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Minor Giant: On The Road

Gentle they’re not, but they might be giants.

There’s nothing wrong with harking back to the 70s or early 80s for musical inspiration.

The only caveat being that in order to truly make a substantial impact, you need a smattering of originality. Mercifully, Holland’s Minor Giant aren’t simply magpie recyclers and, along with the retro keyboarding, there are moments on this debut that are pretty formidable. There are some notable references to their musical heroes – the bass line in the title track does recall the closing section of Genesis’ Afterglow, and the vocals often have the type of phrasing that IQ’s Peter Nicholls is so adept at – but critically, these vintage tones are blended into a contemporary framework. The band are a confident bunch, with the first two tracks both extending over the 10-minute mark, seamlessly drifting through an ever-shifting musical backdrop. Lead Me Home and Hand In Hand are also particularly majestic, with haunting melodies shoving both songs towards a hefty, keyboard propelled finale. Along with their opulent music, Minor Giant are also working on a higher lyrical plain than your average band, as they deal with the various paths through life. A wider audience surely awaits. RW

Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.