No Name — 20 Candles
(Musea FGBG 4824, 2009, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2011-06-01
No Name may be the only prog rock band from Luxembourg. They currently have four studio albums under their belt, their most recent being the creatively named 4 from 2006. 2008 marked the band’s 20th anniversary and to commemorate the occasion they went into the studio to re-record these 12 songs selected from their back catalog. No Name’s sound can be accurately described as vintage neo-prog a la early Marillion. Guitarist Yves di Prospero’s guitar has a satisfying metal crunch that helps energize the songs, and along with keyboard player Alex Rukavina, the front line does a good job laying down the core instrumental textures in the songs. There’s not much in the way of soloing from either though, and the lion’s share of the melodies come from singer Patrick Kiefer who reminds me of the singers from 80s pop bands like Ah-Hah. He’s got solid chops, though he rarely seems to care much about what he’s singing. Bassist Marc Muller and drummer Christian Sonntag are an adequate rhythm section though neither grooves very well, plus the drums sound like a wet cardboard box throughout. In fact, if I didn’t know better I’d assume this album was recorded in the 80s. Comparisons can be drawn to Mexican band Cast’s early albums so don’t expect much in the way of innovative prog, even by neo-prog standards. Still, this is a reasonably talented group and the potential is there for something interesting to happen. Just don’t expect it here.
Related artist(s): No Name / TNNE
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
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