Friday, 10 July 2015

The Enemy Smacks (IQ, 1983)

One of the founding songs of the neo-prog movement, this track comes from the album "Tales from The Lush Attic" and is  full of energy and sensibility. The intro attack is a powerful image of what I call progressive rock, and Peter Nicholls' leading vocal performance is even stronger than usual. The following instrumental section has a dark mood, based on Tim Esau's and Paul Cook's rythm section. Then the music gets lighter and lighter to show a superb keyboard / guitar interplay. Next stop: the strongest contrast you can imagine, as a slow-tempo, atmospheric sung section is immediately followed by the heaviest part of the song.

IQ in 1983: a good bunch of proggers.

In short, the track goes on through different tempos and well found sounds, lining up a series of inventions and some excellent quotations (a bit of Gilmour, a bit of Wakeman...), but the moving finale seems to me the ultimate reason to love "The Enemy Smacks". Here Nicholls simply wears his inside out, then the whole band offers a full-bodied wall of sound and a perfect example of symphonic rock outro. Definitely, that's enough for me.