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

World Trade - Unify
Frontiers Records


Rating B

Billy Sherwood is a busy guy.

Besides being Chris Squire’s bass playing successor in Yes (Official) he also took the place of the late John Wetton on tour with Asia this summer. In addition to this, Sherwood also handled bass and vocals for Asia on their tour with Journey that recently wrapped. With all this on his plate you wonder how he found time to resurrect his prog rock outfit World Trade.

World Trade has been around since 1989, though not well known.  They recorded a pair of albums that were cult favorites of the prog world. Reminiscent of 1980’s era Yes, World Trade originally consisted of Sherwood, guitarist Bruce Gowdy, keyboardist Guy Allison and drummer Mark T. Williams. Ex-Hurricane drummer Jay Schellen manned the drums in William’s place on their second release in 1995...and then it all ended. Twenty two years later the band has returned with their original lineup and a new album titled Unify.  This is a worthy effort that plays on both the strength of the musicianship as much as it does on song craft.

The album opens with the solid track “A New Norm.” This song features clean vocal harmonies, a catchy keyboard line and is reminiscent of Big Generator era Yes. “Where We’re Going” features concise lead guitar work from Gowdy and more big harmonies that are sure to please. The same can be said for my favorite track on the album “Gone All The Way.” Other standouts are “Again”, “Lifeforce” and the title track.

My only complaint is the songs seem to stagnate when listened to in sequence. On the flip side, the ten tracks on the album clock in less than 50 minutes. Pretty reasonable considering many prog bands tend to stretch well past the 60-minute mark to make their statement. World Trade doesn’t need to do that here. The songs are good and fans of ‘80s Yes and Sherwood will enjoy this release.

While it may not resonate enough for the casual listener, it’s a solid album worth checking out and adding to your collection.

1. The New Norm
2. Where We’re Going
3. Pandora’s Box
4. On Target with Time
5. Gone All the Way
6. Unify
7. For the Fallen
8. Lifeforce
9. Same Old Song
10. Again.

By Jay Horrocks Jr.