Here's another rarity rescued from the vaults of fogotten progressive rock bands. Hailing from the Netherlands, Plackband toiled around for a few years in the late 70's and recorded this live statement in 1981 before calling it a day. According to the CD booklet, the band has recently reformed and is getting ready to record and tour once again, prompted by the discovery and release of these recordings.
While Plackband owe to the classic sounds of bands like Genesis and Yes, I noticed many similarities to the bands that spearheaded the early 80's progressive rock revival, the so called "neo-prog" movement. Vocally, I hear bits of Marillion and Twelfth Night, and musically perhaps Pallas as well as Marillion. The songs feature lots of classic keyboard sounds (Hammond, Moog, Mellotron), melodic guitars, and pounding bass with the ocassional bass pedals. Some of the lyrical content is a bit hokey, as on "The Hunchback", "Seventy Warriors" and "Bloodmaster", but it seems that the band was just trying to fit in the prog landscape with these types of songs. Unfortunately, at the time punk, new wave, and metal were all the rage, and songs of science fiction, horror and fantasy were no longer the "in" thing. The band does however create some neat arrangements, with lots of room for instrumental breaks that let each member strut his stuff. I liked the lead vocals as well, and although they are mixed a bit high, the singer has a strong voice.
Collectors of rare prog recordings from the classic era can do no wrong by picking this CD up. While not a classic, it is a good representation of some of the fine Dutch prog that was around at the time.