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Monarch Trail - Sand CD (album) cover


Monarch Trail



3.98 | 147 ratings

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3 stars I'm sorry, but all I hear here is cheap, rudimentary rehashing and imitation of old songs and bands--especially the first Neo Prog bands: late 70s Genesis, Marillion, IQ, Pendragon, and Spock's Beard. The sound production is poor (especially the drums! Awful!), the melodies and solos all feel stolen and soul-less. And I've been going back to this album over and over since I first saw it last summer on Progstreaming!

1. "Station Theme" (3:52) I'm listening to old IQ, right? Flashy keyboard work. (8.5/10)

2. "First Thoughts" (3:22) two minutes of voice and synth wash chords before a nylon string guitar solos. Really? Is this a joke? Are we doing a demo for the band here? Or proving our IQ chops? (7/10)

3. Back To The Start (7:11) a bad Tony Banks or Steve Hackett song from one of their solo albums. Or a demo version of a Genesis song or Genesis cover. Bass and drums are fairly solid here. But such poor sound! Even the only existing BABYLON album from 1979 is way better than this! (7/10)

4. "Missing" (6:29) I'm listening to 1990s Spock's Beard, right? Absolutely nothing new here; everything sounds old and used up. (8/10)

5. Charlie's Kitchen (7:43) a Vince Guaraldi jazz lounge song twisted and turned proggish with a horrible sounding non-acoustic piano. How...?! The synth soli are all stolen! Can one sue for such blatant plagiarism? (Just kidding: I know you can't.) (6/10)

6. Another Silent World (2:10) a decent synth exercise but it's only two minutes long, so not much time to screw things up. (8/10)

7. Sand (24:31) The first song I heard from this album. I thought I was going to play it on my radio show on several occasions but every time I would re-listen to it before broadcast I would reject it with a feeling of embarrassment and revulsion: it's just not up to my standards of sound, creativity, and originality. (7.5/10)

The keyboard player is talented. He just needs better equipment. And way better recording/processing gear. I just cannot comprehend the praise that this album is earning!

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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