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Grey Lady Down - The Crime CD (album) cover

THE CRIME

Grey Lady Down

 

Neo-Prog

3.34 | 50 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Criminal record

Grey Lady Down is an archetypal and rather generic British Neo-Prog band playing music that is quite heavily and straightforwardly in the same style as that of (early) 80's IQ, Marillion and Twelfth Night, but without any of the novelties and distinctive features of those bands. This debut album released in 1994 (but could just as well have been released in 1984 from the sound of it) also lacks the memorable melodies of the more well-known 80's Neo-Prog bands. Personally, I fail to see the attractions of The Crime and my biggest problem with it is that every song sounds just like any other. There are not enough of changes in mood, tone, tempo or in the instrumental attack on the album and the result is rather flat. I detect a Punk (or Post Punk?) flavour in this recording, especially the drums are often simplistic and straightforward.

If judged one by one, almost all the songs here are decent and even mildly pleasant, but after only a few tracks I tend to tire of the sound of the album. All the way till the end, the listener is basically offered just more and more of the same middle-of-the-road Neo-Prog. There are a couple of exceptions, though, one positive and one negative. The positive one is the acoustic introduction to Thrill Of It All which sounds very good. But when the synthesisers and drums enter it all gets back to the same established sound once again. It does get a bit tedious after a while, even for me who have learned to appreciate much music in the Neo-Prog category. The negative exception is the embarrassing Annabel, the only track of the album that is downright bad and cheesy (which frankly could be expected as it is after all a song with a girl's name as its title).

The vocals of Martin Wilson gets a lot of praise, but for me he has a rather anonymous and indistinctive voice. He has some talent for sure, as does the rest of the band in terms of instrumental skill, but as song writers, they leave a lot to be desired. They are obviously attempting to be catchy, in a Marillion' Market Square Heroes-way, but as the songs lack strong enough melodies, they fail to "catch" the listener (this listener, anyway). I thus found this album to be a rather tedious listen, but after having forced myself to sit through it several times, I can conclude that it leaves little impression on me.

Only recommended for Neo-Prog fanatics

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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