Huis — Despite Guardian Angels
(Unicorn Digital UNCR5088, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-06-13Huis brings to mind once again the question of "originality" as a virtue in music. I put the word in quotes because, while it may seem to be an ordinary word with a meaning that's understood, in this context at least there are several interpretations. In the sense that no one has ever put these notes together with these words, Despite Guardian Angels is original; stylistically... not so much. Huis is solidly in the classic prog camp, leaning towards neo-prog. You'll hear bits reminiscent of Genesis, Camel, and any number of the later generation like Marillion and IQ. But stylistic innovation isn't required for enjoyment, and it's better to judge the band on the other merits of their work. They are skilled players, and the music has both intellectual and emotional appeal. Singer Sylvain Descôteaux in particular gets high marks, with a warm and attractive voice. Keyboards, both vintage and modern, dominate, with solid contributions on guitar and in the rhythm section. There are quiet meditative passages providing room to breathe in between the louder numbers, and a good sense of flow and dynamics throughout. With my general preference toward the avant side of prog, melodic bands like Huis have an uphill battle to win me over, and while my initial impression was not so positive, they won me over in the end. In the future I hope they move beyond the occasional overtly Genesis-like sounds, but this is an excellent start, and deserves a place with fans of this side of the prog spectrum.
Related artist(s): Huis
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more