Peter Thelen    24-March-2001 Roots of Consciousness

Roots of Consciousness - "Roots Of Consciousness" (Syn-Phonic SYNCD12, 1993) This is the 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 seventies began to grow on me and provide a window to an inner side of this band that combines an experimental sixties 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 70's 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 albums 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 70's might appreciate wholeheartedly.

(Originally published in Exposť #3, p.10, Edited for Gnosis 3/23/01)

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