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Nick Prol and The Proletarians


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Nick Prol and The Proletarians An Erstwisle Alphabestiary: Book One album cover
4.47 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. New Life (3:18)
2. Foreword by the Author (4:55)
3. Apropods (3:04)
4. Birth Gourd (1:43)
5. Cludges (4:29)
6. Duggers (2:44)
7. Emitones (2:57)
8. Filnosses (1:31)
9. Golooms (3:02)
10. Hildges (2:41)
11. Intristics (3:50)
12. Jelonomi (3:22)
13. Kigangs (1:06)
14. Loshnongs (4:56)

Total Time 43:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Prol / vocals, lyrics, guitar
- Ben Spees / bass, synth, backing vocals
- Connor Reilly / drums

- Dave Newhouse / horns
- Mohadev / stunt guitar
- Oliver Campbell / stunt bass, screams
- Jerry King / stunt trombone
- Jack Tickner / additional stunt guitar
- Kavus Torabi / narration
- Thymme Jones / narration
- Bob Drake / narration

Thanks to Nogbad_The_Bad for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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NICK PROL AND THE PROLETARIANS An Erstwisle Alphabestiary: Book One ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NICK PROL AND THE PROLETARIANS An Erstwisle Alphabestiary: Book One reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Wow, here we have some intriguing eclectic respectively avantgarde prog. Accessible enough though, not out of range, like it is in several cases. Eh, nearly, you eventually may exclude Birth Gourd for example, which is evolving like a weird expedition into Post Punk. Yep, that means appealing in most cases, when it comes to my music taste. Showcasing sense of reality, but also equipped with a proper dose of humor, mastermind Nick Prol describes it as 'Pop In Opposition'. Well, you can't deny the fun factor here anyhow. The album and track titles, an alphabetical catalogue, some food for thought. And then the liner notes are revealing a group of 'stuntmen', who are up to support him concerning the recordings.

Finally the music is mirroring inspiration and joy of playing definitely. All this is kept on an album consisting of 14 relatively tight compositions, brimful of ideas, while obviously having the focus on multiple guitar wizzardness. This comes just like a wonderfully coloured puzzle, set together by Nick Prol utilizing a bunch of little quirky pieces. Occasionally some jazzy appeal is available due to the use of wind instruments. And diverse samples are incorporated. Foreword By The Author reminds me of some Welsh (Man) guitars coming to the fore. Loshnongs - the best remains for the final. An extraordinary tune offering a forward-looking message at the end. 'Book One' is a great album, almost overwhelming, nothing wrong here. The next is already in the print house, I assume.

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars Continuing in the same steps as 2017's "Loon Attic," the Tucson, Arizona based NICK PROL AND THE PROLETARIANS continued their strange version of avant-prog meets indie pop on the band's second release AN ERSTWISLE ALPHABESTIARY: BOOK ONE. Yes a book one does insinuate a second edition and i've been told by the artist at hand that it is indeed in the works. This is an album i've been attempting to review for quite a few years now after the artist gifted me a CD however the problem has been that every time i've attempted to review it something strange has happened and thrown me off enough that i put it on the shelf for a while and then totally can't remember anything about the album! Haha.

Yes indeed, PROL & THE PROLETS deliver some of the craziest modern zany music that is both highly complex and yet instantly catchy when you hear it yet the melodies are so abstract and obtuse that they don't make good ear worms. My kinda musical freakery for sure! A veritable mix of King Crimson guitar dissonance missed with indie rock ethos, indie pop hooks, Swancore staccato sweeps and math rock jittery riffing sessions, AN ERSTWISLE APLPHABESTIARY is the musical soundtrack to the imaginary world of ERSTWISLE which apparently is the surrealist's paradise that those of us demented enough to appreciate will visit after we pass from this Earthly realm. This is a nerdy concept album all the way complete with an accompanying guide that depicts the various creatures experienced and the overall feel when you're in this alternate reality.

What's that thing on the cover? What looks like an innocent piece of art made from ginger makes more sense when you watch the video for "Filnosses" which makes it clear it's some kind of nose that walks like a T-rex. Hey, this is crazy prog so anything goes! That's pretty much the attitude of NICK and company throughout ERSTWISLE as the music is just as wild as the imaginary creatures that populate this fictitious fantasy world. The album is actually quite outstanding with a guest list of heavy hitters in the world of avant-prog and experimental rock. Dave Newhouse of The Muffins and Manna/Mirage joins in on horns. Guitarist Mohadev from Stop Motion Orchestra. Bassist Oliver Cambell of The Mercury Tree. Trombonist Jerry King of Cloud Over Jupiter and none other than Thinking Plague's Bob Drake providing the introductory and exiting narrations (and others!). Also finding some brief narration duties is Thymme Jones from Cheer Accident.

Musically speaking this really is like entering the bestiary and it's been a good thing that i've waited so long to review this as it has taken a few years for this one to really sink in on the levels intended. Upon first exposure this will come off as some sort of silly indie rock meets avant-prog with a few punk and near metal moments. The Frank Zappa aspects of the first album are still in modus operandi but the album has a more cohesive feel despite the 14 tracks of nearly 44 minutes playing time showcasing many diverse elements. The core of the real band is NICK PROL on vocals and guitar, Ben Spees on bass and synth and Connor Reilly on drums therefore the indie rock aspects are ubiquitous throughout the album however each track adopts all kinds of clever ways to express the basic power trio indie rock scenario. Other than that pretty much anything goes except that basically pop hooks at least establish themselves before going for the avant-garde jugular.

PROL demonstrates some stellar math rock guitar moves with some hammer-on antics while the bass, drums and guest musicians provide off-kilter counterpoints that often crescendo in utter chaos. The album is a wild ride and evokes every bit of a fantasy world that it represents. One word sums it up and that is quirky. While the weirdness factor is turned up 11, the tracks are actually very logical in construct and the band focused on excellent melodic chord progressions that offer the weirdness through varying deviances from the established norm. The album is as hilarious as it is serious and reminds me of some of the 70s Canterbury whimsey but of course the zany world of Frank Zappa comes most to mind only the music is set to the various 21st musical styles that have become en vogue long after Mr Zappa's initial reign.

This is an utterly brilliant album that has moved from a 4 star pleasant curiosity to a full-fledged masterpiece over the last few years because now it's one of those albums i can listen to over and over and even twice in a row and never grow tired of. It's pretty cool that the band adopts so many styles and hints at so many influences yet remains firmly dozens of steps away in the musical playground of their making. This is the stuff avant-prog dreams are made of! While the nerdy über-angularities that one would experience in bands like Present or Yugen are tamped down in favor of more accessible elements, the juxtaposition of the contrasts is what makes this one so addictive. Also you will notice that the tracks beginning with the third track "Apropods" follow alphabetically and each track describes some imaginary beast. A brilliant idea and so prog!

The album is amazing in how many guitar styles, bass grooves, drumming patterns and diversity the basic trio provides with all the extra guest musicians simply providing icing for an already delectable cake. The songwriting is not on unique but utterly infectious but then delivers heavy doses of psychedelia and prog complexities to keep you coming back for more! This is an instantly lovable album but in order to access the true charm just like the forbidden fantastical world of ERSTWISLE, you must let this percolate into your conciseness over a period of time and repeated listening. Think early Ween meets Univers Zero, the Mothers of Invention and Thank You! Scientist and you're getting close! This was definitely a grower but ultimately has become an all-time favorite on my outside weirdo music list. Definitely one for the adventurous thrill-seekers looking for something unique and dynamic. Totally recommended!

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