RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Spock’s Beard – Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep
Inside/Out Music
www.insideout.com

Rating: C

Spock’s Beard is back with another album of Progressive Rock that challenges the listener as well as the listener’s intellect.  This is a talented band, who despite themselves (they are on their third singer) and the music industry (who does not care about Prog) and the general public (most don’t know who they are) are still creating interesting music.

This time around they have a CD of seven nicely crafted songs that will appeal to their fan base.  The trouble with Spock’s Beard is that they are a band in 2013 that really, to get into them, appreciate them and ‘get’ them, one must make a commitment to them.  Their music is not fast food at all.  You can’t take it all in at once.  You must listen to the entire soundscape and to the ethereal infusions and dreamy (and sometimes a tad dreary) passages to fully understand who they are and what they are trying to say.  Unfortunately, they live in a time and place where that, on a huge scale, is not likely to happen.

That is not to say that one should not give ‘em a try.  Oddly, on this album, the best songs are on the special edition bonus disk.  “Wish I Were Here” and “Down a Burning Road” are great songs.  Why they are not on the regular disc is not clear.  But, much like the history of the band, the good stuff is there but one often questions why things are done the way they are.

This is a solid effort and a good try but all of the changes in the band have taken a toll on the overall effectiveness of the music.  Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep is an Espresso-like release for the band.  You will eventually acquire a taste for it but the first few sips will be a tad strong. Once the taste it acquired, however, you will find yourself going back for more.

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc One
1. Hiding Out (7:13)
2. I Know Your Secret (7:40)
3. A Treasure Abandoned (8:53)
4. Submerged (4:57)
5. Afterthoughts (6:08)
6. Something Very Strange (8:23)
7. Waiting For Me (12:36)

Disc Two (special edition only)
1. The Man You're Afraid You Are (7:11)
2. Down A Burning Road (6:51)
3. Wish I Were Here (6:33)
4. Something Very Strange / Sanctified (Remix) (5:09)
5. Postcards From Perdition (4:27)

By Jeb Wright

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