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PHREEWORLD

Neo-Prog • United States


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Phreeworld biography
Although not formed until 1990, US band PHREEWORLD can trace their roots back to the end of the golden age of progressive rock. It was late in 1975 when Brian Phraner (vocals, bass, keyboards, drums) hooked up with Donovan Freeborn (then known as Donovan Michaels), and the two of them started playing together in progressive rock trio Medusa alongside guitarist Bruce Main.

Dave Wheeler (vocals, guitar) knew Brian Phraner from high school, and Brian's brother Mark Phraner (vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards) was also a part of the same environment.

When Medusa broke up the foursome more or less loosely connected by school and aquaintances went their own ways. Wheeler hooked up with jazzrock/fusion ensemble "I Am", while Mark Phraner had a tenure in progressive band Eternia from 1984 until 1989. Freeborn and Brian Phraner were members of several different bands, and Brian also started a career as a sound systemns emngineer for sport arenas in this period.

But in 1990 they hooked up again, all of them free of other band obligations and with a shared enthusiasm for creating and playing music that at this point in time was very much out of fashion - Seattle in the early 90's weren't the best of places to form a progressive oriented band.

They thrived in that somewhat harsh climate though, established themselves as a rather popular live act and issued two albums, Boost the Signal in 1994 and Crossing the Sound in 1998.

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Boost the SignalBoost the Signal
Single
CD Baby 2001
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PHREEWORLD discography


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PHREEWORLD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 2 ratings
Boost the Signal
1994
3.22 | 7 ratings
Crossing the Sound
1998

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PHREEWORLD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Boost the Signal  by PHREEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Boost the Signal
Phreeworld Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars US Progressive/Art Rock band from Brier, Washington.All of the band's members, multi- instrumentalists and brothers Mark and Brian Phraner, drummer Donovan Freeborn and guitarist Dave Wheeler had been together in a 70's group with the name Medusa, but after its demise they parted ways during the 80's.The fate brought them all back together in early-90's, when they formed Phreeworld and debuted with the EP ''Boost the signal'' for the Friends in the Garden label in 1994.

''Boost the signal'' is much a product of its time, resembling to North-American Prog groups of late-80's/early-90's such as MAGELLAN, MADRIGAL, CAIRO and TERRACED GARDEN and the opening ''Solar Spectra'' features slightly distorted yet romantic vocals to go along with grandiose symphonic synthesizers, while ''Cruisin' London'' is much more theatrical and lyrical, like a cross between 80's YES and a modern GENTLE GIANT version with an emphatic groove and a deep atmosphere.''Hold On To Me'' (as well as its remix, the closing piece of the EP) is definitely the catchier track of the album, recalling compatriots AJALON, an easy and accesible groove supports a decent chorus, but this far away from the fundamentals of Prog music.Finally ''The Whispering'' is the most atmospheric cut of this release, down-tempo Prog material, based on the FLOYD-ian guitars and the bombastic synths all the way.

A good attempt for a comeback after so many years for this US quartet with some decent musicianship, which ends up to be an enjoyable listening despite the minor flaws.Recommended.

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 Crossing the Sound  by PHREEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.22 | 7 ratings

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Crossing the Sound
Phreeworld Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

2 stars The North American band - PHREEWORLD - in his/v second studio albun "Crossing the Sound", presents influences of bands as YES, PINK FLOYD, GENESIS, CSN&YOUNG, BEATLES & ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, bring with this folk/space/symphonic and a small neo-prog portion. However such "raw material" doesn't get to produce (except for some few and well-known moments) a music that got my attention. In fact, most of the tracks sounded to me as something already heard previously without any increment that resembles an interesting new approach of the influences mentioned above! The "few and well-known moments the one that I referred are me due to Track 1 "Freeworld" with a cleary influence of YES & ALAN PARSONS PROJECT (the first for the keyboards and guitars and the second for the vocal ones) the track 5 "Solar Spectra" (where a guitar in Steve Hackett's style, commands the sound). As weak points, I would point the track 2 "CHINA" with a repetitive rhythm in the enttire track and The track 6 "Gates Walk" , wich begins with the style of Crosby,Stills, Nash & Young and she becomes PinkFloyd soon after, in the which I think this combination was made in a very abrupt way!!! For these reasons my rate is 2 stars.

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 Crossing the Sound  by PHREEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.22 | 7 ratings

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Crossing the Sound
Phreeworld Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well, this American progband Phreeworld is so obscure there's even no description available at the moment. Yet there is already a review and a few ratings for this album so a few people have discovered them and I consider myself lucky to have found this album.

Ok, lucky then in the sense that this is a pretty rare one I guess, not really in the sense that it's a truly excellent piece of work. Still it's an enjoyable release with hints of Cairo (sound) and Iris/Arrakeen (guitar). I'm not going to do a song by song review because there are no interesting stories to tell about each song with exception of the last two that is. Wardrums is an almost complete rip off of one of the Momentary Lapse songs by Pink Floyd, very striking. Last and longest song of the album, The Chariot is in fact the most interesting and original composition with alternating tempo and mood shifts.

But even this song doesn't quite reach the excellent or outstanding status. There are no real disappointing tracks either on this nice release by this nice band. But that's all it is actually and therefore the only right outcome is three stars.

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 Crossing the Sound  by PHREEWORLD album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.22 | 7 ratings

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Crossing the Sound
Phreeworld Neo-Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PHREEWORLD are a promising band from USA, who are playing a mixture of early YES, PINK FLOYD, GENESIS and The BEATKES with a little doze of Jazz, Magma and KING CRIMSON. The guitarist sometimes reminds of Steve HACKETT and the singer of Jon ANDERSON. They have put a lot of work behind the vocals and the song harmonies. Everybody in the band is singing and they are excellent musicians. Partially the music is very complicated with many tempo changes. The CD contains 9 tracks with various lengths between 3 to 8 minutes, but the most tracks is between 3 to 5 minutes. The sound quality isn't that good and the mixing are rather blurred. This fact is making the more complex parts of the songs quiet hard to hear witch is negative for the whole record. The CD booklet though is very beautiful and that is positive. The most memorably songs are "The Hermit", "Gates Walk", "The Empress", "Wardrums" and "The Chariot", but all tracks are good. Recommended! This is progressive rock at it's best! This is one of the better albums from 1998. Hopefully we will hear more from PHREEWORLD in the future. They deserve to break through.

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