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Touchstone - Mad Hatters CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.38 | 11 ratings

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3 stars Keyboardist/singer Rob Cottingham created this UK band in 2001 with a much different line-up than on their official releases.It featured Michael Daly on guitar, Mike Forrester on bass, Miriam Pugh on saxophone and Andrew Harman on drums.However it was in 2003 when things really turned the corner for Touchstone, when Rob met guitarist Adam Hodgson through an ad to find that they shared the same tastes around music.Writing material became a much easier experience since then and in 2006 the band self-released a 20-min. 4-track EP with a refreshed formation, featuring also bassist Paul Moorghen, female singer Liz Clayden and drummer Simon Cook.

As the band's influences indicate, Touchstone tried to mix the prog aesthetics of bands like YES or PINK FLOYD with the catchy approach of ASIA and VAN HALEN.The result is pretty much along the influences' paths, memorable, quite melodic but also Hard Rockin' Progressive/Art-Rock with emphasis on easy-listening tunes, good vocals and balanced instrumentation.The first couple of tracks are good examples of the sound: Groovy and rich musicianship with flashy keyboard work, nice guitar solos and modern yet expressive vocals blended with a sense of melody between the heavier parts.''Hear Me'' follows more of a PINK FLOYD-ian mood.Low tempo composition with supporting background keys and nice GLIMOUR-ish guitars along with the best vocal work of this short album.The 8-min. ''The Mad Hatters' Song'' is another nice arrangement.Alternating male and female vocals with fantastic emotion throughout, smooth piano passages, heavy but pretty nice guitar work and a groovy catchy finale showcase a band with talent and capable of creating something great.

A good introduction to the band's sound.Heavy Progressive/Art-Rock, memorable, well-crafted and intricate at moments, somewhat along the lines of SKY ARCHITECT and SUBSIGNAL.Warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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