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IQ - Tales From The Lush Attic CD (album) cover





3.84 | 452 ratings

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2 stars 1983 was indeed a difficult time for progressive rock fans. Most of the giants of the British scene were out of commission or at least in serious decline. The internet was still a dozen odd years off, and, through the negligence of commercial and non-commercial radio alike, few of us realized that progressive rock was quietly plodding on in non Anglophone countries. In fact, Germany, Italy, France and Japan, to name a few, had been producing better quality output than the UK or America for some time. Only under such circumstances could the "new wave" of English neo prog have made such an impact, and it did.

I never really caught the gist of this genre. From the first time I heard "Script for Jester's Tear" in its entirety on a local radio station obviously pitching to its boomer audience, all I heard was vocalists trying to sound like PETER GABRIEL and instrumentalists trying to sound like TONY BANKS, STEVE HACKETT and PHIL COLLINS. IQ's debut is cut from a slightly more ragged but equally influence-saturated cloth. I do hear other contemporaries like RUSH as well as typical 1980s rock. But what I don't hear nearly enough of is IQ.

Every time I listen, I feel that the tracks that sounded good the previous time sound mediocre now, and the ones that sounded dreadful before sound merely mediocre. This is partly due to the group's over ambitiousness on the lengthier cuts. "The Last Human Gateway" begins hopefully and includes some fine passages both upbeat and mellow, but also some dire segments, particularly one that sounds like the backing is being played by 1000 6 year old future violin virtuosos. What were they thinking? Lackluster melodies knock several of the pieces down a notch, like "through the Corridors", notwithstanding some impressive lead guitar/keyboard interplay. "Awake and Nervous" provides the most consistent effort and at its best borders on the majestic. Unfortunately, the rest is simply not up to even that modest standard.

After having sampled 3 distinct eras of IQ and come up shoulders shrugging and tale between the legs, I fear that this hackneyed debut is due for a lengthy, if not one way, trip to the garret.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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