Joseph's Hammer Childhood's End

To initiate a career in music at the age of 38 might seem a little late, but that hasn't stopped British Columbia's Foster Hall from starting to record under the name Joseph's Hammer. Childhood's End (subtitled "Songs From Youth's Graveyard") is his debut recording, and as debuts go, it isn't without some promise. But there are songs on here that conceal that promise and hide it under epic guitar workouts that owe a huge debt to early Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. However, it is those longer songs (such as "This Earthly Grind's OK" and "I'll See You Around") that are so firmly rooted in progressive rock that can make Childhood's End a tough listen. If Hall could focus on producing more of the album's stronger songs, like "You" and "I Could Never," where melody comes first, the follow-up might be a more successful venture. (Rebel Son)