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Murky Red - No Pocus Without Hocus CD (album) cover

NO POCUS WITHOUT HOCUS

Murky Red

 

Crossover Prog

3.93 | 65 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There is something big besides the music itself, that progressive rock has given to me in the recent years: people. This internet era has also a lot of advantages, one of them is to have contact with people from other countries that are far away from one's place, and to have nice chats and get regularly in touch with them. I start saying this because I first knew about Murky Red thanks to Colin Tench, a wonderful man who I've been in contact with for some time, who talked me about this Belgian band and project in which he is also involved. Later, listening to Angelo's (our PA's Angelo) radio show I listened for the first time to a Murky Red's song, and later in the chat, I met Stef and Yolanda flaming, both musicians who are part of this band and who kindly shared to me their music. Now with this brief introduction, I would like to dedicate the review to these four great people.

This is No Hocus Without Pocus, their second and latest album, released in 2015, which features 11 songs that make almost an hour of excellent music. It opens with "Pixelated Friends", a wonderful hard rock oriented track with a very distinctive voice of Stef Flaming, it is dark, somber but amazing, so it perfectly fits and contrasts at the same time with the music created. "Stoned & Horny" has great keyboards that take us to a trip to the 70s, the rhythm is slow but totally trippy and sexy, as the title suggests. The music brings me some memories, because Murky Red take elements of vintage prog, psychedelic rock and hard rock, always with wonderful guitar solos and a sound that any rock fan would enjoy, which is why I felt caught by their music since the first time I listened to it.

"Sweet Dark Hypnosis" has that cool contrast, because sometimes it sounds calm and sweet, and sometimes dark and trippy. The guitar solo after 2:30 is very sensual and at the same time relaxing, so I suggest you to do as I did: close the eyes and feel its charm, though you will open them in the final 30-rockier seconds. "She's Crying Diamonds" is a great track with a slow rhythm for the first two minutes. I love the atmosphere, the dark and tense feeling in the first half, because later the song become faster, exciting and colorful. The band did an excellent job with this song, which is one of my favorites.

"Nothing Can Go Wrong" has a guitar that will take you to the stoner rock realm, and later with the addition of keyboards a totally psychedelic feeling is spread here, with the personal and own Murky Red's dark atmosphere. "A Wooden Groove" does not hide that hard and heavy rock tendency that Murky Red has, and though this is a great song that has vocals in the first minute and then turns completely instrumental (with a faster and heavier ending), I must say this is far from being a favorite of mine. "Collateral Damage", on the other hand, is one of my preferred songs of this album. I love the structure, the changes and all that the instruments can provoke, it is a great musical journey in which I only can smile, move my body at the rhythm of the song and feel satisfied because my soul is being fed with good music. At 2:30 there is a notable change, music vanishes and dark vocals and atmosphere stays for a while. Later it changes again, creating always interesting passages that make me addict to it. Great song!

"Bad Wolf of the Pack" has one of my favorite starting minutes of the whole album, here the first two instrumental minutes are totally delicious, hypnotic, the guitar is wonderful and the atmosphere is charming. Later vocals enter and the deliciousness continues of course, but with a rockier sound that is not that relaxing. The names of Pink Floyd and Dire Straits came to my head here. "Wild Flower" is a slow and calm piece that can be easily enjoyed, it is easy to dig, not that complex but great nonetheless. "Mermaids" has a sympathetic sound at first, the atmosphere reminds me a bit of Alan Parsons Project. Later the rhythm changes, there are guitar solos and nice bass arrangements, and a humorous sense all the way.

The album finishes greatly with "Elena", a wonderful 8-minute track that might be the most vivid example of progressive rock in this album. This is a song I also played in my own radio show and I was happy to see several positive comments from the audience. A great and hypnotic track with great organ, dark vocals and amazing drums and strings; I think they could not have chosen a better track to finish this wonderful album.

Congratulations to Murky Red, they had made me happy with this great release, and now I am eagerly waiting for their next work!

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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