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.
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Random Acts of Happiness – It has been said that jazz is all about Swing. I’ll go along with that — as long as I get to define Swing my own way. Swing is more than just a particular rhythmic feel; Swing, to me, is... (2005) » Read more