Multi Story - CBF10,
With a history stretching back nearly 40 years, albeit with a rather extensive break in the middle, most fans of British neo prog will be aware of Multi Story. Original singer Paul Ford and keyboard player Rob Wilsher both played on their 1985 album, something I heard when it was reissued by Kinesis some 10 years later, and then a few years back they decided to form a new version of the band. There may have been nearly thirty years between ‘Through Your Eyes’ and ‘Crimson Stone’, and only Rob played on both, but many fans were intrigued when they returned. A far more respectable four-year gap has now seen them back with ‘CBF10’. Bassist Kyle Jones has now been replaced by Arnie Edwards, but both Aedan Neal (electric & acoustic guitars) and drummer Jordan Neale both played on the last one.
The result is a solid right down the middle neo prog album, which apart from a clean and produced sound could well have been recorded more than 30 years previously. It has the naïve prog approach favoured by some bands in the earlier days of the neo scene, but whereas bands who kept playing tended to change their approach and move into different sub genres, Multi Story have not been able to progress as they did not exist for such a long period. This is an album of those pre-internet days, when bands were swapping music on tapes, and the only way to find out what was going on was either sending letters to bands or paying out for the A5 photocopied newsletters run by fans. Some of those lifelines are still going today in one form or another (Feedback is now called Amplified, Background is now a website, Acid Dragon is still Acid Dragon!), while others just disappeared as life got in the way. This is music from that period, not essential, yet while some have always denigrated the genre as “not being real prog”, it makes me think of being in a car with Mark Colton of Credo, playing “The Student Prince” by Comedy of Errors, or the latest tape by Mentaur, while discussing what was in the most recent issue of Blindsight. If you also remember and miss those days, then this is worth hearing for nostalgia’s sake, but otherwise just walk on by.