Exposé Online banner

Grey Lady Down — Forces
(Cyclops CYCL 020, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01

Forces Cover art

This is the second album for this British five-piece with a dedicated lead vocalist, whose style is firmly in the neo-progressive camp of bands like IQ and others who drive their sound with brite and happy keyboard melodies, with plenty of allusions to Collins era Genesis. If this is the kind of music that suits, then Grey Lady Down does it exceptionally well. There is enough moodiness / broodiness in their overall style, as well as pure instrumental chops to keep their music engaging and balanced. Singer Martin Wilson is your typical Gabrielfish, swimming in a sea of too many lyrics, yet the band supports him skillfully, offering a variety of rhythmic structures to keep his vocals interesting over the long haul. But where the band really shines is in their instrumental passages, where the musicians have sufficient room to stretch out without the confining presence of the vocals. Here they offer a level of musicianship and originality to rival the best of the neo bands. Of special note are the spirited guitar solos that frequently pop up from the dense blanket of omnipresent keyboards. There are a couple of banal and irritating pop tracks ("The Nail" and "I Believe") that interrupt the otherwise enjoyable program (why don't bands relegate this kind of annoying claptrap to singles and save the albums for respectable music?), but overall, this is a worthwhile release that should be of interest to many.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 10, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Grey Lady Down

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mao Dou + Lu Chen - A Hippo Wildly Grinds Its Teeth Bankside – This elaborate package from the Shanghai underground would be worthy of a stateside release on Beta-lactam Ring. Seems perfect: one-of-a-kind presentation, cryptic artwork, bizarre music (and other...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues