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Comedy of Errors: Disobey

This is Comedy of Errors debut release and what an excellent way to kick off a career! They take the title of one of William Shakespeare's earliest and shortest plays, as their band name and bring us new music with their own twist using vocals that are a nice mix between early Nick Barrett from Pendragon and Euan Lowson from Sentinel era Pallas. Then they set it all to music which fits perfectly somewhere between those epic bands with some Marillion influences thrown in for good measure.

This is the musical sound most of the famous UK Neo Prog bands have sadly moved away from in recent years. Fortunately for us there are some UK bands like Comedy of Errors and Touchstone who are bringing back this Neo prog era in all its glory.

The band is made up of Joe Cairney, on vocals; Jim Johnston, on keyboards, additional guitars, and backing vocals; Mark Spaulding, on main lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, bass, and backing vocals; and Bruce Levick on drums. Hew Montgomery plays additional bass on The Student Prince Part 1.

All hail 80s Neo Prog! This band has brought it back from one of the regions of the world of its origin. Thank you Comedy of Errors, for disobeying the rules of progression and bringing us this regression to a time of glory! One of the best UK albums of the year so far. Will rank high on my albums of the year list as well.

So let's take a look at the album track by track:

Disobey opens the album with those excellent keys from Johnston that take you right back to early Clive Nolan from Pendragon. But this sounds different, with a little sound of back masking to it which adds originality to the theme. Spaulding weaves the guitar through the middle of the soundscape as we hear Cairney's first vocals. They take you right back to early Pendragon. Later Cairney's uses that echo vocal effect so well done on Pallas' Sentinel album. The sound on this album is more powerful than early Pendragon with more influence from Pallas' Sentinel era. Levick's drums are solid and great support for the overall power of the sound. Off to a powerful and epic start.

Jekyll opens with beautiful cascading keys and synth buzzes which lightly illuminate the sound and vision before Johnston takes off running with Spaulding's bass and lead electric guitar. That cool Neo prog keyboard sound is magnified with Cairney's perfect vocals. The 80s keyboard sound is so good to hear in all its glory again! This band is not afraid to let Johnston run free, and you the listener are the benefactor.

Prelude, Riff and Fugue is full of great keys and Mellotron like sounds that fill the air with joy. The guitar work supports the growing power of the track well. This instrumental wandering is one of the many things I miss so much from that Neo Prog era of the 1980s. Not enough bands are doing this today. The harpsichord like progression work is wonderful as are the keys that majestically build a wall of sound to close out the track. This is definitely one of the highlights of the many greatest hits on this debut.

Carousel may be the best written song on the album, besides 'The Student Prince 'Suite'. The vocals are some of the best on the album and the guitar work is exemplary. The keys are sensational as they are throughout the album. Spaulding's excellent acoustic and electric guitar work lifts this song in the same way Nick Barrett's early guitar work became a signature for Pendragon's early classics. The soft guitar and keys that close this song took me right back to Wind and Wuthering era Genesis as well.

American Rodeo is another great keyboard opening track that builds tempo fast with launching guitars following closely behind. A great American rock rhythm and power track, full of Hammond-like organ to boot.

Could Have Been Yesterday opens slowly and quietly like the opening of morning with wonderful acoustic guitar and keys. A strong ballad like song full of good lyrics and powerful emotion on vocals.

Beautiful piano like keys open Ailsa's Lullaby, a fantastic keyboard showcase instrumental. Unfortunately it's over too quickly.

What would a comedy be without a Joke? Another of the best written songs on the album. The piano like keys are fantastic. The guitar work is some of the best on the album. Soaring and launching guitar that will make you want to hear this track again and again.

The Student Prince: Pt. 1: When Will I See You Again? is the beginning of the epic closer. And this band knows how to write and perform an epic like few current UK bands have this year. The melody brings back memories of the past while at the same time providing a path to a future full of originality. The guitar work is excellent with fantastic support from the keyboards, like all the greats from the Neo era produced.

The Student Prince: Pt. 2: And So to Bed is excellent and full of more launching guitar with dynamic keys supporting so well. When they let loose on the keyboards and drums, the guitar flowing through, it just sets a fire rampage that not even the legends I have been mentioning from Neo prog were able to deliver in one song.

The Student Prince: Pt. 3: Foolcircle is full of quiet piano like keys on the opening after the fire blaze from the preceding track. But don't worry a new onslaught of electric guitar and keys will arrive soon!

The Student Prince: Pt. 4: Green Light Coda closes the epic track nicely with calm warm keys great vocals, lyrics and strings.

Track Listing:

1. Disobey
2. Jekyll
3. Prelude, Riff and Fugue
4. Carousel
5. American Rodeo
6. Could Have Been Yesterday
7. Ailsa's Lullaby
8. Joke
9. The Student Prince: Pt. 1: When Will I See You Again?
10. The Student Prince: Pt. 2: And So to Bed
11. The Student Prince: Pt. 3: Foolcircle
12. The Student Prince: Pt. 4: Green Light Coda

Added: September 18th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Comedy of
Hits: 4019
Language: english

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