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Milkweed - Milkweed CD (album) cover

MILKWEED

Milkweed

Symphonic Prog


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loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This obscure Canadian progressive outfit released one little gem in 1978 with its side long epic "Out For A Walk". This 7 piece ensemble remarkably mixes modern alternative prog elements aka MERCURY REV with classic late 70's lustre. This album really does not sound at all dated and really carriers a very modern sound and could easily pass for an album of the new millennium. This concept album is really 4 shorter tracks which sets up the side 2 epic long track "Our For A Walk". Vocals are sung in English and are mostly spoken giving the listener a darker atmospheric feeling in nature. Instrumentally MILKWEED blend guitar, bass and drums with oboe, sax and piano into a dark ensemble-like musical structures. The end result is a very avant-garde album which IMHO is completely awesome.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#28876)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
johnnyx@rockd
5 stars To Rate an Album 5 Stars It must be Good somewhere. For an Obscure, Independent Band, Garage Warrior from Quebec it's simply a Masterpiece. I just discovered this album this Year (05) but I can say that it's as Good as Sloche, Etcetera, Harmonium and Morse Code Transmission. Really scarce album hope to see it on CD one day.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#28877)
Posted Saturday, February 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Weird band from Montréal who did this odd symphonic/poetry album, then just disappeared. In a rather stilted, slightly French-accented voice, vocalist Pierre Nadeau recites some fairly silly and dated poetry (in English) on most of the tracks. Some of the tunes (like "Milkweed") feature a little bit of actual singing in between the recitations. But really, the poetry makes the whole affair a bit laughable.

The music is competently made, with a great variety of instruments adding some interest, but there's little here to get very worked up over. Overall: fairly peripheral.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#47265)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Milkweed are a Canadian ensemble featuring vocals, drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, oboe and sax, and this, their only release from 1978, is a rare oddity, lovingly re-issued on vinyl, thanks to Greg Walker's Syn-Phonic label, with a much nicer artwork. The music covers a great scope of styles, from the almost New-Wave synth pop of the first track, 'Nervous Houses' (4.34), to Avant-Garde, Symphonic, and even, thanks to some synth sounds, Neo-Prog. Accompanied by some amusing narration/poetry, the players are often in full-throttle mode, especially the Keyboardist, Sergio Goncalves, who composed all the tracks. The track 'Milkweed' (7.18) is a prime, prog arrangement, and 'Time-Bomb Ticking' (8.10), is a fast and furious jam with some fantastic drumming. The overall production is very crisp and clean sounding, even if a little 'thin'. Side 2 consists of a shorter than usual, side-long composition, 'Out For A Walk' (13.37), and is totally instrumental with 3 distinctive sections. Starting out with some avant-jazz piano backed with upright Bass, this lasts the first 4 minutes or so, then the band comes in with a mid-tempo groove, featuring a long synth solo, which then gives way to the almost baroque sounding end section with piano, oboe and acoustic guitar. A superb album, worth tracking down for all serious prog-heads.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#102293)
Posted Saturday, December 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very nice little and obscure album. Where it lacks in originality, it manages to compensate here and there. I also love the band's name, eh eh. One of those things I'd like ProgQuebec to re-release on CD in the future! (Okay, there are probably 20 other albums I'd like them to re-issue first, but that's not the point!)

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Send comments to Nao/Gilles (BETA) | Report this review (#138758)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
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.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#349753)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars Oh damn, here it is - I am reviewing album I have no idea what to think of. OK, what's god Milk and weed in common ? Nothing, that's what makes it so funny. Just like tunes of this album, dozen of various genres mixed together in a more or less working fashion. Let's name it - jazzy parts, check. Symphonic parts - barely present, but OK. New age, synth pop and other Crossover Prog delicatesen - all aboard. And of course, many more, which I can't imagine at the moment, or are simply too well hidden. All those combined makes a very weird bunch of sounds, but let's face it - this is what some thought schools of Prog are about - just where are the limits of Prog listener, right ?

Anything else other than 3 stars would be out of place here - the music works, somehow, barely, perfectly at other times. Poetry great, but too scarce, songs, even this few of them - uneven. So again - this album is obscure, which makes it obscure, right ?

Madness personified.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#604220)
Posted Friday, January 06, 2012 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars One of the obscure prog bands from late '70 from Quebec - Canada zone is definetly Milkweed. They released one album in 1978 self titled and then gone into oblivion. This is accesible symphonic prog, quite typical for that period, with all that there are some nice parts here and there. What is odd about this album and distract a lot from overall enjoyment are some poetry parts integrated in semi instrumental music offered. The poetry are narrated by vocalist Pierre Nadeau. So, overall good, there some nice instrumental sections specially on longest tune Out for a walk clocking around 13 min and a half. The album was re released long ago by Greg Walker's Syn-Phonic label also on vinyl with diffrent more nice art work , Overall good , but far from being really inspired and inventive album. A funny album in prog scene from late '70s. 3 stars maybe in some parts 3.5. An oddity in late '70 prog scene

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#1279277)
Posted Friday, September 19, 2014 | Review Permalink

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