It's amazing the amount of new music you can come across at a prog festival. Usually at the annual NEARfest event, between purchases and promo's from the bands and labels, I come home with plenty of new tunes to digest. This year, as I was chatting with Ted Thomas (who I see and speak to every year at the festival) during the Friday night McGill/Manring/Stevens show, I found out he is now part of a progressive rock band called Thirteen of Everything. Ted was kind enough to give me a CD demo, and after a few listens I must say I am impressed.
Combining influences from early Genesis, IQ, Spock's Beard, and maybe even the Flower Kings, Thirteen of Everything give the prog fan what they want-long tunes, lots of instrumental interplay, and tons of melody. "Let it Go" features some great keyboard sounds, nifty fuzz guitar, and Gabriel-esque vocals from keyboard player Patrick McFarland. Many times newer bands tend to ramble on a bit when tackling epic-type songs, but this four-piece manages to utilize chops, melody, and atmosphere in a winning formula. A perfect example of this is during the mysterious and haunting "Sleepdance" which sounds like a leftover from Trick of the Tail by Genesis. Guitarist Joe Funk handles the lead vocals on this one (the band all shares the vocal duties) and is supplemented by some wonderful piano and synth passages from Patrick McFarland. The band hits a real Fish-era Marillion groove on the two final cuts, "Replay" and "Bird in Hand", the latter a ten minute ripper with symphonic keys and blistering guitar work.
I also need to give Ted a plug, as he plays some mean drums on the CD, especially on the energetic opener "Flying East." For more info, check out the bands new website.