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.

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.





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.





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!

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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Coming up: November Releases

SiloNoah’s Lark (progressive rock/math rock)

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

Noise Trail ImmersionWomb (progressive mathcore)

StrobesBrokespeak (progressive/math rock/electronica/jazz)


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)


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

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

HieroglyphOuroboros (progressive symphonic death metal)

MaschineNaturalis (progressive symphonic rock)

Protest the HeroPacific Myth (progressive metal)

A Sense of GravityAtrament (progressive death metal/metalcore)


OniIronshore (progressive death metal/djent)

Animals as Leaders’ The Brain Dance Is the Real Mestís 2.0

Animals as Leaders recently released The Brain Dance as a single for their upcoming album, The Madness of Many, due November 11th. It’s not really what you’d expect from an AaL song, as it’s centered around an acoustic guitar lick. There’s no information as of now on who is actually playing that part, but my guess would be Javier Reyes. Why? Well, in 2012, he released a solo EP under the Mestís moniker. ‘Basal Ganglia was exploring the merger of djent with Latin music and flamenco. Most of the songs on the album were played on an 8-string electric guitar, but would’ve been just as fine played on a classical guitar just like this one, which Javier recently acquired.- ‘Basal Ganglia

Basal Ganglia was great, emotional, and I think succeeded in approaching djent music from a different angle. Unfortunately, this seems to have been lost for their debut album, Polysemy, which came out late last year. It’s a really good album, but it has lost the charm that made songs like Te mato and Luz y cielo memorable.

Now, with AaL‘s new single, there’s hope that we will see a proper spiritual successor to Basal Ganglia. Since The Brain Dance is the only song available, we can only speculate. Chances are the whole album will be axed towards electric guitar, as the band’s previous albums were, but there’s a glimmer of hope. We can dream!

If You Haven’t Heard Oathbreaker Yet, Please Do So Now

The band, from Belgium, has been making hardcore music since 2008, and allegedly got better with every album. Rheia, which is due on September 30th, is their third release. From this music video for ’10:56/Second Son of R.’, you can see the band’s frontwoman in a strange and eerie a capella piece in the beginning, until all hell breaks loose and the post-hardcore blast beats – which is almost just like a black metal section, in fact – hit in. Their sound isn’t too far from Sweden’s No Omega band, which I adore.

What does this do on Prog Talk? This is an example of poignant and quality progressive post-hardcore. I suggest you familiarize yourself with Oathbreaker as soon as possible, while we patiently wait for the official release of Rheia. Meanwhile, you can stream the entire album on Noisey.

Review: 1974 – The Lazer Trilogy

1974 is a progressive classic rock band from the state of Connecticut, in the USA. In 2011, they released their first album, 1974 & the Battle for the Lazer Fortress, which served as the first chapter of what would become the Lazer trilogy. Their debut was followed by two extended plays in 2012, The Return and A Soldier’s Tale, which, although being conceptual themselves, didn’t continue the initial storyline. In 2013, 1974 & the Death of the Herald is released and carries the story through another chapter until, three years later, 1974 & the Echoes of War puts an end to the book with this final installment. Today, I want to write a short review of the three-album suite from 1974, and present you a criminally unknown band.
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The Astonishing Prog Opera That Could Have Been

On January 29th, Dream Theater released their thirteenth studio album: a two-disc “rock opera” simply named The Astonishing. Amongst a mixed reception at first, the band’s second ever concept album received generally favourable reviews, but nowhere near their more acclaimed releases, such as Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes from a Memory, Images and Words, and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Recently, the band shared an updated version of the song “Our New World”, with Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale. Now, why would Dream Theater create a new version of their song more than seven months after its release, and what does it say about The Astonishing? Continue reading

Listen to Victor Wooten’s Prog Metal Band, Octavision

Octavision just shared their first single, Three Lives, on Youtube. Octavision is the band in which the acclaimed and legendary funk and jazz bassist Victor Wooten takes part. Besides him are Steve Weingard, a jazz keyboard player known for his time with Dave Weckl, Roman Lomtadze, a progressive rock and metal drummer, Ara Torosyan, a keyboardist and music producer, and Hovak Alaverdyan, guitarist and main writer for the band. Continue reading