Saturday, October 11, 2008

psychotic waltz - a social grace

band: psychotic waltz
album: a social grace
genre: progressive metal
country: USA
year: 1990

"...maybe it's my 70's upbringing as a progressive rock geek returning to haunt me, because this music is art rock if it's anything.

The songs are relentlessly episodic. The band plays in 4/4 only grudgingly and only long enough to respectably establish a groove before veering off into multi-metered mania!
If you dissect the guitar playing you'll find the ghostly image of Fripp a-leering. These conceits may or may not thrill you, but when they're executed this well and recorded this clearly, I don't believe you could walk away unimpressed.

It's the eerily symbiotic partnership of guitarist Dan Rock and Brian McAlpin that impacts most astoundingly. Not a lead lick goes by that isn't harmonized in any one of dozens of sophisticated scaler schemes - you couldn't mistake these two for one guy and an Eventide unless you were genuinely ignorant.

The egoless interplay between Rock and McAlpin is virtuosic, and their composing is a bountiful pleasure.

Ward evans & Norm Leggio on bass & drums tackle the wickedly complex structures with bravado, on the aural evidence they relish the challenge of playing these tunes, and succeed. This band must live to rehearse!
" -Review By Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa guitarist)

Psychotic Waltz were a progressive rock/metal band from San Diego who achieved a decent amount of fame overseas, but never quite struck a chord with american audiences. i'm not a musician and can't claim to truly understand all of the technical underpinnings of their music, but the songs on display here are original, ambitious, and most importantly an absolute blast to hear. Buddy Lackey (current Deadsoul Tribe frontman) had an honesty in everything he sang that grabs you deep inside and rubs you in all the right ways. the guitar, bass, and drums all sound psychotic as hell (hoshit,pun) without sounding pretentious; i.e. i've never gotten the feeling that Dan Rock's solos were only there to show us how good Dan Rock was at playing the guitar

recommended for fans of Spiral Architect and Watchtower

highly recommended for anyone who has never heard either of those bands


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