Simon Says - Tardigrade,
Back in 1995 I was sent two albums to review that had been released on a small Swedish label called Bishop Garden Records – the first of these was ‘Every Pixie Tells a Story’ by The Moor, and the second ‘Ceinwein’ by Simon Says. Stefan Renström was the link between the two bands as he was the bassist for the former and was the leader of the second providing all of the music (originally Simon Says were going to be primarily a duo of Stefan and singer Daniel Fäldt). I gave the album a rave review, loving the mix of Seventies and Eighties prog and the way that it moved – in fact I said “In my opinion ‘Ceinwein’ is one of the top albums to come out of Scandinavia this year”.
So of course, in the parallel universe the band sold millions and became household names, but in this rather more boring reality they split up. Stefan stayed with The Moor, touring Europe, and then in 2001 he contacted Daniel saying that he wanted to get Simon Says going again. They quickly got a band together and recorded ‘Paradise Square’, which was released on Galileo Records in 2002 (which I haven’t heard) but again the band was shelved. It is hard to find out information on the band and what has been going as neither of their websites have been updated in a number of years and that is a crying shame as this new album is nothing short of brilliant.
This is music that belongs in the Seventies, but it is very much of the present as well. Keyboards can be dominant, or just piano, guitars can be overpowering or non-existent. It has swathes of mellotron and Hackett/Howe guitars with wonderful vocals. Imagine Genesis and Yes moved in a time machine from thirty years ago to now, and then were allowed just enough time to hear what was going on and to get used to modern equipment and then thrown into a studio with Derek Shulman to record an album, and this is what you get. This is a prog lover’s dream – and every home should have this CD. What concerns me is that this band appear to have dropped off the radar again since this release and that is nothing short of criminal – this is the sort of music that got me involved with the genre in the first place. Modern progheads need bands like these.www.progrockrecords.com