Exposé Online banner

IQ — Frequency
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 311, 2009, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2010-07-01

Frequency Cover art

Frequency is an important IQ album, since it’s the first time two new band members were on board since the early 90s. But rather than propel their sound forward, as they did with 1993’s Ever, this release finds IQ on mostly familiar ground. Despite the replacement of Martin Orford by Mark Westworth, the keyboards haven’t changed much, with that same blend of vintage sounds (Mellotron and analog synths) plus modern digital keyboards and sampling. Westworth does bring a few new tricks with him, though I sense his job was to provide continuity rather than shake things up. Drummer Andy Edwards likewise maintains a rock steady style that — along with bassist John Jowitt — gives the album a firm rhythmic foundation without drawing undo attention to itself. That leaves plenty of room for Mike Holmes’ evocative and dynamic guitar work and Peter Nicholl’s somewhat hoary singing and idiosyncratic lyrics. The seven tracks on Frequency — most long-ish and a couple breaking the 10 minute mark — will please IQ fans looking for more of what this band does well: create dramatic and stirring progressive rock with plenty of bite in the keys and guitar welded to Nicholl’s in-your-face vocals. To my ears there’s little new ground being broken, which is a shame for a band of this caliber, though given the lineup changes I’m content with the results. Plus the package includes a DVD featuring almost an entire concert shot in Holland in late 2007. It’s always enjoyable to watch IQ do their stuff live, and this production is no exception, as the band work through a set list largely drawn from 2004’s Dark Matter, with a few oldies mixed in and even a couple new songs. All in all there’s no reason fans shouldn’t add this one to their collections, though I’m hoping for better things next time.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): IQ

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Three Shanghai Bands – These three bands hail from Shanghai, a city known for avant-garde music, and they certainly fit that categorization; they share members, several of whom have also worked in other prominent Shanghai...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues