Exposé Online banner

IQ — The Road of Bones
(Giant Electric Pea GEPCD2046, 2014, 2CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2014-08-12

The Road of Bones Cover artBritish neo-prog veterans IQ have seen numerous lineup changes over the past several years. Since 2009’s Frequency, original drummer Paul Cook has returned, longtime bassist John Jowitt has handed his job back to Tim Esau, the guy he replaced (Esau’s work on the early albums was always superb), and keyboards are now in the capable hands of Neil Durant (ex-Sphere). Got all that? Some bands thrive under such circumstances, and while it hasn’t motivated them to work any more quickly (their last three releases have each been spaced five years apart) it hasn’t altered the recorded product much. The same formula of dynamic, heady, and powerfully melodic prog that has been part of the IQ musical brand going back to the early 80s is still on display here. Several versions of the album are available, including single and double disk, plus a deluxe box set that includes a third CD of outtakes and other goodies. Whichever version you get, the musical experience is largely the same. IQ have been guilty of regurgitating the “Supper’s Ready” formula for epics on almost every album (“Without Walls” in this case), though there’s also plenty of fresh ideas and hooks to keep things interesting. Their ongoing partnership with engineer Rob Aubrey means it all sounds great, and guitarist Mike Holmes’ production chops have yet again resulted in songs blessed with wide sonic range, power, and clarity. Singer Peter Nicholls has turned in his usual set of evocative though opaque lyrics, and even though his voice is beginning to mellow into something resembling Tim Bowness he can still reach into dark corners of the subconscious with ease. Some bands prefer consistency with minor tinkering around the edges to constant reinvention. It’s been IQ’s modus operandi for years, and hopefully they’ll be back no later than 2019.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): IQ

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

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

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

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

Previously in Exposé...

French TV - Virtue in Futility – Four years in the making, and no less than seven years after the second album, this latest offering by Louisville's French TV is certainly worth the wait. One unanswered question is why it took...  (1994) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues