Header
The Watch - Tracks from the Alps CD (album) cover

TRACKS FROM THE ALPS

The Watch

 

Neo-Prog

3.60 | 69 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars "Where I am is so familiar..."

I'm feeling very conflicted over The Watch, and especially their new album `Tracks from the Alps'. I'd briefly heard the band in the past, but this was the first album of theirs I decided to purchase, and I was very keen to explore their music. Knowing full-well the reputation of this Italian group for being devoted to carrying on in the same style of the classic vintage period of Genesis, I was prepared for little similarities here and there, like many of the Neo bands often do. What I didn't really expect, however, was a band almost merely re-using themes and lazy recreations in the manner of that band. The Watch even cover an early Genesis piece, `Going Out To Get You'. I'm sure some listeners of that beloved defining 70's band will be in rapture at the sheer thought of more music in the same manner. There's certainly plenty of musical talent on display here, but like the above mentioned quote that opens the album, I really wish the band displayed their own ideas more often.

It's disappointing that the band focuses on so many melodies and themes that are virtual recreations of the same ones Genesis offered back in the early 70's. But more annoying is that the tunes here jump around far too much, rarely waiting to extend and develop particular musical ideas, instead assembling a rapid-fire collection of brief passages that overlap. Some of the vocal melodies are bland and unmemorable as well, so much of your attention goes to the varied instrumentation. Despite singer Simone Rossetti frequently being compared to Peter Gabriel, I actually was reminded more of Bernado Lanzetti from Acqua Fragile, who fronted P.F.M for two albums in the mid Seventies. Simone's English is sometimes difficult to hear (I found him much easier to understand in earlier band The Night Watch), so eventually attention wanes, but you always have the instrumental passages to enjoy. I suggest listening on a good pair of headphones to really appreciate all the subtle touches the band has carefully placed in their compositions, and you can pay more attention to the words as well that way.

There is plenty that works very well throughout the album. Overall the lyrics are evocative and lavish with detail, full of drama and fascinating characters (I've yet to properly work out the concept so far, though). There's numerous lovely sections scattered throughout the disc. The `Stand, so still, so tall' passage that closes lead track `A.T.L.A.S' is superb, cloaked in Rossetti's glorious and striking Mellotron. The exciting and racing instrumental passage in the final minutes of `Devil's Bridge' is sublime as well. The ballistic Moog and organ frenzy in the middle of `The Cheating Mountain' is very joyous. Over gently blowing winds, `Once In A Lifetime' has a creeping tip-toeing sadness before adopting a blustery fanfare and regal pomp. Giorgio Gabriel gets a cracking electric guitar run during `The Last Mile', which also delivers a passage full of searing Mellotron over dreamy vocals that is allowed time to properly develop. Despite a few eerie synth moments and some marching drumming, `On Your Own' recalls the pleasant and more straight-forward adult rock of Jadis, and I like this one more because Simone slows down and gives a more relaxed performance, and it's also one of the few tracks on the album that feels like a complete piece, as opposed to little bits seemingly strung together.

I know The Watch also masquerades as a Genesis cover band, but with all the wonderful instrumental skills on offer, as well as Simone Rossetti's rich and vivid lyrics and commanding voice, I really think the band are holding themselves back with such a slavish devotion to Genesis. As much as we all love that band and their pioneering sound, many Neo prog bands (frequently - and unfairly - dismissed as desperate and pathetic worshippers of that classic prog band), such as Arena, Pendragon, Marillion and I.Q all found their own distinctive style, so I really hope The Watch challenge themselves and their followers with something proudly their own sometime soon. Maybe next time?

Three stars - but anyone who doesn't mind a simple `more-of-the-same' Genesis band with no attempts at being truly progressive, add a whole extra star. It's definitely easy to listen to, by no means a bad album, and I'm sure those listeners will absolutely adore `Tracks from the Alps'.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Share this THE WATCH review

>

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.03 seconds