“By The Whores Of Damacles, I Condemn Thee!!”
Like it or not, progressive rock is making a comeback.
Old timers like Rush, Yes and Genesis are seeing their back catalogs getting scooped up faster than you can say “Loki, stop pestering your younger brother Thor!” The new critical elite has seen fit to re-examine this most maligned of genre, which can also be, IMO, lumped in with “art rock”. The differences between the tow are described by some anonymous scribe at Allmusic.com:
“Prog-rock tends to be more traditionally melodic (even when multi-sectioned compositions replace normal song structures), more literary (poetry or sci-fi/fantasy novels), and more oriented toward classically trained instrumental technique (with the exception of Pink Floyd). Art rock is more likely to have experimental or avant-garde influences, placing novel sonic texture above prog-rock’s symphonic ambitions. Both styles are intrinsically album-based, taking advantage of the format’s capacity for longer, more complex compositions and extended instrumental explorations.”
Why is this sort of music being embraced by musical glitterati all over the world who weren’t born during the heyday of said bearded bands? Don’t know, couldn’t tell ya. I’ve never really cottoned to the likes of YES, or King Krimson, or Spock’s Beard, but there is most definitely a place in my heart for the poppier side of prog. The “must have” element for me is that a prog or art band has to have a sense of humor about themselves in order for me to fully embrace them. Those that don’t, well, let’s just say that Tales From Topographic Oceans is the biggest waste of 4 sides of vinyl I’ve ever heard.
Once more, to prove the “must have a sense of humor” bit, here are some progressive rock band names, but here’s the catch: some are real, and some are fake.
Bet you can’t tell the difference!
The Devil’s Altoids
Pan’s Flute Excursions
Wraith Bandages Of Roanoke
Wrath Of Svend
The Trolls Of Bangladesh
Hugin And Mugin
Pokeroo Of The Damned
Grimm’s Sad Saga
The Whores Of Damacles