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Madame Blavatsky Overdrive - Waking The Blind Idiot God CD (album) cover


Madame Blavatsky Overdrive


Crossover Prog

2.10 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I've reviewed quite a few releases from this group, and this is the first one that I've been totally disappointed by. Where previous releases, while certainly flawed, usually had moments that really took me in, this one feels comparatively very bland. What's worse is that when good moments do come, they're only moments: the songs don't feel fully developed and so when good parts do appear they just as quickly vanish into mediocrity.

"N1H1" begins interestingly enough, with a cool little harmonic vocal melody juxtaposed against some almost noisy riffing. Like a lot of MBO tracks that I've come across in my experience, "N1H1" blends psychedelia and melody with an almost abrasive edge, and the result is a very idiosyncratic little song that's pleasant enough, even if it doesn't feel spectacularly well developed and is far too brief to say much with what it has.

"That's What Drugs Are For" is a little bit of a slinkier number, with some hints of jazz in the instrumentation and the same kind of low, measured vocal delivery that has become something of a calling card for the group. An interesting little instrumental section in the middle makes use of something that sounds like a toy piano, and a psychedelic section that's heavily reminiscent of Abbey Road-era Beatles develops from this. Again, this is not a bad song, but nor is it particularly memorable.

"James Pain" immediately kicks off with a driving guitar riff which sounds to be accompanied by a rather insistent cowbell. The vocal harmonies again remind of the Beatles, but the almost punky riffs and some thoroughly modern textures give the song a unique sound, though there's really no hint of anything even marginally related to prog here.

"Driving Eastbound, Highway 10" is definitely the best song on the EP, with a languid, easy- going melody that reminds the listener of The Flaming Lips, The Beatles, and early Pink Floyd in equal parts, perhaps even with a little Decemberists thrown in as well. It's also probably the most structurally varied piece on the release, despite being only a little over 3 minutes.

So really, there's nothing particularly bad about this EP, but there's nothing that's particularly spectacular as well, and when it comes down to it there's really not much reason to listen to this EP when the two that precede it are so much better. Some decent songs, to be sure, but really nothing that's even crossover prog, and the songs aren't developed enough to be anything more than "just ok" in their own right.


VanVanVan | 2/5 |


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