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Brand X - Moroccan Roll CD (album) cover


Brand X


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 265 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Just when you think you've followed all the fusion greats (di Meola, Jaco, Clarke, Corea, Hammer, Cobham, etc) throughout various bands and affiliations, you can still look forward to oddballs such as Brand X for another dose of (for the most part) great fusion.

Highlights. Hate Zone is a great song, and in some places is one hardcore, strut-your-stuff funky track. Plenty of bass slapping, nice hand-drums, and a great spacey synth solo to go with a toe-tapping melody. Macrocosm moves away from funk and is one of a select few songs that stack up with Mahavishnu Orchestra's most intricate yet fiery output. It features a spacey groove in odd-time, followed by frenzied freakouts by all members, followed by a return to the main theme, completed with a giant explosion (both musically AND literally--you'll see what I mean).

Other notables: Disco Suicide is a nice try to do something a little more structured and warm-sounding, but perhaps that's why it's only good and not great. Malaga Virgen has plenty good stuff, such as frenzied playing and nice flamenco burst from Goodsall, but it barely hangs together as a cohesive song.

Each member makes substantial contributions, especially in being able to provide interesting rhythm work as well as the ability to step in with a killer solo or fill when necessary. I have to give Collins specific respect here, because in Moroccan Roll he's content to chug away lightly but firmly (always with great cymbal work here as well), but when he gets in there for a fill, it's a full-on attack with no hesitation. He really was a fantastic drummer back in the day.

Overall, Brand X's best, though it's only great in parts. I like this effort so much largely because of the team contributions--unlike much fusion, in which each member tries to play faster and louder than the others, Brand X maintains a delicate touch to supplement the bombast.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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