Justice Cow: Bent Knee’s Little-Known Clumsy Sister

Boston prog rockers Bent Knee keep making waves by releasing success after success, the latest of which is their 2017 album Land Animal, which we unanimously praised. However, the band’s bassist and singer, Jessica Kion, along with bandmates Ben Levin and Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth, tap into comedic gold on their side-project Justice Cow.

This seems to have started as the Youtube channel of Jessica by herself, as early as 2012, with the song “Let Me Be the One”. Shortly thereafter, the channel was also host to her deadpan humour with the video “How to Get Gum Out of Your Hair in 30 Seconds”. The comedic side of Justice “Jessica” Cow seems to then take over the musical side of the project, with more humour videos than music ones. To me, the apex is reached in late 2013, with three great videos in a row: the song “A Cautionary Tale”, which is great but unfortunately is on none of their releases, the false tutorial “How to Get a Boy to Like You on the First Date”, and the gloriously absurd “Wu-Tang Dance Contest”.

The channel continues on with various comical videos and songs that are rather consistently good, although more simple than what Bent Knee is known for, and the latest video on record is for the song “Elephant Man“, which was posted almost two years ago. This song features some intricate and impressive interplay between the guitar and the keyboard, but I don’t think it’s one of their best.

The project has, through the years, released three albums that are available on bandcamp. If you can never get enough of Bent Knee – just as you should –, I suggest you take a glance at Justice Cow. It’s not as grandiose and bombastic as Bent Knee, but it’s funny, charming, and they play some very good rock that’s more in the indie, folk, and alternative vein.

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Album Review: The Dystopian Project – Paradigm

Back in 2015, Irish-based progressive rock band The Dystopian Project released their debut album, Death Leaves an Echo. I had mixed feelings about it… It was promising, but failed to grasp my interest and illuminate my imagination with a firm hand and a brilliant light. Two years later, almost day for day, Dublin’s quintet comes back with Paradigm, their sophomore album. Will they succeed or will this be their second strike?

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In Honour of Fathers, Here Are Our Favourite Dad Prog Anthems

What better, thought I, than to celebrate our fathers, and those among us who father, than to share some of the best ‘dad prog’ out there. As you may know, I have quite a history of opposing that rather subjective subgenre, but, despite all its cheesiness and retrogressive flaws, I do have a soft spot for some songs. A few indeed are able of breaching the shell and reach my hard, cold heart and warm it ever so slightly.

Father’s Day is usually celebrated on the third Sunday of June, but many countries digress. But since I’m in a country that’s part of the majority, I’m writing this today, in honour of the fathers who are there for their children, for the fathers who aren’t, and for the fathers who have been there. I’ve gathered the opinions of the other admins of the page as well, so here’s a list of some good dad prog.


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Neal Morse – Cradle to the Grave (One)

This duet with Neal Morse is the emotional tale of a father and his child, and though it’s simple, cliché, and not inventive the slightest, it’s effective, and struck a chord with me. I hope it does with you as well. The album, and whole Neal Morse solo project, is very Christian and preaching, but some of his compositions manage to get us through it all.

The Tangent – A Crisis in Mid-Life (Not as Good as the Book)

This whole (double-)album is just the pinnacle of dad prog. On one side, it’s a concept album about a midlife crisis – you could hardly get more dad than that -, but on the other side, the music is really inspired, progressive, and interesting Canterbury-style progressive rock. It deals lyrically with some subjects that are difficult to get right, as they can sound fake, edgy, or cliché, but on this album they have all ben executed to near perfection. Even the mini-novel that comes with the physical edition of the disc is an emotional tale of nostalgia and futurism centred around progressive rock that manages to work.


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Crucis – Recluso artista (Crucis)

Crucis are one of Argentina’s most iconic prog bands. Although some obvious influences like Yes and Genesis, and even Jethro Tull are notorious, they still hold that special sound and style that made our national progressive rock stand out. Their balance between complex arrangements, technical passages, and catchy melodies and good jams, are sure to make you sing along to it!


Happy Father’s Day!

Let Me Make It Clear: Nova Collective Is Good, but Nothing New

The new prog supergroup Nova Collective, encompassing the bands Between the Buried and Me, Haken, Cynic, and Trioscapes, is soon releasing The Further Side. They play some damning good tunes, as demonstrated in the video above, and in the other ones that they’ve published, but everyone calling their music ‘new’, ‘pushing boundaries’, or ‘next level’ is only putting their musical illiteracy in broad daylight. Here’s why, in a relatively short rant. Continue reading

Single Review: The Tangent – A Few Steps down the Wrong Road

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The Tangent is one of my favourite progressive rock groups, or, in this case, supergroup. Admittedly, their delivery is far from being consistent, and ranges from the tremendous Not as Good as the Book (2008) and Le sacre du travail (2013) to the very lacklustre Comm (2011) and A Spark in the Aether (2015). So, it’s always a case of cautious excitement whenever Andy Tillison’s Canterbury-inspired prog rock outfit announces something new. Here comes ‘A Few Steps down the Wrong Road’, a 19-minute epic that was released in August of last year, in anticipation of the band’s upcoming album, The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery. Continue reading

Frog’s Top Ew of the Year

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There are countless websites posting their ‘best-of-the-year’ lists. Much fewer, in comparison, write about the worst releases. And, since I’m apparently now well-known for having a passionate love for the prog – which means I’ll immediately repugnate bands and artists who make poor prog -, I thought this would be quite fitting for me.

Let’s establish some standards, before we begin. First, of course I won’t be discussing the absolute worst releases of the year. That would mean listening to an innumerable number of practically unknown bands and garbage with practically no resource, talent, and inspiration. I’ll be focusing my sights on the progressive rock and metal genres, with a particular attention to the bigger names of the scenes. Why? Because, as renowned artists, they have to live up to higher expectations. Whether this is good or bad will not be discussed, here, but it’s a fact. Failure to do so will summon a strong divide in their fan base: on one side, the fanboys and fangirls of the band, and, on the other side, the reasonable persons. Continue reading

Roundabout: Unexpect – Fables of the Sleepless Empire

Unexpect is a band that’s gone longer than most imagine. The Montreal progressive death metal formation started out in 1996, three years before releasing their debut, Utopia. This album sounds like a totally different band, with its melodic death metal and black metal influences. After a few lineup changes, including the apparition of singer Leilindel and bassist Chaoth, the band released _wE, Invaders, an EP that foretells their now-famous avant-garde death metal style.

In a Flesh Aquarium was their breakthrough album, and Unexpect then saw global popularity and were now a widely acclaimed band. Five years later, Fables of the Sleepless Empire came out and would prove to be the band’s final album, after deciding to pull the plug on the project in 2015.

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Roundabout: The Neal Morse Band – The Similitude of a Dream

Neal Morse has an extensive and respectable history, in progressive rock. His first album was Spock’s Beard’s The Light, out in 1995. After many other albums, he also went as a solo artist (1999), founded Transatlantic (2000), Morse Portnoy George (2006), Flying Colors (2012), and, most recently, The Neal Morse Band (2015). In total, he’s now behind 25 studio albums (and that’s without counting his worship and exclusive albums). His progressive rock compositions, especially after leaving Spock’s Beard, have a very characteristic sound to them, recognizable among many.

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Coming up: November Releases

1
SiloNoah’s Lark (progressive rock/math rock)


4
Burial in the SkyPersistence of Thought (progressive/technical death metal)

Noise Trail ImmersionWomb (progressive mathcore)

StrobesBrokespeak (progressive/math rock/electronica/jazz)


11

Animals as LeadersThe Madness of Many (progressive/technical metal/djent)

The Neal Morse BandThe Similitude of a Dream (progressive rock/metal)

SaorGuardians (progressive/atmospheric black metal)


12

TroikaMy Brain Is a Receiver (progressive/post-rock)


16
Second to SunBlackbound (progressive metal/djent/black metal)


18
HieroglyphOuroboros (progressive symphonic death metal)

MaschineNaturalis (progressive symphonic rock)

Protest the HeroPacific Myth (progressive metal)

A Sense of GravityAtrament (progressive death metal/metalcore)


25

OniIronshore (progressive death metal/djent)