Thursday, May 28, 2009



Progressive rock is one of those genres where I tend to think bands are either stellar or flat. I go in expecting solid playing, but so many in this style fall into the trap of playing rambling passages that concentrate more on technical ability than emotion. Thank goodness the latest release from British prog veterans IQ falls squarely in the stellar side. "Frequency" is the first album from this British band since 2004's Dark Matter. The new album reminds me a lot of 70's progressive rock with a few nods to the early 1980's as well. IQ could be compared to a lot of bands as various parts bring to mind different acts. Yet by the end of the album that doesn't matter a whole lot because they bring everything together nicely and make it their own sound. The melodies are the major focus here and the band uses their technical skills to enhance the melodies rather than going off in various directions. The result is an album that works on many levels yet manages to convey a definite sense of focus. IQ wrote these songs like excellent storytellers. They put in enough hooks to build the song and the music kept growing until the inevitable climax. There were very few moments where I didn't find myself glued to what they were going to do next. There is a subtlety to a number of the songs as they glide into them rather than charging and it works perfectly. The only problem I had with the disc was that many of the songs start out at exactly the same pace which is fairly. I was hoping for them to start a song or two at a different tempo. However if you just hang on then the songs do pick up and they toss in some tempo changes. Prog rock fans should easily find much to enjoy about this one.

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Blogger The Mule said...

I just got this album this week.IQ are one of my all-time favourite bands. Great review; you didn't say "neo-prog" once!

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I.Q are an incredible band and this albums a great introduction if youre unfamiliar with them. This is reminiscent of early albums such as the wake - Its a long time since prog made the hairs on my arm stand up. That’s the effect music should have.

1:42 AM  

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