guitarist Jocelyn Sheehy also appeared as a musician in a b-list movie in the eighties.

This album is a mildly interesting curio due to the lack of information available on the band, and because of the reputation the record has garnered over the years. But as a progressive rock record it falls a bit short, and I have to say in the end this is one that only an obsessive collector (or Canadian music dilettante) is likely to find interesting. Two stars out of five and not really recommended.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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