Watch, The - Vacuum

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Lizard
Catalog Number: 035
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:02:00

Bobo reviews a CDR pre-release version; release data from the final version.

Looking at the huge success the Canadian band The Musical Box has by simply copying vintage Genesis material, one most certainly can't say the few bands who craft their own compositions in the same way Genesis did in the seventies are committing a crime! I very much understand that there are people out there who still feel Trespass, Nursery Crime and Foxtrot were the best albums ever made, so when a young band delivers brand new original material in the same style, I'm sure many, many Genesis fans worldwide will embrace this with open arms. Let's be honest here: without forcing himself, singer Simone Rossetti simply sounds like a very young Peter Gabriel whilst the rest of the band surely have studied the Genesis arrangements and sounds to the fullest in order to create a kind of music that gets ever so close to the "real" Genesis from the seventies.

If you listen to the keyboards, it's as if you are listening to Tony Banks; if you listen to the guitar, you see Hackett in front of your eyes; when you hear the drums, you find yourself in Phil Collins territory, whilst the main ingredient remains the fantastic Simone Rossetti, who even plays some flute, making "Damage Mode" sound like an outtake from the aforementioned three albums. His voice even contains that slight harshness that made Gabriel's voice so typical and original. Towards the end, Ettore's guitar briefly sounds a bit like that of Gary Chandler, adding a slightly more direct approach to the whole. Contrary to a lot of contemporary prog acts, The Watch has the power to include catchy melodies within their music, which of course is a very strong point. I'm referring to the end section of "Wonderland" here, which for my liking could go on and on forever! I'm convinced that when Genesis freaks listen to "Shining Bald Heads" (great title by the way!), they will come across lots of elements they have heard before in the impressive Genesis output. Personally, I can't really point the exact finger on it, but the resemblances surely are there. "Out Of The Land" sees guitar fusing with synths forming the backbone for Simone's superb singing. Again the chorus is mighty strong, enabling listeners to sing along after only hearing this one for a couple of times. This for me proves the quality of the compositions more than anything else.

"Goddess" is probably the most energetic of the tracks, containing some superb drumming as well as great guitar and keyboard work, featuring powerful mellotron that blends ever so well with the guitar. It becomes boring when once again I have to say that the quality of the melody is again outstanding during the shorter "Deeper Still." In fact, throughout Vacuum, it sounds like a lot of time has gone into composing the right kind of music so as to still sound like authentic vintage Genesis, but without bluntly copying their music. All The Watch has done is adapt the Genesis style, whilst remaining loyal to their own songs. Although large chunks of the title track once again sound like long forgotten recordings from the Charterhouse boys, the hard riffs, which almost sound like Zeppelin material, most certainly put a firm original mark on the whole. The ending of the second part of the title track, and also of the entire album, is a little abrupt and strange, as you will hear for yourself.

Throughout history there have been painters and writers who delivered their own original work based on that of others before them. If you look at the current charts, then most of the songs are either covers or songs that one way or another are largely based on existing music. The Watch simply delivers original music, but with the vintage seventies Genesis atmosphere as main ingredient. Since the original Genesis came to life, all over the world many bands became inspired by them and introduced Genesis flavours and elements into their music. Based on the many bands there are, spread over the last thirty years, I can clearly say The Watch is the absolute best, with Vacuum for sure being their absolute highlight. In a recent interview Mike Rutherford said how much he enjoyed seeing The Musical Box, who for his personal taste should've played a little louder. Loud or soft, if Mike gets the opportunity to hear Vacuum, he will be ever so impressed. Pleased to hear that not only the music but also the "joie de vivre" and the original Genesis atmosphere not only have survived, but have become part of the lifestyle of a bunch of enthusiastic Italian youngsters. Italy, where many, many years ago it all began for the one and only, real, Genesis.

The final release was distributed by Pick Up Records

Hills (1:26) / Damage Mode (7:17) / Wonderland (7:05) / Shining Bald Heads (5:55) / Out Of The Land (6:05) / Goddess (5:48) / Deeper Still (3:24) / The Vacuum (10:59)

Simone Rossetti - vocals, flute
Ettore Salati - guitars
Marco Schembri - bass
Gabriele Manzini - keyboards
Roberto Leoni - drums

The Night Watch - Twilight (1999)
Ghost (2001)
Vacuum (2004)
Primitive (2007)
Planet Earth? (2010)
Timeless (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: September 5th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 902
Language: english


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