Simeon Soul Charger -
A Trick Of Light

(CD 2015, 50:45, Gentle Art Of Music GAOM 025)

The tracks:
  1- The Prince Of Wands
  2- Heavy
  3- Evening Drag
  4- How Do You Peel
  5- Where Do You Hide
  6- Workers Hymn
  7- The Illusionist
  8- Jane
  9- I Put A Spell On You
10- Floating Castles

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When you release your albums on a label that stands for progressive rock, like Gentle Art Of Music does, fact is, half of the reviewers will not be positive, just due to the point your band does not fit the tight suit that is called progressive rock. I have explained the concept of “progressive” before, but lots of people; dinosaurs in my opinion, hold on to the idea that progressive rock means the music played in the seventies, where keyboards ruled the world and compositions lasted twenty minutes. That might be the reason both Simeon Soul Charger's previous albums did not score the points they deserve on our site.

Simeon Soul Charger is an American band that has re-located to the south of Germany to conquer the world. The band consists of vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Aaron Brooks, guitarist, mandolin player and vocalist Rick Phillips, bass and banjo player Spider Monkey and finally drummer/percussionist Joe Kidd. True, Simeon Soul Charger does not play progressive rock in the conventional way, when I would have to box them I would mention folk rock, blues, psychedelic and even southern rock and The Beatles. The compositions mix all this together to a very tasteful form of music, which either can be enjoyed, sitting on your porch holding a nice glass of Jack Daniels. The best way I think would be joining them on one of their concerts and let the music do the talking.

The album sees a lot of variation, listening to a song like Workers Hymn I hear influences of Primus as well as Wishbone Ash during the guitar melodies. But the most impressive is Simeon Soul Charger on tracks like The Prince Of Wands, How Do You Peel, Evening Drag and the very catchy Heavy. I hear hunches of Drivin'n'Cryin' passing by; a band I used to listen to a lot in the past. These slightly bluesy compositions are enjoyable and Aaron's vocals just sound perfect to this type of music. Songs like The Illusionist and Jane are more powerful and see an additional influence from stoner rock. The only turn off for me is Simeon Soul Charger's interpretation of Screamin'Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You, a song better known in Creedence Clearwater Revival's version. Not because this is a bad version, but more because I have heard the song about two million times so far.

A Trick Of Light will not add many progheads to their fans, but the album is great listening to and for me Aaron's voice is quite enjoyable; emotional and melodic. Like I mentioned earlier, an album to share with Jack, or even better with some “cake”. It's a bit of shame that the best compositions are located at the first part of the CD, to me those were the most impressive.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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