Spock’s Beard was one of the few accessible prog bands that brought a reaction of, “wow, that’s really different!” I was a fan as soon as I heard The Light for the first time back in the 90s. When Neal Morse left the band after the Snow album, I unable to retain the same level of interest though it was still quality work. Now the Beard returns for mark 3, with new vocalist Ted Leonard (formerly of Enchant) and drummer Jimmy Keegan replacing Nick D’Virgilio. So far, I like what I hear. Many of the signature sounds remain, but there is a bit more of a sweeping, epic tone to the arrangements. Also kudos for offering 96k/24 bit audio on the Bandcamp site.
This is an obscure find submitted from the Recommend link above.
Started by Anthony Masington in 2005, Session 606 was a collection of acoustic demos waiting to see the light of day. In 2009 Anthony joined a band called Mours with drummer Josh Eppard of Coheed and Cambria and became a live guitarist for his hip-hop project Weerd Science. The 606 project came to with Josh Eppard on drums in early full band demos, and later in 2011 with drummer Bryan Mills. Session 606 pushes on in 2013 as a fully solo effort.
I do hear some Coheed and Cambria influences here, along with a modern sound tagged as “progrtonica” on the bandcamp site.
Tom Slatter is a brand new discovery for me, and I’m really liking it. I especially like the theatrical vocal style which is more and more rare these days. It’s hard to pull off well, so few bands even seem to try it these days. According to Tom Slatter’s bandcamp page, “Three Rows of Teeth contains songs about such hack, clichéd subjects as balloon eating evil birds, ravenous church-steeple monsters, fake séances and mechanical body parts.” Who can resist giving a listen to that??
My puzzling feelings about Big Big Train continue along same trend as the last few releases. I have a great deal of respect for what they do, but each one since The Underfal Yard connects with me a little less. I can’t really argue with those who call them one of the best prog bands today. I’d just like to see them evolve a bit more.
The Enid have always been a polarizing band, but everyone should try them out and decide where you fall. The band features orchestral music and classical vocals mixed with contemporary sounds and interesting dynamics. Invicta is The Enid’s 13th studio album, and the second of a planned trilogy, building upon musical motifs of 2010 predecessor, Journey’s End.
It should also be noted that The Enid are very marketing and Internet savvy, especially considering how long they’ve been around. Even before they took advantage of Internet sites like Bandcamp and SoundCloud, they pioneered some unique marketing experiments. In the early 80s, The Enid also became the first band to self-fund their recordings with contributions from fans in advance.
Here is a track from the first album of the proposed trilogy, Journey’s End: