Released in the summer of 2002, Spock’s Beard’s sixth studio LP, Snow, was a landmark release in several ways. Not only did it stand as the American quintet’s first narrative album—and arguably their greatest achievement thus far, as well as one of the greatest progressive rock records of all time—but it also marked their final studio outing with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/lead songwriter Neal Morse (who departed to focus on a spiritual solo career that’s still going strong).
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Despite their name, Americana quintet the Get Ahead has hit plenty of bumps on the road traveled so far. Yet, they don’t shy away from the tragedies and frustrations that they’ve faced together as a musical family. It’s an instrumental part of what makes their upcoming record, Mind Is a Mountain, so compelling.
Tristan Kneschke: At this point in the Great Clown Presidency, fatigue has set in, which means that when overtly political works emerge, it’s easy to roll our eyes. But not so with “Mad as Hell”, which provides a novel angle. Taking its title from the famous Network rant “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore”, the video digs in further, appropriating World War II imagery to critique our current political climate. A deluge of screaming news headlines, a decapitated head of state, vintage political cartoons, and Meghan Remy styled as a dancing Rosie the Riveter interspersed throughout the archival footage make this video cohesive and poignant. While the anachronistic time capsule points to a simpler time for some, for others, it’s a stark reminder that some aspects of the US haven’t changed much, no matter the resolution and color vibrancy of our current tech. [7/10]
Kris Delmhorst writes from the perspective of a being an experienced artist on her latest album, The Wild. The LP’s title is indeed indicative of the material present across its 12 tracks. According to the rising Americana artist—who’s backed the likes of Lori McKenna, Anais Mitchell, and many others throughout her 20-year-long career—she and her band make “sonic settings that make those difficult topics easy on the ears”.