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IQ

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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IQ biography
What's the difference between a band and a cult band? A charismatic frontman, able to seduce the audience with a single look? A mastermind, conducting his fellow geniuses to sheer excellence? A dedicated and addicted following lasting three decades? An outstanding live concept combining stage charisma, true emotions and self-ironic humor?

Take it all, add a catalogue in which every new entry is described as 'the latest masterpiece' and you get IQ.

Rising from the ashes of THE LENS in 1981, the original line up of Peter NICHOLLS, Michael HOLMES, Martin ORFORD, Paul COOK and Tim ESAU formed a band achieving the impossible - the combination of such diverse styles as prog, punk, jazz and even reggae. Their first cassette album, later re-released on GEP as 'SEVEN STORIES INTO 98', is still an outstanding example of that.

Both their first vinyl albums 'TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC' and 'THE WAKE' gained instant classic status in the 'new wave of British progressive rock'. Soon the band became a regular in London's world famous Marquee club, performed more than 200 gigs each year in the UK (as seen in the 'LIVE FROM LONDON' video from 1985), and quickly attained a strong and loyal following.

After signing to POLYGRAM in 1987 with new singer Paul MENEL, they released 'NOMZAMO' featuring the single 'PROMISES' which made it high in the Dutch charts. European tours and the album 'ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?' followed, but MENEL and bass player Tim ESAU left the band shortly after in 1989.

What could have been the end was in fact just another beginning. NICHOLLS rejoined and was welcomed back enthusiastically at concerts in London and Paris. At the same time GEP was founded by musicians and associates of IQ with the rarities album 'J´AI POLLETTE D´ARNU' becoming the label's debut release.

In 1993 IQ's new album 'EVER' thrilled fans old and new with a modern and yet traditional interpretation of progressive rock. With new bassist John JOWITT (ex-ARK) the band embarked on a storming tour of the UK and mainland Europe, and played acclaimed festival appearances in the USA and South America. The tour was captured on film at the celebrated 'FOREVER LIVE' show in Kleve and was released in a special box set featuring video, double CD and large booklet.

In 1997, IQ released 'SUBTERRENEA', a classic double concept album with a very fresh approach which amazed both critics and fans alike. Brought to the stage with a stunning visual ...
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IQ official website

Buy IQ Music


SubterraneaSubterranea
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$13.01
$13.00 (used)
The Road of BonesThe Road of Bones
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$17.97
$19.04 (used)
Seventh HouseSeventh House
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$9.96
$6.98 (used)
Forever LiveForever Live
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$9.88
$9.87 (used)
Dark MatterDark Matter
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$23.89
$11.99 (used)
EverEver
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$11.47
$7.89 (used)
Subterranea: the ConcertSubterranea: the Concert
Import
Inside Out 2004
Audio CD$29.99
$23.98 (used)
Wake in ConcertWake in Concert
Import
PID 2011
Audio CD$11.54
$9.20 (used)
Tales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-MixTales From the Lush Attic 2013 Re-Mix
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$17.19
$19.77 (used)
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IQ shows & tickets


IQ has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

IQ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IQ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 360 ratings
Tales From The Lush Attic
1983
3.78 | 453 ratings
The Wake
1985
2.77 | 252 ratings
Nomzamo
1987
2.75 | 235 ratings
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
1989
4.04 | 496 ratings
Ever
1993
3.91 | 511 ratings
Subterranea
1997
3.45 | 104 ratings
Seven Stories Into 98
1998
4.00 | 508 ratings
The Seventh House
2000
4.02 | 749 ratings
Dark Matter
2004
4.12 | 716 ratings
Frequency
2009
4.29 | 799 ratings
The Road Of Bones
2014

IQ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.97 | 62 ratings
Living Proof
1986
3.82 | 77 ratings
Forever Live
1996
4.36 | 14 ratings
Subterranea Tour Live Germany
1999
4.23 | 11 ratings
Head Long to Argentina
1999
4.25 | 12 ratings
La Maroquinerie, Paris 18 Nov. 2000
2000
4.24 | 63 ratings
Subterranea: The Concert
2000
4.60 | 24 ratings
The Archive Collection - IQ20
2002
4.51 | 46 ratings
The Wake - Live At De Boerderij, Zoetermeer
2010

IQ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.34 | 49 ratings
Subterranea - The Concert
2000
4.41 | 51 ratings
IQ20 - The Twentieth Anniversary Show
2004
3.74 | 23 ratings
Live From London
2005
4.44 | 94 ratings
Stage
2006
3.79 | 23 ratings
Forever Live
2007

IQ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 45 ratings
J'ai Pollette d'Arnu
1991
4.67 | 26 ratings
For Ever Live
1996
3.43 | 55 ratings
The Lost Attic - A Collection Of Rarities (1983-1999)
1999
4.44 | 25 ratings
The Wake 2010 Remaster
2010
3.38 | 8 ratings
Re:Mixed
2011
4.58 | 68 ratings
Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 Remix
2013

IQ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Fascination
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Awake And Nervous
1983
1.67 | 3 ratings
Barbell Is In
1984
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Legendary IQ Free Record
1984
2.72 | 31 ratings
Nine in a Pond is Here
1985
2.00 | 1 ratings
Corners
1985
2.00 | 1 ratings
Nomzamo
1986
2.00 | 1 ratings
Intelligence Quotient
1986
2.00 | 1 ratings
Promises (As The Years Go By)
1987
3.75 | 4 ratings
Here There And Everywhere
1987
2.00 | 1 ratings
No Love Lost
1987
3.00 | 3 ratings
Passing Strangers
1987
2.00 | 1 ratings
One More Boxer
1989
3.22 | 9 ratings
Sold On You
1989
2.00 | 1 ratings
Drive On
1989
2.00 | 1 ratings
Bulba Neeny Noo
1992
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Darkest Hour
1993
3.68 | 28 ratings
Frequency Tour
2008

IQ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tales From The Lush Attic by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.86 | 360 ratings

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Tales From The Lush Attic
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

5 stars In the midst of the 1980's, when the prog giants turned to pop and AOR, IQ stood true to the genre's fundamentals as one of the most talented, competent and creative of neo-prog groups. "Tales From The Lush Attic" spans 5 tracks, ranging from short interludes to grandiose epics and each song is crafted wonderfully and with care and emotion, even the "filler" tracks.

The album's first epic, "The Last Human Gateway", is an achievement of neo- progressive rock; with emotionally-charged vocals from Peter Nicholls and unparalleled instrumental technical proficiency, this musical journey changes often enough that it sounds exciting the whole way through but expands on musical themes enough that it doesn't sound erratic. The composition is excellently balanced, which one will find to be true of the rest of the album as well, and the lyrics tell a coherent narrative without the story seeming blatant or forced.

The rest of the album's 4 songs carry this same high standard of songwriting and composition, especially the epic finale "The Enemy Smacks". Even "My Baby Treats Me Right 'Cos I'm A Hard Lovin' Man All Night Long", an ironically-named piano solo that was written just to fill 2 minutes on the record, still drives the album along with a deep, atmospheric quality that seems reminiscent of St. Saen's "Aquarium" from the "Carnival of Animals".

The definitive version of this album that you should seek out is the Giant Electric Pea 30th Anniversary re-release. The production is fantastic and it includes several bonus tracks such as the shorter ballad "Wintertell", the dramatic and well-orchestrated "Dans Le Parc Du Chateau Noir" and "Just Changing Hands", a jam-like instrumental that shows off the band's soloing capabilities.

In terms of who this album will appeal to, it sounds very much like Genesis at times (though the sound is still unique and its own) and will also appeal to anyone who is looking for some high caliber neo-prog. "Tales From The Lush Attic" is definitely a highlight of the genre and makes me very excited to delve deeper into IQ's discography.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 799 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Progdaybay

5 stars I do like quite a bit this neo-prog group, as numerous of their CD are nice to my ears, with a very good production and very well constructed music. I did not review or scored all those CD I have, but I consider IQ as a solid group from quality-side, and they might be in my Top-10 or -12 as an overall good prog-music. When I saw the very high scorings this CD received at first, when it was in the Top-20 all-time (!), I went thinking as they delivered something special. From the recent years, I saw "Subterranea" their best before, followed quite near by "Dark Matter", and it could well be possible that this one would get a high score.

Well, when I listened to it the first times, I said it was very good, at that time not clearly better than those cited above, but close. After 4-5 more listens, I started to understand !! This double CD is a real, true, incredible masterpiece !! It is all a question of "ambiances" and feelings started, elaborated, constructed, and concluded in a master fashion. Plus the marvelous and unique voice of Peter Nicholls who enters at the right moment to consolidate the atmospheres. I am impressed. The first time this time-construction appreciation builds like that, for any CD's I have (a few hundreds...). I even saw the group "live", it was before I considered putting a "5-stars" score... And it got me when I turned my ears to the atmosphere created, which was also there in their concert, only realized afterwards. Strange, but it went like that.

The sound is top-notch quality, perfect, the experienced musicians incredible, M. Nicholls at his best. And the 'ambiance' is always present, on every song, like a concept idea that spreads from the first minute to the last. Further, it is a double CD. And the qualities enumerated are also on the second one; it is a rare feat that every song, on a double CD, are good and more, but they have done it. Signaling a preferred song is difficult, but "Without Walls" would be the choice, representing in one song the special feeling this album gets on you. The synthe solo at the end brings back what the piano does at the beginning, and the "voice" sound is amazingly at the right moment, creating a "climax" ! Of course, some moments are very calm (too much, for certain fans), but it is part of this type of atmosphere creation, and if you put yourself in the mood to go for every song in their entirety, you will be involved in it.

"The Road of Bones" is certainly a true masterpiece to have, no less. I am first a sympho-prog fan, but this neo- prog creation is perfect to my ears and for the sensations it delivers. A must-buy CD ! What a nice surprise. The best of 2015.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 799 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by marcobrusa

2 stars Neo-prog is maybe my least favourite sub-genre in this website. When i saw that this album was number one in it's category i decided to listen to it. I got a little dissapointed (not too much; as I said, i don't like neo-prog) and i think it is overrated too. The production is great yes but compositions are... i don't know... ¿prefabricated? Every time i hear some neo-prog whithout any prejudices I end up thinking: ¿why am I listening to this boring, pretentiously sentimental-but-badass music? Ok, that was cynical. However, this album is not challenging, innovative, surprising, memorable, difficult, nor pleasant. 2/5 because musicans are good and production is great.

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 The Seventh House  by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 508 ratings

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The Seventh House
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Horizons
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

2 stars The Song Remains The Same

IQ are one of the most successful modern symphonic acts out there. To their fans, they've released consistent, great albums since the 90's and have remained relevant since then. They have crafted their sound and have continuously used it for every release. I think that is the problem here for me. The Seventh House has nothing new to offer in the context of their discography, and nothing has changed in IQ's sound since the release either.

The troubles of this album start immediately. The opening epic, The Wrong Side of Weird, lifts a certain Led Zeppelin rhythm so blatant it is just cringe-worthy. The song eventually brings in an airy, piano-led bridge, taking us away from the weaker parts of the song into more enjoyable territory. Peter Nicholls' voice sits great on top of one of IQ's better heavier passages. It has some momentum, twists, and great musicianship coming from both the rhythm section and the Orford/Holmes duo.

Additionally, the shorter songs on this album: Erosion, Zero Hour, and Shooting Angels are too similar in my opinion. They can all be summed up fairly similarly. Atmospheric keyboards and Nicholl's voice lead for a while then the rest of the crew come in with plodding instrumentation. Guitars riffs are distorted and chunk away, while the drumming is just uninspired. Erosion takes a slightly heavier feeling, while Zero Hour takes a lot longer to finally leave the cheesy tone of saxophones, synth flourishes, and electronic beats. Shooting Angels serves as the perfect middle to the boring trio.

The Seventh House isn't all doom and gloom though. The title track and Guiding Light are both strong progressive rock showcases. The Seventh House has plentiful lively hooks and guitar and keyboard solos that don't overstay their welcome. My favorite part would probably be the middle section. A wonderful Holmes solo takes us into some wonderful off-beat rhythm synchronizing. Peter has a great cadence that doesn't seem awkward or out of place. The closer to the album is Guiding Light. Beginning with a glossy, emotional ballad section that almost risks being melodramatic soon slides into some jamming by the band in an extended instrumental section. Orford is in the limelight here for me, while the rest of the guys don't disappoint. But the playing and style is in no way a surprise, sounding like any other of the "climaxes" from this or any other IQ album.

This album just comes off as bland. It really irks me to hear a band being too predictable or boring. Unfortunately, that is what I hear throughout this release. To any IQ fan, or neo-prog advocate, this album will do you some amount of good. It has the sound you'd expect and possible desire from these guys and this genre. Otherwise, a mostly forgettable release leaving me disappointed.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 799 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars This is the album of the year 2014. I didn't think IQ were going to get anywhere near as masterful as "Ever", or for that matter, to reach the heights of the brilliant "Frequency", but "The Road of Bones" tops the lot, and that is no mean feat given the quality of IQ's back catalogue. This album continues to showcase the star quality of Peter Nicholls powerful melodic vocals and the incredible guitar playing of Mike Holmes. The rhythm is a powerhouse factory with Tim Esau's bass and Paul Cook's drums. However the real standout for me on this album is the extraordinary keyboard wizardry of Neil Durant. He is a revelation to this current lineup. It is a stunning collaborative effort from all involved.

The tracks are only 5 in total but they are all killer and no filler. The album has an immediate impact on the listener that they are hearing something very passionate and special, but the greatest thing about the album is it grows on you and simply gets better and better with every listen. There is a bonus album and these tracks are excellent too. Perhaps it could have been a 2 CD set. Still as a bonus album there are some delights for those who can get it, such as 'Knucklehead', 'Constellations' and 'Hardcore '.

It is an instant classic with Nicholls' vocals precisely executed on every note and the lead guitar breaks are dazzling and at times emotional such as 'Oceans'. Also the melodies are so infectious that it feels like it might be listening to IQs greatest hits. indeed some of their greatest hits are here such as the epic 'Without Walls', 'From the Outside In ' and the title track. All five songs have a quality and mesmerising hypnotic essence of their own. It's a concept album about a serial killer's mind and it's dark in content but the music is more upbeat and lively than the themes themselves.

This is definitely an album that will take some beating but I believe IQ are able to, given their wonderful lineup at this point in their career. I can't wait to hear some of the songs live in concert on a DVD or perhaps a live CD release coming up soon hopefully. IQ remain one of the quintessential Neo Prog artists on the planet and this album certainly proves that they are far from losing their creative and innovative spark. It is simply a wonderful album on every level.

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 Subterranea by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.91 | 511 ratings

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Subterranea
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Losimba

5 stars Another concept album from a Neo-Prog band. That's what one might think when they stumble across Subterranea for the first time. But hold on, for me this is a wee bit different.

I got Subterranea shortly after it was published, and I already had all older IQ albums at the time, so I thought I knew what I could expect. Well, most of those expectations came true, just not always in the expected way. I'm confusing you, ain't I? Ok. I expected Neo-Prog which Subterranea definitely is, and a sound similar to the album before, Ever. This is what I didn't get, because Subterranea is far rockier than the other album. Yes, the keyboard sound carpet (don't know if this is really an English term or just the word-by-word translation of an German expression) by Martin Orford is the same as on all IQ albums. Peter Nicholl sounds the same, too. But the guitars are more edgy, some rhythms could easily stand the comparison to heavier acts.

Then there is the story behind the album. I might be biased because I grew up not far away from the venue of one of most famous real stories of the kind, the Kaspar Hauser saga. Unlike others inspired by it, IQ chose to give Subterranea the same ending as the real story (maybe other life stories of this kind really ended the other way) and let the "hero" opt to return to the underworld he was familiar with.

Normally I don't highlight particular songs in concept albums as I have the impression that it is often quite difficult to understand them without the context. While this is true on Subterranea, there are two songs which are musically an even higher class. Lacking alternatives, I have to use my 6 star song cliche again. They are Failsafe and the title track which stands out even slighty more than the other. All other songs rate between 4.5 and 5 stars, which makes the overall rating of the album quite easy. 4.9 stars nicely round up to 5.

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 Tales From The Lush Attic by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.86 | 360 ratings

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Tales From The Lush Attic
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Formed by Mike Holmes and Martin Orford all the way back in 1981, IQ were amongst the first bands in the 80s to resurrect the styles of Genesis and Yes and progressive rock in general along with other early neo-prog pioneers Marillion, Pendragon, Twelfth Night, Pallas and others. Although this debut album by IQ starts out sounding like a mere Genesis clone with Gabriel era vocals and keyboard runs, it really picks up after few minutes and takes the listener on most unexpected journeys.

Genesis were masters of creating a new sound and then suddenly jettisoning it in favor of a new one. In the wake of their musical disposals first encountered on "Trespass" countless bands hungrily devoured the carcasses of their former sounds and incorporated them into their musical beings. After Gabriel left, the band changed their sound to a more neo-prog sound and eventually to a symphonic pop sound abandoning all the prog they so ambitiously created in the first place. Bands like IQ boldly resurrected these progressive traits first heard in the 70s and added a little zing to the whole mix.

TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC expands the Genesis inspired universe into farther reaches of that musical universe. Technically the second album after the cassette-only "Seven Stories Into Eight" it was nonetheless the first major release. Although Peter Nicholls echoes the Gabriel era of Genesis, at times he actually sounds like a bit like Rikk Emmett of Triumph at times showing a more diverse range in the octave department.

This album is a surprise actually. Coming to this late in the game after hearing the 21st century releases first, i have to say that i really love this debut. It shows great maturity in the composition department and the musicianship is on an excellent level matching that of any technical level of other 80s genres such as metal, jazz or classical. Martin Orford is particularly brilliant on the keyboards on this one and i even hear a little Philip Glass wizardry influence here and there. The rest of the band is nothing less than phenomenal in their ability to maintain a tight and steady progressive time signature frenzy as well.

A very promising start to a long lasting career with this one and even though there were a few speed bumps on the way, IQ has remained a steady and incrementally waxing force in the progressive rock arena for three decades at this point (2014). I find the music on this one brilliant but it is the blatant Gabriel vocal impersonation here that keeps me from rating this higher. It's just tooooo Peter most of the time. The best parts are the instrumental ones but even with vocals as they are and all i still really dig this scene.

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 Tales From The Lush Attic by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.86 | 360 ratings

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Tales From The Lush Attic
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by steelyhead

5 stars Beautiful way to start a band. Beatiful way of express yourself in a world where Disco and Punk has ravaged the musical world and got bands like Genesis and Yes running for cover.

This is the band that, with the help of Marillion, put the word "progressive" again in the tongues of many, many people, myself included, and who up to the year (2014) I am writing this are keeping the flame alive.

This is not a perfect record, but the way the first song crawl into your heart with Its luscious keyboard and the voice You'll think Genesis never went away to the Phil Collins inferno but stayed just one more recording.

IQ is not a Genesis clone band. Yes, They use Genesis as a foundation, but sure as hell, They have their own musical ideas and They developed in an ample manner here in their first CD.

Maani is right, You need to give this CD five stars beacuse of the music that is in It but also because of the historical importance of the moment. Give It a try and I am sure You'll be with me in this.

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 The Road Of Bones by IQ album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 799 ratings

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The Road Of Bones
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by eugenia43

5 stars Five years on from 'Frequency', IQ delivers yet again another sublime album, only this can be called a masterpiece of progressive rock (hence the 5 star rating) unlike Frequency that is an excellent album like many IQ albums before that. This is the best album that they've ever released. I have listened to the 2 CD album, and I have to say that disc 2 is almost as good as the first one, well worth your time (and money). The only downer is that we have to wait another 4 to 5 years for another IQ release, but if it's anything like The Road of Bones, the wait will be worthwhile.

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 The Wake by IQ album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.78 | 453 ratings

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The Wake
IQ Neo-Prog

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

2 stars IQ is a band that I'm not terribly familiar with, but I've heard a decent amount of their discography. Neo-prog as a whole is a genre of which I know only a handful of bands, and is still something that I'm still attempting to delve into. Because IQ is considered one of the seminal bands in the genre, I figured it was only fitting that I attempted to get into their music.

I must say, that while much of the content on this album is fairly well-written, it's simply music that I could not really get into, despite several listens. Not really any tracks stood out, and the flow of the album in my opinion was a little shaky. However, only personal opinion really gets in the way of my enjoyment of this album; I can very well see that the members of IQ are very talented at what they do.

This is an album that I can't really listen to for enjoyment, and that I don't find myself wanting to go back to. It does, though, have redeeming qualities, and I'd urge fans of the band or genre to give this a try.

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Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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