BRUCE MAIN: Home
Bruce Main has just released his fourth solo CD titled SWIMMING IN THE PIXEL SEA! Coming after a longer than usual hiatus following TRACKS (2004), LAYERS (2005) and ELEMENTS (2006) this CD tells a story of withdrawl from the physical world and immersion in the cyber world.
While PIXEL SEA continues in the classic progressive rock style of his previous releases, the extra time was well spent in crafting a libretto that touches many of us where we live. It explores the line between the "real" world and the computer life where we now spend so much of our time. Bruce is joined once again by Brian Phraner and Mark Phraner and as usual the production values are first rate and the music is lyrically and stylistically unique and challenging. But most of all it is thought provoking. Dive in!
The press says:
Another strong track is Drowning In The Pixel Sea, in which Main’s lyrics take a sarcastic jab at social media. A slow-core tempo evokes Circa and then things pick up with some progressively flavoured organ elements from Main. The rhythm, although slow, is fortified along by driving bass from Brian Phraner. Sizzling guitar from Main along with harmony vocals from Main and Mark Phraner complete the icing on this progressive cake.
Jim Corcoran, DPRP
The album is not purely based on a melodic view upon progressive rock. In fact there are parts where atonal vocals and some dissonant keys and guitar tones emerge and challenge the listener. Not in an aggressive way, but in way that could have been used by the Cardiacs, for instance. This is the case of Second Life, for instance. While I have noted above the most obvious part where this approach is used, it is pretty scattered throughout the album, sometimes well mixed with the mellower parts. This ends up resulting in a body of work that is not completely accessible at first listen, and makes the target listeners to oscillate from the purely symphonic lovers into the ones that like more experimental stuff, or even those who enjoy some pseudo-psychedelia in their music. In the end, it is this mix that enriches the album and makes the listener come back to it, driven by the necessity to better understand what is going on here.
As with Bruce Main’s previous releases, you hear bits of Camel, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Guy Manning and Wilton Said on Swimming In The Pixel Sea. It takes several listens before you can grasp the concept and the music. Once you did, you wonder where this music has been and why you overlooked it for this long. I recommend this to the fans of the aforementioned bands as well as melodic progressive rock.
Ron Fuchs, Prognaut.com
.....they are solid pieces that lead you into the meat and potatoes in which the three impressive middle tracks reside, making this album a must buy. The first- `Feel the Rain,' is a sad ballad about a farmer's fields drying up until it does rain. Yet it still comes through as a strikingly beautiful song with excellent piano by Bruce Jones and Hackett-esque trappings by Mr. Main. This simple, yet gorgeous song leads the listener into the more proggie tunes.
My favorite track showcases Bruce's sense of humor, about a scary subject- global warming. Entitled `Arctic Toast,' the track is the quirkiest and is almost annoyingly too ear-catching. This is tongue and cheek melodic prog at it's finest.
After a fine track called `Things of Earth,' with solid vocals and some nice bass clarinet, the longest track- the 14 plus minute `Red Flags.' Excellent performances and some nice tempo and style changes within the composition. The melodies grow on you.
Being a newbie to Bruce Main's background, I was unaware of his engineering savvy and hence was pleasantly surprised by the excellent production on `Elements.' Reccomended!
Rated 8.7/10 (and higher if like the- light Prog/singer-songwriter genre.
Lee Gaskins, Progrock.homestead.com
While I’ve enjoyed each of the releases, Elements is my favorite so far. Elements gets a high recommendation from me and deserves to be in every symphonic progressive rock fan’s collection.
Ron Fuchs, ProgNaut.com
And what did the critics say about LAYERS, you ask?
"Layers’ to me is one of the better releases of 2005 and with proper exposure, should be on a few people’s “best of” lists at the end of the year."
Ron Fuchs, ProgNaut.com
"Layers is one of those albums which grows on you the more you listen to it. It has many textures but like a good horror film or indeed, comedy, it also has a mouth-watering dark side which can be both or either funny or scary (it's a personal thing) - just like life. Recommended."
Jem Jedrzejewski, The Hairless Heart Herald
"The guitar in “Celebrity Circus” recalls David Gilmour’s aggressive fretwork in “Empty Spaces”. In fact, the whole theme and atmosphere remind us here of Pink Floyd’s legendary “The Wall”. The historical epos “Gwendolyn” develops in a smooth Camel/Jethro Tull vein, especially when the flute comes in."