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TRACK LIST: 1. Mind Over Matter 4:34 2. Living In Dread 5:30 3. The Jersey Pines 5:21 4. All 5:14 5. Vampire 5:30 6. The Things I Do 4:23 7. No Other 7:07 8. Love is Blind 4:39 9. One World 5:19 10. Rouler 4:56 LINE-UP: Hansford Rowe - basses; vocals Bon Lozaga - guitars; real-time guitar looping John Catler - lead & rhythm guitars Justin Allard - drums & percussion Josee Caron - backing vocals With: David Fiuczynski - guitars (on 5) Bob Muller - hand drums (on 5 & 10) Happy Rhodes - backing vocals (on 10) Produced by Hansford Rowe. Engineered by C. Muth & S. Barsalou at LoLo Music, NYC.
Preamble. Thanks to his long and remarkable activity within the framework of such legendary bands as Gong (including Pierre Moerlen's Gong, which, btw, I always regarded as just Gong) & Gongzilla, the name of Hansford Rowe is well known to most of the Prog lovers all over the world. "No Other" is the only solo album by this remarkable bassist, vocalist, and composer. Of course, Hansford's old friend and permanent collaborator Bon Lozaga is featured on the album as well. To read the Overall View on the Gongzilla creation, click > here.
The Album. Although "No Other" is quite an accessible and bright album, there is nothing flashy on it. Penned by a real ProGfessor and performed by true ProGfessionals, it sounds great from the first to the last note and is just filled with magnetism. The music on the album is highly original and very imaginative, and the atmosphere here is full of such indescribable magic that, just for instance, is available on the "So" album by Peter Gabriel. There are ten songs on "No Other" and, overall, all of them were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, the best definition of which would probably be a blend of guitar-based (rather, guitars-based: including a bass guitar) Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion. The contents of six songs: Mind Over Matter, Living In Dread, The Jersey Pines, All, One World, and Rouler (tracks 1 to 4, 9, & 10) completely conform to this definition. The other songs: Living In Dread, Vampire, The Things I Do, Love Is Blind, and No Other (5, 6, 8, & 7 respectively) are about the same stylistics, though in addition, these contain the bits of Hard Rock. The album's title track is notable for the amazing tunes of music of the East and the parts of the African-like percussion instruments. The latter are evident also on the album's closing song, Rouler, which is the only song here that features lyrics in French. The main soloing instruments on the album are bass and electric guitars: the parts of them cross each other at the forefront of arrangements, being supported by those of drums and, sometimes, the keyboard-like sounds of synth-guitar. The way of singing that Hansford use here is very original and is somewhat neutrally observing in character, though there also are the female backing vocals on a half of the songs here, at least. As for my favorite songs on the album, these include No Other, Vampire, Love is Blind, The Things I Do, and Living In Dread.
Summary. If "No Other" would've been released on a major label, any of the songs that are presented on the album could've been a killer-hit for the mainstream market. Which is despite the fact that all ten of these songs are filled with features that are typical for a true Progressive rather than something else. Phenomena is the word...
VM: April 16, 2003
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