Titles are arranged alphabetically.
Hurry Hurry are so called not because they’re in a rush or like Rush but because they are two Australian brothers, Wayne and Rob Hurry. They first released Life (2010, 73-minutes) themselves as a CD-R, but this is the Musea CD edition. Life blends melodic/upbeat electronic music and symphonic rock like a combination of Mike Oldfield, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Gandalf, and Jade Warrior. Most of the sounds are from synths, with sampled drums/percussion and some electric guitar. The album plays as one continuous piece with female narration tying the tracks together. Since ‘new age’ became a marketing term back in the 1980s, there have been enough bland or amateurish works in this style to make listeners wary, but Life is exceptional. Read the Background Magazine review.
Sebastian Hardie was the top Australian symphonic prog band, recommended to fans of Yes, Camel, and Mike Oldfield. Their first album Four Moments (1975) is their classic, with Windchase (1976) close behind. The album Symphinity (1977) released under the band name Windchase is for all intents and purposes the third Sebastian Hardie album.
This is the 2006 debut by a modern-sounding prog rock quartet from Tasmania (Australia). They have some similarities to Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, but their style probably comes closest to Spock’s Beard, more the song-oriented side rather than the technical or flashy side of the Beard. There are some great pop hooks embedded in these tracks, and the occasional metal and grunge guitar is more than offset by richly-textured symphonic passages and open, acoustic guitar-driven songs. Read the DPRP review.
Subtitled A selection of songs that inspire Unitopia, Covered Mirror Vol 1: Smooth as Silk (2012, digipack) is Unitopia covering other artists. There is a Genesis medley, a Yes medley, and songs by Marillion, Supertramp, Klaatu, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons Project, Icehouse, The Flower Kings, Led Zeppelin, Korgis, and John Lennon. A lot of covers albums are ho-hum affairs, but this one is special. Read the Sea of Tranquility reviews.
Unitopia released the DVD and companion double-CD One Night in Europe to document their live show at The Boerderij in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands in October 2010. The concert runs 122 minutes, and all the important Unitopia songs are played. (We sold out of the DVD.)
The Garden (2008) is a double-CD, the second release by Australian progressive rock band Unitopia following a 2005 debut. We felt all along that Unitopia’s first album More Than a Dream was unjustly overlooked, and The Garden remedied that, as it is a really fine melodic prog album. Unitopia’s greatest strength is their vocals, which are well ahead of the average progressive rock band, both the lead vocals and the vocal harmonies. Singer Mark Trueack sounds like Peter Gabriel when he sings in his lower register, and like the guy from Men at Work at other times.
Artificial (2010) elevates Unitopia to the top tier of the current generation of melodic prog bands. Read the DPRP reviews, which will tell you everything you need to know and then some.