Do we have time for a little story? Alright then… I was a major fan of progressive rock during the late seventies hungrily grabbing anything that looked remotely like prog at every used record store I could find. With little information available in America, I was still able to discover most of the great bands and develop my long lasting love affair with prog. I moved away a bit in the eighties except for the major players like Gabriel, Yes, King Crimson, Kate Bush, etc. How could I know about neo-prog? No one was talking about it that I knew, and here in the states, the music press had mostly turned to the teeny-bopper trade or punk and then grunge.
The first band I ever heard and loved was indeed my “Genesis.” I followed everything they did, including solo albums. Tony Banks’ album Still, was a no brainer for me when I saw it. I knew one of the singers, Nik Kershaw from some good electronic pop in the mid-eighties. This purchase, quite interestingly opened up my world once again. My life would never be the same. I had discovered something absolutely amazing after this.
“Red Day On Blue Street” and “I Wanna Change the Score” sound like a perfect blend of both Nik Kershaw and Tony Banks. Kershaw is good for the modern style Banks was using in his style of writing at this time. Very rhythmic and electronic pulsating, much like the best of Kershaw’s solo work. Closer “The Final Curtain” especially reminds of the closing songs on Kershaw’s first couple of records.
There are a couple of throwaway pop songs. This is right after the time of the release of We Can’t Dance so it’s expected somewhat, but there is also a return to the earlier style of Banks writing with Genesis on much of the album, and we can be thankful for that. “Still It Takes Me By Surprise” is absolutely gorgeous and is reminiscent of Wind and Wuthering period of Genesis.
So where does my life turnaround? What’s the game changer? Track #2, “Angel Face.” Who is this man Fish? It sounds like Peter Gabriel is back in the band with Genesis! Later comes the incredible “Another Murder of A Day.” This song spends its nine minute length featuring mood and tempo changes, lilting keyboard lines that are evocative of Yes “South Side of the Sky,” and that voice. That voice, who is that voice?
After this, I bought a better computer to allow me to surf the net and find more albums by this man Fish. From there I discovered not only Marillion, but a host of great UK bands I would have otherwise never discovered like Pendragon, IQ, Twelfth Night, Arena, etc. Several years later and many dollars poorer, but incredibly rich in musical bliss… here I am, reviewing albums for a progressive rock website.
Unfortunately, with the exception of the songs mentioned, much of this album is only a step above mediocre. I can only recommend for fans of Tony Banks, Nik Kershaw and early Marillion on selected cuts only.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on June 20th, 2012