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The Underground Railroad

Eclectic Prog

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The Underground Railroad Through and Through  album cover
3.26 | 29 ratings | 8 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. May-Fly (3:52)
2. The Comprachicos of the Mind (10:18)
3. In The Factory (5:35)
4. The Doorman (10:05)
5. Mars (4:33)
6. Through and Through (20:13)

Total Time: 54:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Pohl / guitar, guitar synthesizer, bass pedals, vocals
- John Livingston / drums
- Matt Hembree / bass, vocals
- Kurt Rongey / keyboards, vocals

Releases information

CD Laser's Edge (LE1033) USA 2000

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD Through and Through ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD Through and Through reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When "May-Fly" (3:52) starts to roll at my CD player, my first reaction about this album is something like Finneus Gauge or Echolyn's music with more ambient in textures. You might recall its similarity with Allan Holdsworth or even with Phish - even though the latter has wide range of music styles. For sure, the first track has given me a good impression of how good the quality of The Underground Railroad music is. I especially enjoy the combination of guitar and piano works.

"The Comprachinos of the Mind" (10:18) starts off with longs keyboard solo work followed with jazz-rock music style and unique singing style. This is typically similar with Allan Holdsworth's music. Keyboard plays important role as basic foundation of overall rhythm section while guitar inserts its solo augmented with keyboard - wonderfully. The music interlude offers guitar solo (howling sound) in ambient rhythm section. It's definitely like a Holdsworth's guitar solo. Next track "In The Factory" (5:35) starts off with inventive keyboard work in an excellent harmony. The music flows like a jazz-rock fusion music with long sustain keyboard as main rhythm section.

"The Doorman" (10:05) is another long track like second track with unique singing style. The music reminds me to the early music of Steve Hackett solo albums. This track is quite strange in terms of styles because at some segments remind me to the music of early Genesis but at another segments like Holdsworth solo album with interesting keyboard and drum solo.The concluding track and album title "Through and Through" (20:13) is an epic with various music styles. Sometimes it goes melodic and at other segments are a bit of avant- garde.

Overall, this is a good addition to any progressive music collection. This album is worth to purchase as the music is quite unique and sometimes it's difficult to classify what band that similar with this band. If you are hungry to explore, and be open mind with, wide variety of styles, this album would fulfill your needs. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Prog-jester
1 stars “How can you believe him? He likes Neo!” – that’s what I already hear, submitting this review. First of all, this is MY point, and if you disagree, make a 5-star review for this one! :) Again, I appreciate good playing, dense musicianship and complex music. But if it isn’t supplied with enjoyable and memorable melodies, well-written structures and emotions, I’m simply getting bored. I was sitting listening through this album wondering how many good things here could have been invented but not! They decided to do it in their own special way. OK, if you like heartless mega-complex ear-hurting Avant Symphonic, go and get you this candy. I’ll abstain this time.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Complex prog from Fort Worth,Texas,US.The band was found by guitarist Bill Phol and keyboardist Kurt Rongey in 1996 after the demise of the group Anne Hand.Bill and Kurt were already familiar with the music industry,having released solo albums in the past years,and recruited Matt Hembree and John Livingston to response on bass and drums duties respectively.Their debut ''Through and Through'' was released on Laser's Edge in 2000.

What this guys present here is a super-technical Progressive Rock with evident vintage references,like trying to push GENESIS',YES' and KING CRIMSON's sound a bit further.Symphonic Rock is combined with Avant-Fusion and if you can imagine BIRDS AND BUILDINGS jamming with ATAVISM OF TWILIGHT you will get the picture.Here you will face a guitarist,who's style is split between ROBERT FRIPP's breaks and ALAN HOLDSWORTH's acrobatics,a keyboardist who can't decide the path between symphonic synths and distorted electronic sounds,a bass player and a drummer exploring all possible jazz patterns and vocals often close to these of PETER GABRIEL with a dramatic edge.The delivery is almost always deeped in dissonance with a few harmonic and pastoral breaks thrown in for good measure.Yet the album still keeps the listener's attention all the way with those dramatic shifting moods,the grandiose atmosphere,the interesting time signatures and the well-crafted arrangements despite the ultra-high level of virtuosity.

''Through and through'' is not an album for everybody.If fast and constant breaks and changes give you a headache,stay away.If technical performance and adventurous music is among your preferences,grab this one immediately.Warmly recommended.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars The title of the debut album by The Underground Railroad is 'Through and Through', and the band was formed by Bill Pohl and Kurt Rongey. Both Bill and Kurt have graced these pages before, with their debut releases 'Solid Earth' and 'Book In Hand' respectively. In fact, they have been playing with each other for over ten years, but it was only in 1994 that they joined forces in the Bill Pohl Group. By 1997, they had the album written and felt that it was time to change the name of the band.

The album was not completed until the end of 1999, and was named after the longest piece on the album, 'Through and Through", which is over twenty minutes in length. This is a very complex and complicated album, which takes a great deal of listening to. They have obviously been influenced by the UK Canterbury scene, and have also taken on elements of King Crimson's more experimental work and some jazz. The result is an album that while undoubtedly clever, sometimes takes the listener into areas that are unexpected. While this is not in itself a bad thing I did sometimes get the impression that this was complexity just for its' own sake instead of following a musical thread.

A difficult album, but one that someone into experimental/jazz-based prog may enjoy.

Originally appeared in Feedback #60

Latest members reviews

5 stars I guess this album is of the type that you either love or hate. Luckily I am one of the people that is able to enjoy it. I have no idea how many times I have heard this by now, but it just keeps growing and growing! The compositions are extremly complex and there are almost no repetitions at ... (read more)

Report this review (#83789) | Posted by Andreas | Saturday, July 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Strangely enough, this album became less interesting the more I listened to it. Yet I liked it the first time I heard it. I bought it in preperation for NearFest 2001, and as I said above, repeated listens made it less and less likeable. After seeing them perform at NearFest, I never pulled th ... (read more)

Report this review (#56449) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a very complex piece of music.....challenging at times. However once listened to a number of times it will become a favourite I am sure. The musicianship is fantastic and the production is impressive.The album is melodic in parts, jazz influenced sometimes, rock fueled and Progressive ... (read more)

Report this review (#43015) | Posted by | Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was incredibly tempted to add the fifth star, but I've concluded that this, while very much an excellent release is not quite essential. The Underground Railroad is a band in the same vein as the middle-atlantic school of modern ameri-prog (echolyn, finneus gauge, land of chocolate) with fusi ... (read more)

Report this review (#34567) | Posted by beterdedthnred4 | Monday, April 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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