Mindgames — International Daylight
(Musea FGBG 4490.AR, 2002, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2005-09-01Mindgames is yet another new neo-prog band from the Low Countries, Belgium in this case. This is their first full album, following a 1999 demo release (a new release is supposedly on the way). The lineup is the standard vox/gtr/bass/keys/drums and their sound is what I’d call retro-neo-prog, strongly recalling early Pendragon but also conjuring up Twelfth Night, early Marillion, Starcastle, and Kraan. In many places singer Bart Schram is a dead ringer for Nick Barrett. He’s perhaps the most noticeable and positive thing about the group since he delivers the lyrics with gusto and rallies the listener to his cause, much like Barrett. The songs are varied, ranging from the warm and acoustic “Beggars Breakfast” that clocks in at a mere 2:35 and swelling to the epic closer “Selling the Moon” that tips the scales at over 17 minutes. The arrangements are multifaceted with enough thematic twists and turns to keep the listener engaged. More importantly, steps have been taken to ensure that the vocal parts are well constructed and not just “the part between instrumentals.” The band is light in the rhythm section, though guitarist Rudy Vander Veken and keyboard player Tom Truyers ably pick up the slack. Truyers especially shines throughout with a lead synth sound much like Rick Wright’s and an all around solid command of his position. This is an album that has a lot going for it, as long as your tastes run toward traditional neo-prog. It will be interesting to see where Mindgames goes from here.
Related artist(s): Mindgames
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more
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
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
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