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Spock's Beard

Day For Night

Metal Blade

This is the third studio album from Spock's Beard, a Californian prog-rock band formed in the early '90s and dedicated to keeping progressive music alive and going. Spock's Beard built a strong, loyal fan base with their first two albums, Beware of Darkness and The Kindness of Strangers , which were innovative and fresh as well as true to the spirit of prog-music, with five-minute rockers to fifteen-minute long epics; and Day For Night follows suit pretty much. The band itself consists of talented and seasoned musicians who have had stints with Genesis (Nick D'Virgilio, the drummer), Eric Clapton (Ryo Okumoto, the keyboardist), and Phil Collins, and their common influences include Yes, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Genesis.

   On top of all their influences, Alan and Neal Morse bring in an eclectic feel with mellotron, Hammond organ, cello, piano, and some excellent guitar playing. Oh, besides some hardcore prog numbers ("Crack The Big Sky," "Day For Night"), you will also find some pop ballads ("Can't Get It Wrong"), edgy modern day rock ("Skin," "The Gypsy"), and few definite hooks (I can't seem to forget the harmony in "My Shoes"). The guitar parts in "Gibberish" and "Distance To The Sun" are also worth checking out.

Metal Blade Records, 2828 Cochran St., Suite 302, Simi Valley, CA 93065-2793; http://www.metalblade.com

--George Jegadesh