Mars Hollow is comprised of four veteran musicians - John Baker (vocals/guitar), Jerry Beller (drums/vocals), Kerry Chicoine (bass/vocals) and Steve Mauk (keyboards/vocals). Mars Hollow take the foundation of '70's progressive rock - classical-based song structures combined with melodic pop and rock sensibilities - and update this classic formula for the new millennium. Seamlessly blending unexpected instrumental passages with traditional progressive, pop and rock motifs, Mars Hollow strive for songwriting balance sprinkled with the left-turns necessary to keep the music challenging and moving. In other words, it's all about the song. Mars Hollow's self-titled debut album was produced, mixed and mastered by King Crimson associate Ronan Chris Murphy.
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I started out nearly 3 years ago with the greats yes,genesis,spocksbeard etc. Actually I was a fan of prog early on, let me explain. Most
people who listen to mainstream music are fans of Yes and Genesis to a degree. However like me at one point they dont associate those bands
and the Hit songs with prog rock yet alone understand what progressive rock is. Once I found out that prog meant bands like genesis and pinkfloyd
I immediatly started to explore other prog bands and i bacame a fan of the genre in a short time. Mars Hollow's music is in my opinon is just
as good as some of the for mentioned bands they just need to improve there production quality but i guess to do that they might need a more expensive studio, but this Cd is symphonic rock at its best and i strongly recommend it, especially if you enjoy music that is complex and carefully arranged. 5 stars
I hope that Mars Hollow releases a DVD concert someday!
In order to enjoy this CD, you have to fit into one of two groups.
1). You grew up with the original wave of British Progressive Rock (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, ELP, Pink Floyd, etc), and when you hear a band like RPWL that channels Pink Floyd, or Big Big Train (the Trick of the Tail / Wind and Wuthering Genesis), you enjoy the sound so much that you don't let "originality" get in the way of your listening.
2). You've never heard the original groups and just like this kind of music.
I'll agree that the primary influence here is Yes, but that's not all that's going on. On the opening track, "Wait For Me," that is unmistakably the "rubbery, slithery" style of Chris Squire's bass, especially as played on his solo album "Fish Out Of Water," but once the lead vocals kicked in I was thinking Styx ("IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIm...saiiiiiiiiling....awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay").
The time signatures, particularly the interplay between the percussion / keyboards, has a real Yes feel to it. The guitar has bits of Steve Howe, but there's also a little more punch than he usually delivers.
I'm listening to "Eureka" and I'm thinking "Oh...this must be their 'Long Distance Runaround.'"
So for me...personally (here come the "not helpful" grades on my review, but I'm being honest)...I give the band 4 stars for their chops, which are definitely there, but I am not enough of a Yes fan that I seek out Yes clone bands. Pink Floyd? Oh yeah, that's why I like RPWL. Genesis? Same reason I like Bib Big Train. But when it comes to being in the mood for Yes, I generally head straight to Yes.
These guys obviously have the musical ability to be much greater than the sum of their influences. Will they?
It has such a great pop sensibility in the song writing. It's solid crafting with great catchy hooks and a real progressive edge. This is one of those cds I put in my iPod upon purchase and have listened to it over and over again. It was in my car player in repeated rotation and this was before I had seen them live at Progday this year in Chapel Hill, NC. What a great band, great bunch of guys, they are world class musicians. The production on this album is spot on with Ronan Chris Murphy at the helm. John Bakers vocals are wonderful and his guitar technique covers the full range from soaring melodic to mind bending riffs flawlessly executed. Kerry Chicoine the bassist adds some wonderful backing vocals and has the best Rickenbacker bass tone, Steve Mauk brings thoughts of Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman to mind, and Jerry Beller on drums will pound his rhythmic patterns deep into your soul. Do yourself a favor and get this one it will grow on you after a few spins and you won't be able to get the songs out of your head. Trust me on this, I have gone to bed singing "Wild Animal" and woke up singing "If I were you". Each song has it's Easter eggs for you to explore this is one that deserves multiple listenings.
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its leader Mr John Bakers (his vocalism is very interesting, being also...Read more