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Mike Rutherford - Smallcreep's Day CD (album) cover

SMALLCREEP'S DAY

Mike Rutherford

 

Prog Related

3.66 | 111 ratings

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AdamHearst
3 stars Smallcreeps Day gave me a greater appreciation for Michael Rutherford's contributions to Genesis. If it weren't for the vocals, you could mistake many of these songs for lost late-70's Genesis tracks.

The singer (Noel McCalla) has a voice that is rather nondescript. He's not bad, but he wouldn't stand out in a crowd and sound like a generic 80's AOR singer. On the more proggy compositions, however, his delivery reminds me of Peter Nicholls from IQ.

'Moonshine' is a good straight-forward rock song with a simple syncopated bass-pedal pulse that gets your head nodding. This whole first half of the album reminds me a lot of the 'Duke': 'Moonshine' is in the mold of 'Man of Our Times' and 'Turn it on Again', and 'Time and Time Again' is a decent ballad that sounds a lot like 'Cul-de-Sac' and 'Alone Tonight' mixed together. 'Every Road', another ballad, is more reminiscent of a weaker version of 'Your Own Special Way' and is one of the worst songs on the album.

The extended 'Smallcreeps suite' is definitely the highlight of the record and contains the only real progressive moments. The intro (Between the Tick and the Tock) is almost entirely composed of simple depressive synthesizer parts but has a nice dark atmosphere and creates a palpable mood of loneliness and desperation. 'Cats and Rats' feel like a throwback to 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' with an extremely 'Back in NYC'-like synthesizer riff. 'Out into the Daylight' is the best track on the album: it harkens back to the instrumental songs on Wind and Wuthering ('Wot Gorilla' and 'In that Quiet Earth'), but it's not quite as good as either of those.

It almost seems to me like Mike made this album only to prove he had a much bigger hand in the creation of Genesis' music (and success) than he usually gets credit for. It's obvious from this album that he was a major contributor to their sound, maybe even more-so than Tony Banks. He does repeat himself a lot though and there's nothing on this record that he hasn't done before (and better) with Genesis.

That said: 'Smallcreeps' is quite a pleasant and enjoyable listen, it's just not very progressive or groundbreaking. This is far from essential material, but I think hardcore Genesis fans will find a lot to like here.

AdamHearst | 3/5 |

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