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IZZ – COLLAPSE THE WAVE (2024) (Bandcamp)

The first in a series of recommendations by the Prog fan SANDY GREENHORN, IZZ is one group I am really glad Sandy drew my attention to (ten albums later and their first for five years!) and I have to say I enjoyed my couple of listens to “Collapse the Wave”. First of all, they are New York based: Tom Galgano: Keyboards and Vocals; John Galgano: Bass, Guitar and Vocals; Laura Meade: Vocals; Paul Bremner: Guitar, Brian Coralian and Greg Di Miceli: Drums and Percussion. The album is described as “a sonic exploration of self and the universe” from philosophical, spiritual and scientific perspectives.

‘We are the 3rd’ is an 8:30 opener and a strong YES vibe permeates in the stunning vocal harmonies and bass sound, with some classic synth sounds and perceptive and thought-provoking lyrics (as throughout the album). The GENESIS- like ‘So Many Voices’ shows just how much can be achieved within less than two minutes of music with a nice piano intro and delicate cymbal work beginning the piece. ‘Brace for Impact’ as the title might suggest is a heavier piece, more guitar based with suggestions of GENTLE GIANT in its complex rhythms. Laura Meade does a wonderful job on the infectious ‘Deep Inside’. When returning to listen, ‘Sometimes Sublime’ would probably be my first pick (for now!), a lovely ballad with organ-work reminiscent of PROCOL HARUM, and some great wah-wah guitar and percussive effects. ‘There’s Hope!’ brings YES to mind once again, while the strident ‘Not About Me’ is all their own, a full-flight working out of emotions - excellent! Penultimate song ‘Soak up the Sunlight’ features a mindbending synth solo (love the sound!). an incisive guitar break and a successful blending of percussion and piano, while ‘And We Will Go’ finishes the album in fine style, with GENTLE GIANT once again as a fleeting reference point.

Despite all the comparisons there is no doubt that in “Collapse the Wave”, this ultra-talented band has created an album built to last – don’t miss it!

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