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Galahad: Seize the Day (EP)

For those of you not in the loop, U.K. based progressive rock band Galahad are Roy Keyworth (guitars, backing vocals), Stu Nicholson (lead and backing vocals), Spencer Luckman (drums, backing vocals) and Dean Baker (keyboards, backing vocals). Neil Pepper (bass guitar and inspiration) also appears but unfortunately passed away in September of 2011.

I have to say it was nice to have the opportunity to review Galahad's latest EP Seize the Day as I have always been curious of the band but have yet to explore their music for whatever reason. After listening to Seize the Day I now have no excuse. This is excellent stuff.

The album is composed of six tracks, with a couple of versions of each. Kind of a tasting of what is yet to come as the band plans to release more material later this year.

The first two tracks include a single and full version of "Seize the Day" taken from the Battle Scars album released in 2012. If you are familiar with that album you will know what a great track it is. The full version is much better as it includes more atmospheric parts that are necessary for the songs development. Spacey synths, piano and effects begin the odyssey and when Nicholson's sublime lead vocals begin I was reminded of Ultravox, which is never a bad thing in my book. The background music builds and as the vocals soar the music switches gears towards an electronic dance/trance vibe. Heavier guitars and a softer palette of percolating synths along with a catchy chorus makes this an accessible but rewarding listen. "21st Century Painted Lady" has its beginnings all the way back to their 1993 debut In A Complete Moment Of Madness. The song has been completely reworked and is one of my favourites on the disc. Starting and ending with lovely acoustic guitar, the middle is awash with penetrating synths and excellent vocals. There is an IQ/Pendragon feel at times but the music feels more 'electronic' with a definite trance flavour. The album ends with a reworked and live version of "Bug Eye", originally on the Following Ghost album released in 1999. The beginning synths emit a darker feel and as the electronics build the soundscape becomes more lush and dramatic. The talking vocals work well in this context reminding me a little of Floyd in spots. For one brief moment the vocals even take on a Pet Shop Boy element but don't let that scare you, it actually works quite well. Galahad has a tremendous sense of melody and that innate ability to reel in the listener. The live version is a tad longer, allowing the band to further explore their progressive roots.

As I had not heard the band before these songs were completely new to me and quite the musical treat. I very much look forward to exploring the rest of their catalogue.

Track Listing:
1. Seize the Day (single version)
2. Seize the Day (full version)
3. 21st Century Painted Lady
4. 21st First Century Painted Lady (instrumental)
5. Bug Eye 2014
6. Bug Eye (live)

Added: April 27th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1900
Language: english

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