A progressive rock band, with a singing drummer and two guys who double-up on guitar and bass duties – now where have we heard that before? Throw in the fact that said vocalising percussionist is Simon Collins, son of Phil and it looks like a definite case of history repeating itself, which for fans of Genesis and prog rock in general is surely no bad thing. Check out the trailer for Sound of Contact‘s forthcoming debut below:
Bit of a teaser this one – there’s not enough actual music on which to extrapolate any sense of how the album as a whole might sound, or how good it might be. I’m looking forward to hearing more, though; preferably a whole song in preference to short clips, bearing in mind how stung I felt after purchasing DeeExpus‘ last album on the strength of the trailer. Admit to being slightly troubled by reference to ‘…a deep concept album about a dimensional time and space traveler making wild discoveries on a trek to expand the boundaries of the human experience…’ (see below). As much as I’m a fan of the musical, technical and dramatic innovation that characterized much early prog; I’ll cheerfully admit there was much that was pretentious, wilfully obscure and downright cringeworthy: the best use of dramatic devices serve to enhance, not detract from the music. Mind you, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is probably my favourite Genesis record, so we’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt for now. And did you clock the cheeky Echoes lift at 2.25, prog hounds?
From the press release:
‘December 12, 2012, Lightyears Music and Sonic Reality are proud to announce a new progressive rock band project, Sound of Contact. The brainchild of Simon Collins, Dave Kerzner, Kelly Nordstrom and Matt Dorsey, Sound of Contact have created a sound all their own while paying homage to the greats of Classic Prog Rock and Electronica. With a forthcoming concept album entitled “Dimensionaut”, producers Simon Collins and Dave Kerzner and mixing engineer Nick Davis (Genesis, XTC, Marillion) unleash a collection of truly atmospheric science fiction-inspired space rock!
…With their debut album “Dimensionaut”, they hit the ground running with a deep concept album about a dimensional time and space traveler making wild discoveries on a trek to expand the boundaries of the human experience. The album features a wide range of styles and dynamics from dark and mysterious progressive rock to nostalgic classic rock to high energy alternative to sci-fi film score-infused “space rock”. With a plethora of atmospheric instrumental segues, melodic radio-friendly vocal tracks and an 18+ minute long epic grand finale, “Dimensionaut” will offer a refreshing balance of adventurous musical styles and aims to bring back the art of the concept album to a new generation of listeners.’
It’s not the first time the influence of Collins Snr has surfaced in his work – check out this cover of Keep It Dark from Genesis‘ Abacab album (1981). Whilst I don’t think it’s a patch on the original – the arrangement’s too busy, it’s overproduced – I do like it; and am I alone in hearing similarities to Gem Godfrey‘s Frost* project? It certainly demonstrate how well-written material never ages – Genesis were always amongst the strongest songwriters from the early crop of Symphonic prog rockers – and that Collins bears a remarkable resemblance to his dad in the vocal department as well as looks.
Speaking of Genesis covers, and by way of a wee little bonus, here’s Brazilian Symphonic rockers Hydria‘s take on Entangled from A Trick of the Tail (1976). One of my favourite of their songs, I like how the Brazilians have veered away from the psychedelic ‘otherness’ of the original and re-imagined it as a power ballad, save for a brief atmospheric coda. Hydria‘s version highlights how well Genesis, even in the prog years, had mastered the use of melody and dynamics that would serve them so well during their second wind as a pop rock band. Raquel Schüler‘s vocals are great, too – I can imagine Hydria appealing to fans of Delain, Within Temptation, Evanescence, Nightwish, Panic Room and other female-fronted exponents of melodic rock bombast.