Aquarius - Tailor-made+straightjacket

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:55:00

To qualify: I've never been a big fan of "American Prog." Indisputably great bands existed and currently exist. But the genre is so satiated with clones and wannabes that I usually don't give new and upcoming bands enough interest.

From Florida comes Aquarius spearheaded by keyman Patrick Green. The music resembles the aftermath of a nuclear explosion - and I mean that in a good way. So many styles and influences are audible that it would be impossible to describe the music. There's a definite late seventies keyboard avant-garde AKA Seventh Wave, the poppy vibrato of Sparks (without the falsetto singing), bizarre sound FX, and the high camp excesses of Neil Merryweather and the Space Rangers.

To make any sense of it you have to lay back and just enjoy. Track 5, "Triangle," is one of the best Pop sounds I've heard in a long time. It comes after a short swooshy sample feast that bridges a ten minute keys-driven prog opus called "The Third Factor." Get the picture?

But it all flows together quite nicely like the salty Ocean washing over a mucky coast of flotsam and jetsam.

"I Believe In Wood," track 6, is a calypso flavored art rock piece with the odd 10cc transition thrown in. This is followed by the sound FX indulgent "O.X. Files." At nearly seven minutes the song meanders a bit before taking a symphonic plunge in the last half. Then it's all mood ambience.

We're back to a Thunderclap Newman-esque beginning to "Lunacy" which has a nice acoustic backdrop. Nice melodies here too. There's a bit of funk on "You Wanna Funk" (imagine that!) but it fits in with the proceedings perfectly. Now before you blow this recording off (no funk in prog bands!), know that the next song is progressive symphonic with heavy classical influences. It's back to 10cc country with "Kristi Bol." Sweeping symphonics take us into the eight minute opus, "The Robe."

This is epic prog at it's best. Though there is an appreciable absence of electric guitar on this CD, the beautiful melodies and powerful emotion more than make up for it.

I don't have a word to describe this disk. Let's just say "quirky prog pop". If you're into meaty, guitar driven music, forget this. If you like Art Rock bands like Sparks and 10cc, or AOR like early Supertramp, you're going to love Aquarius.

Der Spacey Telefon / Thanx For The Cigar / The Third Factor / Retentive Nasal Crunch / Triangle / I Believe In Wood / The O.X. Files / Lunacy / Bouncer Durk / You Wanna Funk / Rondetta Vega / We No. One / Kristi Bol / The Robe / Marble-Coated+Destiny

Patrick Green - keyboards, vocals, percussion, acoustic guitars
Naome Ladd - vocals
Robert Planet - Electric guitars, vocals

Tailor-made+straightjacket (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 1st 2000
Reviewer: Richard Zywotkiewicz

Artist website:
Hits: 907
Language: english


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