Explorers Club

Raising the Mammoth

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AllMusic Review by

Once again, Trent Gardner has assembled a plethora of progressive rock musicians to produce an album under the heading of Explorer's Club. This time, the notable participants include drumming legend Terry Bozzio (UK, Frank Zappa, Bozzio Levin Stevens), bassist John Myung (Liquid Tension Experiment, Platypus, Dream Theater), Kerry Livgren (guitarist for Kansas), Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) and keyboardist Mark Robertson (Cairo). Marty Friedman (best known for his work as guitarist in Megadeth) also makes his presence known. Gardner brings both vocal and keyboard talents, along with his songwriting work, to the project. The vocalists rounding out the recording are Steve Walsh (Kansas) and James LaBrie (Dream Theater, Mullmuzzler). If the first album by Explorer's Club (Age of Impact) prompted comparisons to Yes' Close to the Edge, then this release would be Explorer's Club's Tales From Topographic Oceans. Much like that Yes album, this one is a meandering sort of work that although it contains some awesome passages, doesn't work so well as an overall piece. Although the album is divided into four sections, much like Topographic, Gardner considers it to be one piece, as Yes vocalist Jon Anderson envisioned their release. Among the things that work really well on the album are those aforementioned vocals, most notably Walsh's. The segments on which he sings are among the best of the disc. Some of the more coherent musical passages are quite impressive as well -- especially those that call to mind Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The album just doesn't gel all that well, though, and some segments leave the listener scratching their head just a bit.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 00:44 Amazon
2 00:37 Amazon
3 01:59 Amazon
4 01:56 Amazon
5 00:59 Amazon
6 00:59 Amazon
7 01:37 Amazon
8 00:47 Amazon
9 00:45 Amazon
10 00:37 Amazon
11 00:30 Amazon
12 01:37 Amazon
13 01:49 Amazon
14 03:27 Amazon
15 01:07 Amazon
16 01:08 Amazon
17 01:09 Amazon
18 01:59 Amazon
19 02:54 Amazon
20 00:36 Amazon
21 02:15 Amazon
22 00:28 Amazon
23 00:50 Amazon
24 00:28 Amazon
25 01:17 Amazon
26 03:02 Amazon
27 02:20 Amazon
28 00:47 Amazon
29 01:20 Amazon
30 00:32 Amazon
31 00:32 Amazon
32 00:36 Amazon
33 02:04 Amazon
34 00:23 Amazon
35 01:32 Amazon
36 01:44 Amazon
37 01:34 Amazon
38 01:21 Amazon
39 01:08 Amazon
40 01:41 Amazon
41 00:37 Amazon
42 01:05 Amazon
43 01:52 Amazon
44 02:25 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick