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Regal Worm - Pig Views CD (album) cover


Regal Worm


Crossover Prog

3.96 | 146 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars A late-comer to my awareness--and from an artist with whom I was heretofore unaware. And what a creative and eminently skilled artist this is! To think that this sophisticated symphonic concept album is practically a solo project is mind-boggling!

1. "Rose, Rubus, Smilax, Vulkan" (7:17) opens like a GENESIS song converted to the music of a kids cartoon. (I find myself thinking of the soundtrack to Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.) Even the title phrase used for the chorus' chorus feels like made-up terms from a contrived make-believe world of a Dr. Seuss or Roald Dahl world. The music is hard-driving, fast-paced, and tightly performed but ultimately it never seems to shake that REBECCA SUGAR/Steven Universe feel. (8.5/10)

2. "Revealed As A True Future Tyrant" (5:29) shows a musical sophistication requiring multiple listens to take in and adapt to. There are three main phrases repeated over the course of the multi-part song--one to accompany each of the song's three themes: "My teacher understands" from the opening and closing segments, the choir's shouted four words (which sound exactly like a Teutonic variation of the title phrase from the opening song) from the second, full-band movement, and the delicate words used in the third section to describe the child in question, "star pupil" "Even on a rainy day." Nice saxophone solo in the middle section. The music and song are actually quite engaging if oddly constructed and even more strangely worded. (9.25/10)

3. "Pre-Colombian Worry Song" (5:24) this one opens up with by far the most engaging, toe-tapping groove on the album--and only proceeds to increase its winsome ways when the singing joins in. What is most unusual about this song--taken in the context of the whole album--is the fairly straightforward and singular style used on this song from start to finish. Yes, there are some quirky syncopated rhythms and bridges in various places, but overall the song feels like one song without any major symphonic twists and turns. Plus, it's so engaging and adorable that it just makes you want to get up and dance a happy dance! (9.5/10)

4. "Rose Parkington, They Would Not Let You Leave" (7:06) notes a BEACH BOYS/BUGGLES-like return to cartoon theme music like that used in the album's opening song. Even the spy-thriller lyrics and effects add to the cartoonish feel. It's good--makes you want to see the animated video this must surely accompany--and makes one realize how well some of those techno-pop songs of the early MTV era could have used GORILLAS-like animation. (8.25/10)

5. "Jag Vet" (1:36) MIDIed electric piano accompanies a female vocalist singing a soft, slow, delicate vocal about Karen. Greek chorus tells her to "don't go in there" several times. (4.5/5)

6. "The Dreaded Lurg" (14:53) this is the jewel of the album. (30/30) - "i. Catch Your Death" opens the suite slowly, cautiously, but then breaks into a fast-pace with a rhythm a feel quite similar to song #3, "Pre-Columbian Worry Song," even employing some melodic themes that feel similar to those used on previous songs (the Rebecca Sugar-like ear-worms). There are several themes used within this one--the cartoonish racing theme, a campy Burt Bacharach-like theme, and a heavier macabre carnivalesque theme (which closes the movement at the end of the seventh minute). - "ii. He Hath Rear'd His Sceptre O'er The World" is opened with a quiet, stealthy-spy-like theme over which a small Greek chorus chants about a fighting in the forest. At 9:13 a minor-keyed KARDA ESTRA-like passage presents itself before disappearing in lieu of the sounds of a campfire in a windstorm. - "iii. To Hunt An Ancient Vampire." The next passage opens with a lurch at 10:06 as cartoon-synths and horns burst into a herky-jerky "treacherous chase scene" like theme. At the beginning of the eleven minute mark the music smooths out, takes a detour (to hide, wait and/or watch) before taking off again to rejoin the chase. Several musical twists and turns involving cartoon synths and acoustic guitars make you feel as if there are plenty of stop and starts I find the sudden and surprise addition of a VDGG-like sax and Hugh Banton organ quite comical! There are plenty of wait and look periods alternating with interjections of alarmed "Oh my God, the light is fading" as chanted by a chorus of seeming passersby. An oboe cadenza precedes another Greek chorus shouting out the warning, "Oh my God, the light is fading" as the cartoon music continues and draws upon even more cartoon/video game sounds and motifs. Chorus chants of "Luh, luh" precede a loud crash of a gong which signals the end of the racing music with a little less than a minute to go. The rest of the song is filled with the sounds of Mellotron voices, a crackling fire, and strong winds blowing. This then bleeds directly into the next song. Despite the cartoon-like feel of much of this song, it does an absolutely brilliant job of conveying the feeling of a complete story--as a true "epic" should. Plus, I find the song so entertaining that I've listened to it over 20 times now and have never tired nor cut short each listen. There is so much ingenuity and innovation to the construction and flow of this song that it deserves full credit as a new arrival to the Vahalla of Prog Epics.

7. "Crystallisation" (3:18) opens with electric piano and high octave singing before the vocalist drops into normal mid-range for the second part of the first verse. Many incidentals are dispersed throughout including Mellotron choir. Quite a remarkable vocal performance filled with several very deeply hooking melodies/lines including "We were locked up in the tower ... today." Just shows the power that simplicity and purity can convey. (4.5/5)

8. "Huge Machine, You Are So Heavy" (6:37) opens with two slowly alternating chords from what sounds like a harmonium or squeeze box over which a male vocalist sings delicately. Mid-second minute piano and choir voices bring a second gear but it's not until 2:10 that we truly feel the direction Jarrod is wanting to take this. By 2:45 a full- on prog extravaganza has been unleashed with chunky bass, fuzzy guitars, windy early-King Crimson synths and sax. It's all instrumental and repetitious quite in the way that Mike Oldfield used in the heavier part of the "Tubular Bells" composition. In the sixth minute a kind of BUGGLES pattern and sound palette is been established over which Geoff & Trevor-like vocal choir sings repeating the same two phrases until the ending fadeout. Great song! (9/10)

9. "Butterfly" (0:51) a (faux) recording of a radio broadcast from the 1920s about a papillon.

Five stars; a masterpiece of quirky symphonic progressive rock music--perhaps a nod to the future of progressive rock: the integration of musical styles from the realms of cartoon and video animation with symphonic forms--all while employing masterful compositional and instrumental skills.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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