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ROCKET SCIENTISTS


ROCKET SCIENTISTS


"Refuel"

 By Dark Starr


I think it’s safe to say that I like everything from Rocket Scientists. This new album is no exception. This is quite a good set, but I think that their EP that came out earlier this year is stronger. That said, the song “It’s Over” is probably my favorite song ever from Rocket Scientists. It’s also one of my two or three favorite songs of 2014. The whole disc is solid, just not as solid as that. This one lands more in the AOR side of progressive rock, with comparisons to Asia pretty valid. Both Kelly Keeling and Lana Lane guest on one song each.

Let’s have a look at that aforementioned “It's Over.” In general it is a progressive rock ballad. At least it is for the first three minutes or so. Within that scope, though, there is quite a bit of variety and change. The jam later in the piece is almost metal and really rocks. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of progressive rock to keep it firmly, there, but it’s hard edged and a bit crunchy. This is arguably the best cut here. It might be my favorite song of the year (2014) really. It’s just such an amazing piece of music. It’s probably my favorite song ever from Rocket Scientists.

Beyond that song, there is some definite range here. I’m going to outline a few of the songs on the album to give an idea of what kind of variety is presented on the disc. The title track leads off the set, and as the bass opens it, it feels like we could be heading into a metal or alternative rock song. The guitar and keyboards, though, land us fully into AOR styled progressive rock. I love some of the retro keyboard soloing on this cut. There is some fusion built into it at times, too. The non-lyrical vocals later really elevate this even more. This is fairly short, but quite a compelling instrumental track.        

Coming in rather symphonic, as it powers out to a rocking arrangement “She's Getting Hysterical” feels a lot like Asia. It drops way down for the vocals and feels a bit like The Buggles to me. This really does seem to alternate between those two musical concepts. The instrumental section features both killer keyboard work and great guitar. After a return to the vocal section, another instrumental movement takes it into a full on jazz arrangement for a time. This song is a lot of fun and yet suitably proggy.

I can make out some of that Buggles element on “Martial.” This also reminds me a lot of Alan Parsons Project. It’s a powerful cut that’s both accessible and quite dramatic. It is definitely one of the highlights here. It just has so much magic built into its sound.

Mellow folk and classically tinged balladic progressive rock opens “The World Waits for You.” As the vocals enter that serves as the backdrop. It gets powered up a bit after a time, but stays in the folk-laced progressive rock territory. This is a slower cut. In some ways, this almost makes me think of a progressive rock treatment of an 80s metal power ballad. Don’t get me wrong, the instrumentation is all prog. It’s just the song structure and hooks that feel like hair metal in some ways. The keyboard soloing on this is pretty magical at times.                   

 Although “Rome's About to Fall” is complex and decidedly progressive rock, there is a real groove to a lot of it. It reminds me at times of something like Spock’s Beard. It has a bit of a metallic edge at times, too. The keyboard dominated, dropped back section is cool. So is the resolution jam at the end of the piece with the non-lyrical vocals. That segment has almost a Mott the Hoople goes prog vibe to it.

"Galileo" – Keyboards lead this one out in style. It turns into a cool prog rock jam from there. At times it almost feels a little like Deep Purple. It shifts to a mellower, more dramatic, twisting and turning prog section for a time, though. Then it works to more fusion territory. There’s an awesome jazzy jam later with a killer fast paced bass line. This instrumental works through a number of changes and is quite entertaining start to finish. A mellow drop down, serves to almost reboot the piece. From there the whole thing is revisited.

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