May 05 2010
Tardigrade | Simon Says
Gothenburg’s finest have put together a fabulous excursion of high octane prog on this their third album. Openimg with the 14:45 minute scene setting extraviganzor “Suddenly The Rain” it is obvious from the outset that band have fused all known prog entities and taken them to the wire. Early amphetamine driven Genesis meets Yes. ELP and King Crimson. This track is laden with extremely grungy sounding Hammond and fabulous Emersonesque synth swathes. Fabulous stuff! Tardigrade the second track is more in the Gentle Giant ilk and with the exception of the albums concluding flourish is one of the shorter tracks on the album. The the third song “The Chosen One” begins a little more lilting replete with beutiful Mellotron strings and acoustic guitars. It isn’t long before the roller coaster starts up though and it’s every prog heads dream. I can’t think of anything negative to say about this album though i suspect it would be unacceptable to those who believe that true prog stayed within the perimeters of the 70’s and all else is just fake. Moon Mountain is a beautiful acoustic and electric neo classical piece which really lends a touch of class to the whole album. As The River Runs finds the band in full bloen opus mode again and has you listening to some classic analogue synth sounds. I am unsure if the majority af keyboards are soft synths or the real thing. What ever they are they had me fooled. I can only think that the incusion in the band of Magnus Paulsson in 2002 was an extremely good idea. All such responsibilities fell on the shoulders of founder member Stefan Renstrom before Magnus arrived. All would be forgiven for thinking that the seventh offering on the album “Strawbwrry Jam” has been an omissin from Yes’s Relayer album,wow! Keep your hands inside the ride at all times. My favourite track however is “The Cicles End” which leads into the mighty 26:29 minute epic “Brother Where You Bound” which with the inclusion of “Beautiful New Day” conludes the story of Tardigrade. And if you fancy a Lamb Lies Down On Broadway Moment click on the Simon Says website www.paradisesquare.net and read the story in full. Art work/packaging, content and entertainment factor make this album shine. Shear unadulerated prog at it’s most pompous best. An enjoyment factor off the scale. Go for it Progsters. ***** The progmeister says Yes.