Underground Railroad, The - Through And Through

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Laser's Edge
Catalog Number: LE 1033
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:56:00

When keyboard player Kurt Rongey released his Book In Hand album way back in 1991, I do remember being very impressed with the way he programmed his drum machine. That same feeling occured once again the moment I heard Solid Earth by guitarist Bill Pohl a year later, though here real drums were played by John Livingston. If only both artists would take into consideration the few weak points on their respective releases then I was convinced that their follow-up would be superb. That's what I wrote down in 1992! Instead of the individual releases, both Rongey and Pohl have decided to combine their talents and together with bass player Matt Hembree and drummer John Livingston they have now settled themselves down as The Underground Railroad whose debut album Through And Through has just reached our ears.

Opening track "May-Fly" will certainly vibrate as being rather close to Echolyn due to the strong vocal input. Then again the build up of "The Comprachicos Of The Mind" sound like the melting of both ELP and Happy the Man into one new musical idea. Especially the bombastic elements and the vocals which come close to Greg Lake will of course remind people of ELP whilst the technical aspect in this song certainly is of the same league as the glorious Happy the Man. "In The Factory" contains dark, atonal atmospheres and unpredictable changes. Maybe "The Doorman" is Underground Railroad's very own "The Doorway" whilst Pohl comes very close to the best Steve Hackett with even the voice getting into the Genesis footsteps.

The highlight certainly has to be the 20' long titletrack. Bathing in a repetitive introduction containing some of the best Allan Holdsworth licks, Rongey delivers one soundscape after the other yet the endresult is a bit too long, too monotonous to keep us interested throughout. There are some nice finds on Through And Through yet this band has to do better if they want to really shine during the upcoming NEARfest 2001. Maybe they should take a slightly different, more sparkling and rhythmic direction?

May-Fly (3:52) / The Comprachicos Of The Mind (10:18) / In The Factory (5:35) / The Doorman (10:05) / Mars (4:33) / Through And Through (20:13)

Bill Pohl - guitars, guitar synthesizer, bass pedals, vocals
John Livingston - drums
Matt Hembree - bass and background vocals
Kurt Rongey - keyboards and vocals

Through And Through (2000)
The Origin Of Consciousness (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.theundergroundrailroad.net
Hits: 849
Language: english


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