Simon Says — Ceinwen
(BGR 02.1995.01 RM, 1995, CD)
by Mike Grimes, Published 1996-03-01
The rumors are true. It has now been mathematically proven that every person in Sweden does, in fact, own a Mellotron. They all bought them about ten to fifteen years ago from Americans who couldn't give them away in their own country. Simon Says taunts a second time those who gave up on this fine instrument. Their sound is a quirky combination of many styles that somehow manages to fit together quite snugly. They could be described as The Moody Blues meets Änglagård meets Devo and they all get in this big fight. They display the same dynamical acrobatics that have wowed Änglagård fans. The happy, strummy acoustic guitars and flute in many of the tunes recall the Moodies. The combination of those two isn't all that odd. Several bands could fit that description. But wait, there's more... Throw in the bass synthesizer, sample-and-hold filter sweep, and portamento gliding synths of the fathers of new wave – Devo. Simon Says is all that. Some songs clearly show off the band's older influences. "A Bedtime Story" is an epic song a la "Supper's Ready" or "The Battle of Epping Forest" – complete with a full cast of characters. The opening of "Pilgrim's Progress" is strikingly similar to the famous ELP "Karn Evil 9" sequence. One wouldn't necessarily expect that a wavy, moving monophonic synth line would sound good over acoustic guitars, but Simon Says somehow pulls it off, and it sounds great. The best track on the album is probably "Kadazan," which was cowritten with Kenneth Magnusson of The Moor. It combines all the best aspects of the band in one song. Simon Says manages to incorporate humor into lyrics with bleak messages while creating a novel sound underneath. This band is on the right track.
Related artist(s): Simon Says
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more