Dilemma — Imbroccata
(SI Music SI3068-2, 1995, CD)
Everon — Flood
(SI Music SI3062-2, 1995, CD)
Summer Indoors — Songs in the Key of H
(SI Music SI3072-2, 1995, CD)
Wings of Steel — Face the Truth
(SI Music SI3064-2, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01
These four releases represent the more commercial side of the SI sound, and while I'm happy to report on them, they do seem at a bit of a letdown compared to other more challenging and forward-looking releases on these pages. So keeping that in mind, we proceed.
Everon's second album picks up where their debut, Paradoxes, left off. A German four-piece that offers a radio-ready sound that operates in the peripheral shadow of Rush, with enough new ideas to keep their music relatively interesting. Their songs are solid and the playing is proficient, and as always with SI releases, the production is nothing short of top notch. An interesting side note is that the production is credited to none other than Grobschnitt drummer Eroc. In short, if one seeks the powerful side of Rush circa Signals, with perhaps a bit more of a symphonic touch, then definitely check this out.
Wings of Steel is another SI mainstay, with one earlier album to their credit. A three piece of guitar, bass+keys+vocals, and drums, their sound could be safely described as straight ahead stadium rock. If one is looking for a sound that recalls bands like early-80s Foreigner, the Police and Bad Company, then Face the Truth is the recipe.
Dilemma is a Dutch quintet also operating within a mid-80s sound, this time reminiscent of bands like Simple Minds, but with crunchier metallic guitars and atmospheric keyboard textures more to the fore. Most of the songs here seem squarely aimed at mainstream radio play, and while one can't fault the band for that, the essence of their sound has little to do with anything remotely progressive. 'Nuff said.
Lastly, there is Summer Indoors. This writer enjoyed their earlier release, There's Orangie, and this latest one proves to be every bit as interesting. A good point of reference might be The Outfield (remember them?), with some other equally varied influences (Floyd, grunge, Rush, Genesis). What sets this band apart is that they don't wear their influences on their sleeve, and while they are clearly a mainstream band, they're not overly commercial. Nor do they try and use pompous keyboard choruses and heavy atmospheric intros to fool anybody into thinking they are prog. No disguises here, just honest rock.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Bill Bruford with Ralph Towner and Eddie Gomez - If Summer Had Its Ghosts – When Bill Bruford is on break from his drum duties with King Crimson, what would you expect him to do? Should he go on vacation or work in another less hectic, but rewarding mode? If Summer Had Its... (1998) » Read more