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Comedy Of Errors - Disobey CD (album) cover

DISOBEY

Comedy Of Errors

 

Neo-Prog

3.89 | 210 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Disobey' - Comedy Of Errors (7/10)

Before 2011, this Scottish band was virtually unknown, even by neo-prog scholars. For a band that has been around for a quarter of a century, this might seem quite a bit odd, but for one reason or another, the band broke up back in the 80s before they ever came out with a full length. Much like the case was with BunChakeze of last year, this is a band that is giving themselves a second go at the chance they didn't take, that being an official release of their music. Finally, this melodic prog group has a full-length album out, and as the saying goes; 'better late than never'. In one of the finer examples of neo-prog I have heard this year, Comedy Of Errors' 'Disobey' is a satirical, witty record that has more than enough going for it to finally put this band on the map.

As the neo-prog label of this band implies, Comedy Of Errors has a very melodic, even accessible style to them, much in the vein of bands like Pendragon and Pallas. Here we have shorter songs that could even be considered pop, and a twenty-six minute epic to round off the second half of the album. For being defunct for such a long period of time, it is understandable that this band would have many musical ideas that they might want to express, and this is translated into an album that is not quite as consistent as a real masterpiece of the style might be, but with all the same ambition and inspiration. The sound of Comedy Of Errors is largely driven by the vocals of Joe Cairney, who- as has been mentioned in other reviews- has a voice far more youthful-sounding than you might expect. He has a somewhat higher-register sound to his voice that works very well for this band's sound, and fortunately, the use of his voice is dominant throughout the album. Instrumentally, this is a band that has a very focused direction they are going in, leaning towards the more melodic and atmospheric side of prog rock. The music is complex in its arrangement rather than its composition, and though there are not any moments here where the band's musical skill is made clear through a technical display, there are usually several sounds moving in unison at any given moment.

The songwriting here is sometimes very inspired, and at other times, it succumbs to a certain level of cheese that builds up. I would be quicker to bring up certain sections in given songs for their excellence rather than a complete song itself. Especially when it comes to the twenty-six minute, four part epic 'The Student Prince', I sometimes found really excellent, dramatic moments sitting next to parts which felt a little more superficial. There's no minute of music on 'Disobey' that passed me as being poor, but even after the first listen, I was very aware that certain segments of this piece worked much better than others, and it even seems somewhat intentional in places. The much-talked about song 'American Rodeo' for example is more or less a joke song, and by pulling out virtually every cliche of hard rock that they can, it becomes a fairly tongue-in-cheek song, although for the sake of actual music, it is bland and generic.

Comedy Of Errors is a band that I am glad to have making music, because it is clear that they have great things to offer neo-prog. Although I am not always a big fan of this sound in prog, 'Disobey' is a strong outing for these Scots, although far from a masterpiece. With some very high moments and just as many parts I was left ambivalent to, Comedy Of Errors has created a bumpy, but distinguished album.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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