Shadowland — Mad as a Hatter
(Verglas SPV 085-28192, 1996, CD)
by Dan Casey, Published 1997-05-01
Shadowland is basically a collaboration side-project for Pendragon keyboardist Clive Nolan and guitarist Karl Groom. It seems that the neo-prog onslaught has tapered down a bit over the last year, so this album could be viewed as a welcome affirmation for the neo fan that things are alive and well. Mad as a Hatter is everything that you would expect it to be, nothing more and nothing less. Nolan's synths blaze through major-chord anthems and glistening Moog-like arpeggios just like they are supposed to. Groom decorates the writing with flashy-but-predictable Rothery-like guitar solos just like he's supposed to. And, unfortunately, Nick Harradence's drumming weighs everthing down like a giant boat anchor, just like it's not supposed to. Why are good neo-prog drummers such a rarity when the bands are so common? That, along with Nolan's uninspired lead vocals, gives this album two obvious points for criticism, but to be fair there is a lot worse neo-prog out there than this. That's to be expected from people who have been doing this type of music as long as these guys have.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more