Exposé Online banner

Roots of Consciousness — Roots of Consciousness
(Syn-Phonic SYNCD12, 1993, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 1994-05-01:

Roots of Consciousness Cover art On first listen I wasn't sure what to make of this debut release from Atlanta's Roots of Consciousness, a four piece of guitars, keys, bass and drums, with vocals by all. After a few listens those distorted and grotesque voices, the quirky arrangements and seemingly over-familiar themes from the 70s began to grow on me and provide a window to an inner side of this band that combines an experimental 60s neo-psychedelicism with the hard-rock mystical approach of early-Rush and bands like UFO. These two comparisons work well for a starting point, yet there are other elements in this sound that are not that easy to categorize, some fairly original ideas that juxtapose elements of the simpler 70s hard rock with the progressive elements of the same period. The weird distorted dialog and such may annoy some as being gimmicky, but taken in the spirit of the times the music seems to represent, they are quite appropriate. Tracks like "Remorse," the lengthy four-parter "( )," and "Candelabra" go far to clarify the dark vision that the album overall seems to embrace, both lyrically and musically. "Lethe Wharf," an instrumental that sounds a bit too up-to-date among the album's other tracks, tinkers with dissonance. Topping the album off is the not- intended-to-be-serious track "For Radio Airplay," with it's spoken vocals riddled with bleeped four letter expletives! In all, this is one that fans of the early Rush sound and the more experimental facets of the early 70s might appreciate wholeheartedly.

by Mike McLatchey, 1994-02-01:

These guys inhabit that area of progressive rock that tends to make me cringe. Influences? Rush, Marillion, maybe even Be Bop Deluxe. This type ofmusic is more in an "art rock" vein - very vocal oriented (and in that Fish kind of vein), straight song structure, little or no depth of sound, cliched ideas, and when they do tend to broaden themselves instrumentally it seems forced rather than natural. Take "Put You Away," which sounds like an updated version of late seventies/early eighties Rush with annoying "Cygnus X-1" like narration. One thing I do like about some neo progressives is the lushness of some of the music, yet Roots seem to be lacking heavily in this area. A lot of their music reminds me of stuff like the Ventures ("Candelabra") trying to do progressive rock. I suppose this is a more unique approach than the average neo but it still doesn't sound good to my ears. I doubt this will be high on many lists.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 2 , 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Roots of Consciousness

More info

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Julverne - Le Retour du Captain Nemo – Julverne sprang from the same Belgian underground avant-garde music scene that produced Cos, Univers Zero, Aqsak Maboul, and Art Zoyd. As such, members of all the aforementioned bands, at one time or...  (1995) » Read more

Last Turion - Circle Logic – There's mediocre neo-prog, and then there's albums like this, which almost make me want to cry. As usual, influences are acquired, but not absorbed, from Marillion, IQ, and post-Gabriel Genesis. The...  (1994) » Read more

Ozone Player - Insane Logic – Here’s another entry in the one-man electronic music genre, in this case Otso Pakarinen of Finland. He’s got a couple of interesting twists on the conventions of electronic music. One is a...  (2001) » Read more

Treatment - Cipher Caput – Apparently this was first available as a vinyl item, and then recently issued as a CD. Treatment is a British five-piece lineup of psychedelic explorers that operate somewhere along the Hawkwind /...  (1996) » Read more

Bon - To the Bone – Bon Lozaga's latest moves further into the heavy guitar driven jazz realms, a place only hinted at on his previous, Full Circle. There's plenty of variety herein, from punchy rock riffs to an...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues