Friday, 15 November 2013


Band: Corky Laing and The Perfect Children

CD Title: “Playing God”

Band Website:
Label: VoicePrint/GonzoMultimedia
Release Date: 2012

The musical form known as the “Rock Opera” has been with us since the Who created Tommy. It is a form that fits well in the progressive rock world because it is first and foremost a concept work. With that I’d like to introduce Corky Laing and The Perfect Children performing original music from Test: The Rock Opera ‘Playing God’. Yeah I know it’s quite a handle but then so is the musical result. Laing, music fans will know was the drummer with Mountain. Here for this project he’s gone off to Finland and surrounded himself with a number of other musicians and vocalists and created something rather unusual. 

Playing God features a whopping 25 tracks none of which is much over 4-minutes, in fact most are less than 3-minutes. Some are just short bridge pieces. As with any concept work – everything hangs on the premise and here it’s about genetic engineering in an attempt to create the perfect human, hence the title Playing God. The extensive cast all take on different characters in the story, while the music is extremely varied. You’ll find blues based rockers to short mood-pieces designed to create atmosphere to propel the story along. In some ways I’m reminded of Judge Smiths recent Rock Opera – Orfeas, where the music in and of itself may not always fit into any kind of progressive rock genre but rather the sum of the parts makes the end listening result most certainly fit in. The album opens with the fanfare-ish “God’s March” [1:26] and is probably the closest an individual track comes to prog. That’s followed “Luke’s Blues” [2:20] a blues piece where one of the main characters is introduced. Next up is a waltz-tempo guitar piece that introduces more characters. And we’ve only just begun because the next piece is a kind of surf-guitar tune called “Perfect Boy” [2:34]. It was at this point that I started to see/hear similarities in my head to the cult classic Paul Williams’ moviePhantom of the Paradise. It’s that kind of experience.             

I’m always a sucker for material like this. As I said, it’s not strictly progressive rock, but it certainly fits into the genre’s larger tent of styles. It’s good to see performers like Corky Laing still active in the industry and doing new things. Playing God is a disc that will appeal to fans of the artists or projects mentioned above as well as folks looking to see what happens when we start ‘playing God.’


Playing God
CD - £9.99

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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.