Spock's Beard - Feel Euphoria

Year of Release: 2003
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD126
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:58:00

No one can honestly expect Spock's Beard not to change with the loss of Morse. Being the main songwriter alone makes that impossibility. We have all read the Genesis comparisons (The Lamb, Snow ? double concept discs, the last with the original singers, drummers becoming front men), so lets not go there. D'Virgilio and Okumoto have both released solo recordings recently, so we know the other members do write. Now, can they carry on without their leader?

Let's look at some of the changes in the bands sound. The first noticeable change is that Alan Morse really is upfront here. Many of the songs are based around a guitar riff versus Neal's synth or piano leads. The disc opens with the rocking ?Onomatopoeia," a song with a hard edge and very catchy melody. The band wastes no time showing off the vocal harmonies in the quiet acoustic section and throws in some mellotron for the diehards. The song is a departure, sharing as much with alternative rock as it does with prog, but the song rocks, and I like that. That's one thing I noticed, even songs that are a departure from the traditional Beard sound; still have a small stamp of the old.

The band's former identity makes itself apparent on many tracks. ?The Bottom Line? made me think, maybe Neal is not that far away, this track carries a lot of traits of Neal's writing. This is my favorite on the disc. The title track offers some good musical interludes, but I can't say that the entire track gels, it just never seems to get off the ground. ?East Of Eden, West Of Memphis? has some really good vocals and Okumoto really steps out in the middle of this one for a great synth solo smothered in Mellotron. ?Ghosts of Autumn? is a slow moody piece that I really enjoy, with a really emotional guitar solo from Alan.

The band also includes the epic ?A Guy Named Sid?. I love the melody of ?Same Old Story? section, and the vocal harmonies are used in a Beach Boys meets Spock's Beard fashion in ?Sid's Boys Choir?. ?Change? offers a dramatic ending to the piece and again back to the old ?Spock? trademarks. Having purchased the limited edition disc, two bonus tracks also are included, but these are not ?must have? tracks in my opinion.

Overall, the band shows a bit more edge, but retains the old Spock's Beard identity to some degree. I must admit that I don't find the material overall as strong as when Neal was writing, but it is still a good record with plenty of high points. Each member has contributed to the album, and all collaborated with outside writers. I give them credit for continuing on in the wake of Neal's departure, and hope that things only get better for them.

Released also by the now defunct InsideOut Music America (IOMA 2059)

Onomatopoeia (5:16) / The Bottom Line (7:33) / Feel Euphoria (7:20) / Shining Star (4:06) / East Of Eden, West Of Memphis (7:05) / Ghosts Of Autumn (6:53) / A Guy Named Sid: Intro (3:02) - Same Old Story (4:25) - You Don't Know (3:11) - Judge (3:20) - Sid's Boy Choir (1:09) - Change (5:16) / Carry On (5:20)

Nick d'Virgilio - vocals, drums, percussion, loops, acoustic and electric guitars
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
Alan Morse - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Dave Meros ? bass

The Light (1991)
Beware of Darkness (1995)
The Beard Is Out There Live (1995)
Official Live Bootleg (1996)
The Kindness of Strangers (1997)
From The Vault - 1995-1998 (1998)
Day For Night (1999)
Live At The Whiskey and NEARfest (1999)
Don't Try This At Home (2000)
V (2000)
Snow (2002)
Feel Euphoria (2003)
The Light - The Artwork Collector's Series (2004)
Octane (2005)
Gluttons For Punishment (2005)
Spock's Beard (2006)
Live (2008)
X (2010)
Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep (2013)
The Oblivion Particle (2015)
Noise Floor (2018)

The Beard Is Out There Live (VID) (1995)
Spock's Beard's Home Movie (VID) (1998)
Live At The Whisky (VID) (1999)
Making Of V (VID) (2001)
Don't Try This At Home & The Making Of V (DVD) (2002)
The Making Of Snow (DVD) (2004)
Live (DVD) (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: August 10th 2003
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website: www.spocksbeard.com
Hits: 730
Language: english


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