Grand Stand - Tricks Of Time

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Progress Records
Catalog Number: PRCD 009
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:02:00

Tricks Of Time, hmm, like Trick Of The Tail. Must sound like Genesis. Tricks Of Time is the second release by the Swedish band Grand Stand. And yes, it does remind one of Genesis. It also brings IQ and Camel to mind, especially guitarist Michael Rank Jensen, who sounds somewhat like Andy Latimer at times. Tricks Of Time is a nice second effort from the band that will grow a bit on you with each listen. I must say that I didn't care much for bassist and vocalist Goran Johnsson's voice at first listen, but his voice, like the music of Grand Stand gets better with a bit of familiarity.

This release is made up of only five songs, from the four minute instrumental "Words Are Not Enough" to the final track, the sixteen minute opus, "Old Man's Tale." In the first, "Jurassic Spark," the band takes a simple theme and works it relentlessly to get their point across. The tune has guitars playing pedal tones and quite basic repetitive riffs while the keyboards play the relative progressions above the guitar line. Drummer Tomas Hurtig plays just like Phil Collins, with nice high hat and tom-tom work Mix this with instrumental passages that feature simple, melodic lines, similar to Genesis circa 1975-1977, from guitarist Jensen and keyboardist Olav Andersson and you have the basis of "Jurassic Spark."

"Words Are Not Enough," the shortest track, sounds like a delightful blend of Genesis and Camel. It begins with Andersson's keyboards playing a Tony Banks-like melodic line, firmly in control and then halfway through it becomes a Camel like guitar romp. "Waiting For Water" sounds like an outtake from Genesis' Trick Of The Tail. This cut begins as a bolero and quickly sets up its main theme, which sounds a great deal like Genesis' "Squonk." There are harmonized lines aplenty and the specters of Banks and Hackett are never far away. Jensen and Andersson both turn in gentle, beautiful solos and the cut ends with some lovely and very breathy synthesizer work.

Saving their best for last, the band turns in stellar performances of the last two numbers. "Empty Barrels Rattle The Most" is probably the best composition on Tricks Of Time, with open and inviting themes, numerous changes of time and tempo and Andersson's lush Mellotron-like backing underscoring Jensen's melodic, sustained guitar licks. After about six minutes of very verdant, luxurious beauty, all hell breaks loose and we get some blazing solo work from the guitar and the synths. Jensen whips out some very nasty metal licks with hammer-ons and bends that show his aggressive side well.

"Old Man's Tale" is the final and longest track of this album. Beginning with a laid back, almost Italian sounding intro, Jensen launches into a bluesy lick that will remind the listener of Eric Johnson. After that odd turn, the tune settles back into more familiar territory. The main body of this track sounds a lot like IQ, but the center section of this tune is all Genesis. If you started this tune at about seven minutes into the track you would hear Andersson soloing and you would think you were listening to Tony Bank's synth solo in "The Cinema Show."

As I said earlier, this is a disc that grows on you with each listen. The band as a whole is talented and very tight. The drumming is great and guitarist Michael Rank Jensen and keyboardist Olav Andersson are both impressive players. The songwriting is a bit derivative but if you've read any of my other reviews you'll know that, for me, that is no great sin. I love music like this and if it borrows from Genesis, hey, no problem! Grand Stand plays some great music and I look forward to their third release.

Jurassic Spark (11:24) / Words Are Not Enough (4:01) / Waiting For Water (9:39) / Empty Barrels Rattle The Most (9:34) / Old Man's Tale (16:00)

Tomas Hurtig - drums, voice
Goran Johnsson - lead vocals, bass, keyboards
Michael Rank Jensen - guitars, bass, vocals
Olav Andersson - keyboards, synthesizer, vocals

In The Middle, On The Edge (1998)
Tricks Of Time (2002)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin SE

Added: September 26th 2004
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Artist website:
Hits: 1035
Language: english


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