Cage — Secret Passage
(Musea FGBG-4785, 2008, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
There’s nothing new about a progressive rock band sounding a bit like classic Genesis, and unless you have a categorical dislike of bands that sound a bit like classic Genesis, Cage has a lot to offer. I will admit to a great love of that particular aspect of the early 70s and a hefty skepticism of bands that emulate the sound, not because I think the music is sacred but because such wonderful music is hard to do well. The musicians have to have the technical ability to play the parts, though to be honest, Hackett, Banks and company were not flashy virtuosos; their recordings stand out due to the quality of the writing and arranging, and that’s where most imitators and emulators fall short. A crummy song done in the style of Foxtrot is still a crummy song. When you start up Secret Passage, you know immediately where they’re coming from (aside from Italy): a massive love of Genesis. I just can’t imagine this music coming from any other background. Fortunately, they pull it off. The writing and arranging are of high caliber. And while the lead vocals have a slightly scratchy quality very much like the young Peter Gabriel, each of the players doesn’t sound like a slavish copyist. Sure, there are arpeggios on the keyboards, but the solos don’t really sound like Tony Banks; even more so with the guitar, which by itself is not especially Hackett-ish. All in all, this is a fine entry into the classic prog field.
Related artist(s): Cage
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