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Grand Stand

Symphonic Prog

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Grand Stand Tricks Of Time album cover
4.11 | 82 ratings | 11 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jurassic Spark (11:24)
2. Words Are Not Enough (4:01)
3. Waiting For Water (9:39)
4. Empty Barrels Rattle The Most (9:34)
5. Old Man's Tale (16:00) :
- I- "Make Way ForThe Old Man"
- II- "Questions & Answers"
- III- "Floating Among The Clouds"
- IV- "The Rumble Dance"
- V- "Second Thoughts"
- VI- "Back To The Park"
- VII- "Live Your Life, Be On Your Way"

Total Time: 50:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Göran Johnsson / lead vocals, bass, keyboards
- Michael Rank Jensen / guitars, bass, vocals
- Olov Andersson / keyboards, synths, vocals
- Tomas Hurtig / drums, voice

- Hansi Cross / backing vocals, co-producer
- Fredrik Andersson / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Marcus Lindström

CD Progress Records - PRCD009 (2002, Sweden)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GRAND STAND Tricks Of Time ratings distribution

(82 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GRAND STAND Tricks Of Time reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This record was produced by fellow Swede Hansi Cross from the band CROSS.

The album opens with "Jurassic Spark" a song about paranoia. Things get off on the right foot with a 1 minute intro of soaring guitar before the drums and keys come in. Next are the vocals that are well done in this uptempo tune. Some scorching guitar after 4 minutes, and the full sound is beautiful. For about 3 minutes the melody gets quite calm. Nice.Then back to the uptempo sound. Great opening track ! "Words Are Not Enough" is a cool title for this instrumental. Some good keyboard melodies as the drums pound away in this mid-paced tune. There are some interesting drum patterns as well. And the guitar does not disappoint.

"Waiting For Water" is the most commercial track with the title being sung over and over throughout this great song. Nice synths and soaring guitar throughout and the vocals suit this dreamy, lazy melody just fine. "Empty Barrels Rattle The Most" is another instrumental. This one is upbeat with some fantastic drumming.The guitar melodies with background synths are pleasing to the ears, and the song ends with some uplifting, soaring guitar. "Old Man's Tale" is a 16 minute tune divided into 7 sections.There is no mention of mellotron but I swear I can hear what sounds like it. 4 minutes in the vocals and instrumental melody sounds amazing ! So uplifting. Good synth runs later on as well as a nice guitar solo 11 minutes in.

This is a good record and can heartily recommend it !

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars After listening (and loving) Grand Stand's debut album In the Middle, On the Edge I was really curious what would their sound be with a full band. You know, a group that releases an album with only instrumentals and using solely keyboards and drums and still delivering a fantastic CD out of that is clearly not seen everyday. And I'm glad to say this one does not disappoint you a bit. Their biggest influence is obviously Genesis around the time of Wind & Wuthering plus some Camel, Yes and Pink Floyd thrown in for good measure. But the sound that emerges form it is very much their own.

The vocals are on the weakest part. Not that bassist Göran Johnsson does not sing well, he does have a nice, warm voice (even of with a heavy swedish accent), but it is clear that the band would improve quite a bit if they had a singer as powerful as the players in the band. Aside from that small detail is hard to find any fault with this record: fantastic keyboards much in the vein of Tony Banks and Peter Bardens, fine melodic guitar lines all over the record and a very tight, precise, rhythm section (the drummer is very creative). The arrangements are tasteful and varied. But the group's most notable talent lies on their songwriting: all the tracks are excellent and there are no fillers. In fact, there is no pointless display of virtuosity nor too much noodling.. This is clearly the case of team players

There are no highlights either, as all the tracks flow smoothly when you hear the CD, but I might say I have a soft spot for the instrumental Words Are Not Enough and the beautiful, gentle, Waiting For Water (Johnsson's voice fitting very well here). In fact, the album seems to be shorter than it really is (always a good sign!). The production, done by Hansi Cross, is very good.

Conclusion: an excellent work! It's amazing that not so many people know this gem. I really hope they release a follow up soon. My rating shifts between 4,6 to 5 stars. I'll round up to five, because it fits perfectly with my personal taste. Highly recommended!

Review by progrules
5 stars When I checked about 350 mp3's from our great site out of all kinds of subgenres back in 2004 the one from this excellent Swedish band (Jurassic Spark) came on top as one of the very very best of them all. I was hugely impressed by the compositional quality of the song and of course also the execution was tremendous. Soon after that introduction I learned about the existence of another smashing track from the Kalevala project (3 cd, see concept albums) called Stormen. After these two I was fully convinced of their enormous talent and had only one goal: to acquire their two albums. The debut was my first conquest, I was slightly disappointed despite the fact it was a very nice album, but I knew these guys were capable of so much more. Recently I rounded off my search for my real target: Tricks of Time. And I'm relieved to say they didn't disappoint me by any means this time. Tricks of Time is a true masterpiece, so far only acknowledged by my PA friend and colleague Tarcisio Moura.

The album starts with the track I already knew and after having heard it for at least 100 times by now I can tell you it still doesn't bore me one bit and that's only achieved by the very best of songs. Jurassic Spark is an amazing composition with perfect alternation of vocals and instrumental passages, exactly how a song should be written, composition to perfection, I can say no less of it. Complex and yet accessible, can only get the full score of course: 5 stars.

Second track is called Words are not Enough, a laid back short instrumental that could well have been a left over from their debut where the style is concerned since that album was fully instrumental albeit just keyboards and this one contains also guitarplay. A wonderful track that gives you the chance to recover after the great opener, 4,25*.

Waiting for Water is the lesser track of this magnum opus but is still very worthwhile to listen to. Being the lesser track is not a shame anyway when the rest is of such incredible standard. For instance the instrumental passages after 3: 30 and 5:30 are excellent, the only real downside is the vocal part that sounds a bit dull. Still 4,25* for this effort.

Empty Barrels rattle the Most turns things up again and is the second almost 10 minute song in a row and is at the same time the second instrumental. Very lively start of the song with great guitar in the first minute followed by varied other instrumental passages most of them pretty energetic. The musicianship is amazing, what a class act this Swedish band is. 4,75*.

Old Man's Tale is the second track that will get the full score from me. It's a true epic clocking over 15 minutes and shows as final proof the full potential of the band. The song starts quiet then gets into a slightly jazzy style for a while. After this the pure prog takes its turn again with again several instrumental bits before the vocals set in at 3:20. Göran Johnsson's voice is the only slight criticism I can think of with Grand Stand. He doesn't have the most exciting voice you'll ever hear but it's not disturbing in my opinion. With this track it's the same as with the brilliant opener: great alternation of vocal and instrumental parts. Guitar and keyboards again shine brightly and deliver simply all you can wish for. And this goes on for the full sixteen minutes, no filler moments !

Recapitulated I can only say the full score is totally deserved. That is if you're not a devoted seventies freak who claims that only in that era the real thing was produced. Because it's always possible to call this great work derivative (Grand Stand started as a Genesis coverband) and therefore not interesting. But if you listen closely and open minded to this album you can only praise it and grant it what it's worth: 5 stars. This is simply how I want a prog album to sound: superb quality in every sense (also production) without fillers and dull moments. Highly recommended for all lovers of extremely melodic music executed in a perfect way. What a shame this album from 2002 is their last so far. How I wish they got back together to make another jewel !

Review by BrufordFreak
4 stars A NeoProg band out of Sweden that creates a near-perfect replication of the lush Genesis sounds of 1975-80.

1. "Jurassic Spark" (11:24) nice familiar sounds (of GENESIS) to open the album--the motif in picked up in the second minute even moreso. The vocal of Göran Johnsson are a little bland--having a tone and style quite like that of GUY MANNING. Nice Phil Collins-style drumming throughout. It's not until the eighth minute that the next motif (a brief break) is used, but then it just reverts to the same as before. Göran's limitations begin to show more as he tries to stretch his pitch in the ninth minute. (17.25/20)

2. "Words Are Not Enough" (4:01) beautiful intro of melody and chord progressions. The synth begins soloing at the one-minute mark, just at the perfect time for something new to happen. Then wonderful/beautiful Jan Akkerman-like electric guitar solo ensues. Beautiful! I am blown away! This is so gorgeous! Would that all of this band's music could be like this. Easily my favorite song on the album. (9/10)

3. "Waiting For Water" (9:39) nice enough sound palette and IQ opening, but the song just kind of goes nowhere, repeating the same melody lines over and over over the course of quite a long time. The singer repeats this same melody with a pleasant enough voice but no real force or enthusiasm. The Eef Albers-like guitar and the "I'm Not in Love" Mellotron chords are really the only things saving this one from total failure. (17.75/20)

4. "Empty Barrels Rattle The Most" (9:34) a somewhat bluesy GENESIS instrumental. Nice sound production (except for the drums). Why repeat the "Waiting for Water" theme in the final minute? (17/20)

5. "Old Man's Tale" (16:00) a well-intended suite falls a bit short despite the rather faithful imitation of GENESIS sounds and motifs. (25.75/30): - I- Make Way For The Old Man - organ sounding as if background/intro for a children's story hour. - II- Questions & Answers - bluesy guitar establishes interesting drumming pattern. - III- Floating Among The Clouds - the exciting pace and textures of this section are weighted down by the vocals. - IV- The Rumble Dance - an instrumental passage very much like Genesis' "Back in NYC", "Dance on a Volcano" or "Los Endos" - V- Second Thoughts - more Genesis motifs explored. - VI- Back To The Park - - VII- Live Your Life, Be On Your Way - pulling it all together for the finish. Competent just not enough newness.

Total Time: 50:38

A very polished prog band in the vein of TONY BANKS/GENESIS, it is in their wonderfully clear, precise production that I actually find my issues: the way the drums are recorded (are they computerized? or just super cheap and super gated?), and the way the voice is mixed (seemingly without effects). The lyrics are a bit banal and the singer, though possessing a nice voice, is the least polished "instrument" in the band. In fact, some of his vocal attempts sound outright amateur. All in all, Tricks of Time contains some very nice music--especially if you are a fan of Tony Banks' keyboards (and solo work), Phil Collins' drumming 1970s style but 1980s sound, Mike Rutherford's bass/bass pedals and solo albums, and Steve Hillage, Steve Hackett, and John Mitchell's guitar styles and Eef Albers' guitar sound, and, most of all, the music of GENESIS between 1974-1977. The album's last song, however, the 16-minute, seven-part suite, "Old Man's Tale" has (mostly) a different (non-Genesis) sound and style to it--it sounds more like some of GUY MANNING's work (except for the middle section which is almost stolen straight out of "The Cinema Show").

B/four stars; a nice collection of Genesis-like NeoProg that many prog lovers will love despite the fact there is a lot of imitation here and not much fresh, new sounds or ideas.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Here is a Swedish band with 2 releases that are both rated above 4 and yet doesn't seem to get any love, probably due to the fact that Grandstand has not followed up with any new material since 2002. Pity, as this was an above-average talented crew, particularly the dynamic duo of the dexterous Olov Andersson on keys and the unyielding Tomas Hurtig on drums, 2 ultra-solid musicians of world class caliber who started out as a Genesis tribute band. Their debut, all-instrumental "In the Middle, On the Edge" is a brilliant example of vocal-less prog with stellar flourishes and convincing compositions. Only an omen of better things to come.

"Tricks of Time" introduces a singer-bassist and a superb guitarist to the mix and the results are worthwhile beyond your wildest expectations. Veteran producer and artist in his own right Hansi Cross handles the production with Swedish precision. The dynamics are impressive right from the whopping opener "Jurassic Spark", lush keyboard patterns with the entire arsenal of instruments out on parade, synthesizers leading the charge on one hand and Michael Renk Jensen's sweltering Fender interventions on the other. The short 4 minute instrumental "Words Are Not Enough" is right out the debut album in terms of style where pounding drums, piano ruffles, organ hustles and synth whistles coexisted so happily. "Waiting for Water" is the most accessible piece here, a moody lullaby with incredible self-discipline, a bellowing guitar screaming above the symphonic oasis, clearly influenced by the legendary Camel. The deliberate pace is gentle and dreamy with an "aaaaah" voice mellotron backing that recalls 10cc' "I'm Not in Love", Renk Jensen explodes oozily like a starry sky of suave sounds while Olov unleashes a sweeping synth barrage that would make the Tony Bankman proud. "Empty Barrels Rattle the Most" despite its rather impressionistic title is a full bore assault on the symphonic senses, the melodies are clear and concise , not too simple or overtly complex but enough technical attention aimed at creating a mood of comfortable numbness. A quiet mid-section with humming pedal-effected guitars recall the finest Hackettisms , floating organ pools shimmering with flute synth patches and then, out of the blue, amid thundering drum/guitar salvos, a slippery Moog solo that devastates all in its passage and a finger-pickin'-lickin' axe solo to wake you up, just in case. If you are a solist then just do it and they both account for themselves rather brilliantly. "Old Man's Tale" is a16 minute epic flight that somehow does not get boring or tiresome because the artists keep things in perpetual effervescence, from the puerile organ intro to the slow buildup using acoustic guitar and finally the outright jazzy "set the controls to the heart of the sun' Latin-tinged main melodic line. Hurtig in particular propels this theme nicely forward, giving the rhythmic foundation for Jensen's excruciating guitar phrasings to flutter above the pulse. Various tempo and mood changes keep everything in breathless expectation, not to say all the piano, mellotron, percussion colorations go unnoticed. They are finely chiseled allies in a cause that is rewarding to the patient listener. Yes, Goran Johnsson is not the finest singer in progland but neither is he the worst, by any stretch. But this is an album that has met universal praise for its quality and can easily rival the venerated symphonic prog classics that adorn our genre. There is something for everyone except for the death-metal aficionado and the popfan for whom this is way too "pretentious" (love that anti-prog word , probably the most flattering denigrating term ever, as if one has to feel sorry for having multiple talents). It's too bad that the band has seemed to have disappeared but in the meantime, "Tricks of Time" will bamboozle your tail, if you get my drift. Nothing weak here at all, just perfect sympho-prog. . 5 aqua halts

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Grand Stand have changed both line-up and some of their musical direction on this follow-up to their debut album, 'In The Middle, On The Edge', which came out in 1998. While definitely a progressive rock band, they have added a more American rock flavour and vocals, something that was missing from the instrumental album with which they announced their presence to the world. That is not to say that they don't produce instrumentals any more, in fact two of the five songs do not contain lyrics (and one of these is nearly ten minutes long), but rather that now they have a singer they are making good use of him!

Opener "Jurassic Spark" shows an affinity to early Genesis, yet also brings in much more modern styles and while contains many progressive themes and styles there are also sections that are much more AOR-oriented. Contrast that to "Words Are Not Enough" that sounds at times as if Camel and Jadis have jumped into bed together while at others using much more jazz-influenced piano chords to create a totally different mood.

I found on playing this album the first few times that they do sound quite different on the songs, as if they haven't totally settled on their own style but want to encompass everything that they like listening to. Not a bad thing for a prog band in many ways. The closing number, "Old Man's Tale", is the longest at sixteen minutes, and contains both very delicate interludes and much more powerful pieces with some great guitar/keyboard interplay, as well as pieces that sound familiar but yet are not (especially if you are a Genesis fan).

An album that is bound to find a lot of favour among the progheads. For more details contact the label at

Originally appeared in Feedback #68, Jun 02

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Grand Stand from Sweden made two albums more then 10 years ago and then gone into oblivion. Sad, because, those two albums are really excellent, special the second offer from 2002 named Tricks of time. I like a lot what I've heared here, complicated symphonic prog, with nods towards Genesis, Camel, The Flower Kings and alike. Long eleaborated passages, like the opening super gread track Jurassic Spark, - 11 min of high class prog. Another highlight is ending longest tune Old Man's Tale - a 16 min tresure piece with every ingredints a prog piece must have, complex arrangements, guitars and synth all over, nice pleasent vocal lines. The rest of the pieces are in same vein. The musicianship is great, each instrument shines, for me at least, great performance overall. I can sai that Trcks of time is a great inprovement over the debut. So, I can say that this album goes recommended for sure, for me a very pleasent surprise. 4 stars easy.

Latest members reviews

3 stars 'Tricks Of Time' is a pretty simple album by Symphonic Prog standards. None of the songs are particularly challenging and rarely do they rise above average for my tastes The album is characterised by generally slow to mid-tempo pieces that are very keyboard driven. Largely the keys are creatin ... (read more)

Report this review (#294645) | Posted by Makntak | Sunday, August 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Very, very symphonic prog. I first thought this was another Roine Stolt sideproject. This album reminds me a lot about his debut album The Flower King. The most symphonic parts of The Flower Kings and Genesis creative outputs is the most obvious references here. Which is both a compliment a ... (read more)

Report this review (#240658) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, September 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What an excellent album. Very impressed with this album, having heard their previous album and being disappointed, I had half heartedly started to listen to this and then sat up and really listened... I was not to be let down, strong muscianship albeit some naivity, excellent melodies, and al ... (read more)

Report this review (#91864) | Posted by huge | Sunday, September 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After downloading the " Jurassic Spark" track from this site I began searching feverishly for the album and had to have it shipped all the way from Sweden. The one track had some very nice moments...enough to make me find out what else these guys could do. I found the vocals wanting but not to ... (read more)

Report this review (#39469) | Posted by Trafficdogg | Thursday, July 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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