Trion: Tortoise

The Dutch revivalists’ first album comes out of its shell once more.

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In the wake of their latest album Funfair Fantasy (reviewed in Prog 39) comes this reissue of the Dutch band’s 2004 debut. Trion was originally intended as a one-off project. Former Flamborough Head men Edo Spanninga and Eddie Mulder and drummer Menno Boomsma (ex-Odyssice) planned an affectionate instrumental tribute to prog bands of yore, and they certainly succeeded.

Attractive, Roger Dean-esque cover art effectively hints at the lashings of Mellotron and Hammond (just listen to that title track), which brings to mind early Genesis and fellow countrymen, Focus. Guitar contributions range from the jazzy (New Moon) to warmly acoustic (Endgame and Hurt), with hints of Yes or Camel in their gentler moments.

Thing is, there’s little to separate this from Trion’s most recent release, almost a decade apart as they are. Reviving the sounds and stylings of yesteryear is well and good, but it’s disappointing that any track here could have appeared on Funfair Fantasy, and vice versa, and it would make no discernible difference to either.

If anything, it’s a useful reminder that being ‘prog’ and being ‘progressive’ are often two very different things.