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The Lens - A Word In Your Eye CD (album) cover


The Lens



3.67 | 69 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Lens were Michael Holmes and Martin Orford's pre-IQ band, who managed to create a fairly well-received demo album (No TV Tonite) before breaking up - with Orford and Holmes forming the nucleus of what would become IQ. Like IQ's Seven Stories Into 98 was a more or less loyal rerecording of the Seven Stories Into Eight demo tape, A Word In Your Eye is a fresh recording of the old Lens material, with IQ's Paul Cook guesting on drums.

It's quite apparent listening to this that the Lens' style was more or less in keeping with the other major forces in the primal days of the early neo-prog scene. As with Arrive Alive by Pallas and Live At the Target by Twelfth Night, there's a diverse range of influences at play here, firmly busting the myth that neo-prog arose out of unabashed Genesis worship. Like Pallas at the time, I hear a bit of Rush (in particular, echoes of the gentler parts of the Farewell to Kings album); like Twelfth Night, I detect a little influence from Steve Hackett's Spectral Mornings and Defector albums, and like the early material from both the other bands, I get a touch of Eloy- esque space rock here and there. On top of that, the band include a fusion influence or two in Childhood's End, which includes a neat guest appearance by Tony Wright on saxophone.

IQ fans will be eager to pick this one up to see the roots of the band, whilst I would say that most fans of early neo-prog will be well served by this release - as well as anyone fond of late- 1970s and early 1980s released by the likes of Eloy, Rush, Steve Hackett, and other artists who managed to bridge the end of the golden age and the start of the 1980s with their progressive spirit intact.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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