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.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more