Spock’s Beard – “Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep”

Spock’s Beard – “Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep” (Inside Out Music)

Formed by the Morse brothers in the early 90s, in many ways Spock’s Beard defined modern prog that took inspiration from the likes of Yes and Genesis – not in the least when multi instrumentalist Neil left the band for a solo career and drummer Nick D’Virgilio took up his vocal duties in true Phil Collins style, which also heralded a new era for the band. History over, the new album features yet another line up with D’Virgilio himself now gone only to be replaced by vocalist Ted Leonard and drummer / vocalist Jimmy Keegan. But the surprise is that Neil Morse is back – well at least in a song writing capacity – although the band are adamant this will not herald a return to early Spock’s Beard. Indeed, I would say the newcomers have inspired a move into modern technical rock much in Rush’s vein, although definitely not a shift away from prog. With so many vocal talents now in the band needless to say the new Spock’s Beard have that area nailed with Ted’s smooth voice and heaps of backing harmonies, which are very much the prominent feature of songs like ‘A Treasure Abandoned’, ‘I Know Your Secret’ and ‘Something Very Strange’. Alan Morse’s guitar also rocks out a lot more, with more breaks and dare I say it, wilder solos not forgetting Dave Meros’s crunching Ricky bass and the space age effects from keyboardist Ryo Okumoto. This is a very accessible album indeed for all but the purist progsters and anyone wanting to check out what has been the fuss about Spock’s Beard need look no farther.

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