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Chameleon (TX) - 2013 Rising



ARTIST: Chameleon (TX)
ALBUM: Rising
LABEL: Shroom Angel Records
SERIAL: SR-CD0002
YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Craig Gysler - keyboards, vocals * Spencer Clark - guitars, vocals * Rick Huey - bass, vocals * Mike Huey - drums (1972-1978) * Marty Naul - drums (1978-1981)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Texas Cyclone * 02 Follow Your Love (Paradise Lost) * 03 Pilot Thoughts * 04 Brave New Way * 05 Drool Away * 06 Pass Thru The Columbian Mountains * 07 Everyday Everyway * 08 Milkwood Forest * 09 In The Heart * 10 Saturate * 11 Midnight Matinee * 12 Life Positions * 13 In My Own Way

RATING:


Background
A few months back, I alerted everyone here as to the reissue of Texan progsters Chameleon on the Shroom Angel Records label. This lot should not be confused with the Minneapolis based pompsters who appeared a decade later. I won't regurgitate everything that has been posted in our Forums on this band, instead I'll point people to the original threads which have been created. Suffice to say, our connection to Chameleon is Ozz Knozz drummer Marty Naul, who appeared with the band in their latter years (1978-1981). Much like fellow Texan prog and pomp kings Hobbit, there is a lot of material that has been factored onto 'Rising', and if you're into that early period of prog with heavy influences from Britain, then this CD is for you.


The Songs
The tracks are numerous (thirteen), eight of them are well over 5 minutes, while the run time is 80 minutes in total. A progsters dream! Keyboardist Craig Gysler is all over this like an octopus, with tight intricate keyboard and organ parts. You can hear snippets from Yes, early Genesis, Starcastle, ELP, Greenslade and many others. Their Chameleon era didn't really kick off until 1975, they were previously called Lorien when Gysler joined them in 1970, but the Houston based quartet played with many other local luminaries, not all of them prog based I might add.

'Texas Cyclone' features an organ motif that stays true through the 9 minute run-time. Despite all the references to British bands, we shouldn't ignore the fact that Chameleon were trail-blazing the Ameri-prog scene, though followers of this genre outside of Texas would've been none the wiser. So too the cascading synth on 'Follow Your Love (Paradise Lost)' which is shorter, commercial even.. I really liked this song, because it's brash, punchy, the stand-out being Rick Huey's hard-driving bass. If it was recorded ten years later, it could very well be John Blanco and SPYS!! There are some change-up moments. For instance: the hard acoustic of 'Drool Away' and the short, sweet and acoustic tapestry of 'In My Own Way'. '1976' evokes thoughts of Yes, while 'Midnight Matinee' proves to be a workout on many levels.


In Summary
'Rising' is a great 'down-memory-lane' look at the Texan prog scene during the 70's. I'm sure there are many Houston residents that remember the band fondly, and would be quite surprised that most of their songs have been lovingly restored to the digital realm. A big kudos to Shroom Angel Records for the reissue, may there be more long-lost relics yet to be rediscovered!


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Comments
#1 | DEMONAOR on July 31 2014 16:44:16
Good album.
 
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