Simon Says - Ceinwen. 1995 Sweden

There have been bands trying to copy the classic Genesis sound ever since... well... ever since Genesis stopped putting out progressive rock music themselves. In the late 1970's and early 80's, bands from Germany (Ivory, Neuschwanstein, M.L. Bongers Project, Sirius), The Netherlands (Saga), and Austria (Kyrie Eleison) gave it their best shot (and all did an admirable job I might add). Entering into the early 80's there was even a celebrated movement called the New Wave of British Progressive Rock (now saddled with the derogatory "neo prog" tag), where classic Genesis was clearly the blueprint - most notably found in the sound of well known and respected bands like Marillion and IQ. By the late 80's this particular genre was starting to get a bit long in the tooth - almost cartoon-ish even (witness the Swiss band Deyss on their roll-on-the-floor it's-so-bad-it's-bloody-awful 'At-King' album).

So what am I doing talking about a band who did basically the same thing - as late as 1995? Because it's damn good, that's why. Simon Says are definitely post-Anglagard Genesis copycat, and for that they deserve some credit at the very least. Gone are the cheap synthesizers, brass patches, gated drums, pig squeal guitar leads and thin production. And in its place are acoustic guitars, flute, Hammond organ, fat woody bass, loud acid guitar, Mini Moog solos and best of all, the glorious MELLOTRON blaring its sampled string sounds - 8 seconds at a time just as God had intended. It's in the Bible somewhere. Dammit.

Even if you would want to take a pass at this point, then at the very least go to the final track, with the brain blowing 16 minute 'Kadazan' which basically sounds exactly like Anglagard doing their best Nursery Cryme imitation. Even the most cynical amongst you out there ought to at least give THAT a try before making final judgment.

Personal collection
CD: 1995 Bishop Garden

Last listen: May 15, 2010

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