Gift — Awake and Dreaming
(Cyclops CYCL-151, 2006, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2008-01-01The Gift are a fairly new British group targeting the more accessible side of the progressive spectrum. They have lots of analog keys and such, although many songs are just a singer and an acoustic guitar. The album is basically a song-based concept album that would go over big with the ROSfest gang. The rockier numbers remind me a bit of early Echolyn at times, maybe mostly because the vocalist can sound a bit like Ray Weston. It seems to be an anti-war concept. This kind of thing has real potential to become a melodramatic mess but the songwriting here is good and fairly understated and I don't find it too cheesy. One interesting bit in "Escalation" where he sings an anti-war line to the melody of the final couplet in the American national anthem. Solos and the like are pretty rare on this album, but based on the strong keyboard solo in "La Lune de Miel" I would conclude this was by choice, and that the band is playing to the concept instead of proving their chops. I haven't seen much of a splash for these guys yet, but if they keep at it I think they are going to make one fairly soon.
Related artist(s): The Gift
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
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more