CD REVIEW: Rog and Glenn - Martians
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist/Band: Ron & Glenn
Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Punk
Weakness: A few winded songs, Vocals and Songwriting
In music, breaking rules and challenging conventional wisdom are often deliberate efforts to establish a marketing niche, but for Rog & Glenn they’re a natural state of being. The duo’s January 2013 release, Close The Club, garnered rave reviews from indie music critics with long attention spans but violated the modern requirement that pop and rock music provide instant gratification – a violation for which Rog & Glenn were unapologetic. With their new release, Martians, the two have moved away from the progressive rock pacing of their previous effort, producing 12 tracks that more closely resemble pop songs in terms of length and musical form, but this is not to say the music is conventional.
The CD quickly takes to flight with jumpy intro piece “The Martians.’ This song serves up infectious musical ambience against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic keyboards and driving rock rhythm that gently leads you by the hand down the path of trippy musical indulgence. Track 2 “Epic Action” Shifts gears a bit with its methodical intro, trippy electronica groove, impressive ambient touches and accents painted against a grand mosaic of soundscapes. The striking vocals on this piece brilliantly move like an ocean across the ears. Track 3 “Santa Claus is Mr. Petrey” is an impressive electro-earthy-jazz piece that is quite dynamic, full of musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This piece is remarkably soothing to the ears with its Fusionist Alternative Jazzy-Rock touch and hypnotic groove. The lyrics will have you rolling in the isle. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Gorillaz, Beck, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. David Byrne, and Shawn Mullins, however I can even hear brief flashes of Supertramp, Death Cab for Cutie and The Flaming Lips. I would classify this music as trippy Singer/Songwriter, Punk, Alternative Rock with an Indie College Rock flair. I can also hear experimental music with classic remnants of Dub, Alternative Rock, and even Chill. The CD presents brilliant flashes of theatrical ambience and artistic perspective. You will also notice rich layers of ambient instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamic sequencing, melodic soundscapes, sporadic percussion, rhythm guitar, piano, solo guitar, lush harmonies, keyboards, organs, low end beats, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies. Rog and Glenn showcase impressive yet zany singing and songwriting skills throughout. Their musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board as this dynamic duo clearly has proven himself with this release. All production aspects check out. CD possess solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. From striking “Wish I Could-Spiraling Sunrises” and Special Report” to grooving “Might Nip a Little” to dynamic “Mr. Greene” to heartfelt “Without Gravity” to melodic “Sixth Man” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 13 “The Martians (Radio Edit) the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
Many pieces are winded presenting excessive musical meandering. It’s fair to say some songs have excessive intros, outros, solo segments. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Some aspects of the vocal performances and songwriting are a bit amateurish and off kilter. Lyrically some songs fail to grab the listener. I even detected a few slight timing issues here and there.
Rog and Glenn’s latest CD entitled "Martians” is a zany, fun, compelling musical journey. This dynamic duo is making waves for themselves for a reason. Its strong suit is it’s amazing sonic ambience and song for song musical flow. Rog and Glenn get high marks from me for their zany ,carefree vibe - nice touch. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing trippy musical experience to fill their atmosphere. This progressive somewhat trippy musical format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you. So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with sonic ambience, theatrical brilliance and a psychedelic rock aftertaste, then I highly recommend you take a listen to Rog and Glenn’s latest CD entitled “Martians.”