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Quick Hit Reviews: Neo-Prog EPs From Godsticks and Sound & Shape

April 22, 2009
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WE HAVE RECEIVED LOTS OF NEO-PROGRESSIVE ROCK CDS LATELY. These two 5-song EPs stood out from the others.

 

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Godsticks
Godsticks

Godsticks is a three-piece band from the U.K., lead by guitarist, pianist, and vocalist Darran Charles. The five quirky songs on this EP fall roughly into the prog camp, though some of the changes, guitar tones, vocals, and vocal harmonies are more akin to Steely Dan, tamer Zappa, and ’70s pop-rock than they are to, say, Genesis or ELP. Lots of inventive turns of phrase, clever arpeggios, and other little touches combine with the jazzish grooves and hooky melodies to keep things interesting. It’s available from CD Baby.

 

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Sound & Shape
The Love Electric

This Nashville-based power trio evokes shades of Yes, Asia, and Wall-era Floyd, but the guitar is featured, rather than sharing sonic space with keyboards. Guitarist and principal vocalist Ryan Caudle mostly opts for ’70s-era Steve Howe-type tones and approaches, with lots of edge and judicious use of reverb and slap-back echo, though he gets a monstrously heavy distortion sound on the title track, and bits of Gilmour and Page also find their way into his bag. Caudle’s sonorous John Wetton-ish vocals reinforce the Asia vibe. Engineer.

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