“This album is dedicated to the music of the seventies”, is written on the inlay of the CD-box of A Kid Called Sean, the debut album of Melvin’s Nosehair, a band from The Netherlands that initially started as a cover band. They once played songs from Pink Floyd, Genesis, Camel, Spock’s Beard, Dream Theater and Neal Morse. You can certainly hear the influences of those acts on this 34-minute piece of music they wrote and recorded for this album. This epic concept song has been divided into fourteen parts and deals with ehh…a kid called Sean, his childhood memories and his feelings of being left out. The five musicians that played in other Dutch bands as Segunda and Sky Architect, created a piece of music that can be considered as homage to the progressive rock music of the seventies. What they had created isn’t bad at all! Jos Durkstra (keyboards) and Tom Lucies (guitar, vocals), who wrote this piece of music, kept my attention from the first note until the last.
The music starts with Prologue: Childhood’s End, an acoustic piece slightly reminiscent of the opening tune for (Metropolis Part 2) Scenes From a Memory by Dream Theater. You can say Regression from this DT-album is a kind of prologue as well. Next we hear music that can be compared to the best parts of the music Neal Morse recorded with Spock’s Beard on albums as The Light and Beware Of Darkness. Especially the fabulous organ and Mellotron parts, but also their style of playing on the acoustic guitar is very similar to Neal Morse’s style. However, while listening to this album, the electric guitar parts performed by Tom Lucies are very important as well. His way of playing has some resemblance with Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) who uses the same kind of wah-wah sound on the Flower Kings-albums.
Halfway the album Dream Theater appears to be the source of inspiration while singing the phrase ‘feeling left out’. The heavy guitar riffs that go along with the aggressive way of singing could have been done by John Petrucci himself. The fine harmony vocals following this part show some resemblance with early Spock’s Beard. Right from the beginning the Spock’s Beard-song Thoughts came to my mind. However, Gentle Giant used the same kind of harmony vocals on their albums and they were a big inspiration for Spock’s Beard. By the way, I think the musicians from Melvin’s Nosehair don’t have any GG-album in their collection. The church organ towards the end is very well done and is followed by the main theme on which the Mellotron plays an important role. The fine electric guitar sound is the introduction to the Grand Finale, the final climax after which the album ends with the final piece Epilogue: Childhood’s End with the acoustic guitar, just like the album started. Beautiful!
This album is way too short, because half an hour of fine music is over before you actually realize that it has begun. Anyway, the music on A Kid Called Sean certainly is worth listening to. Maybe it’s not always original, but it gave me a good feeling whatsoever, the kind of feeling I always experience when I listen to good prog music.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013