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Sound of Contact: Progressive Rock Band by Simon Collins, Son of Phil Collins. Debut Album, 2013.


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For fans of Genesis, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, progressive rock, and/or modern alternative rock, this is a new band that is quickly rising and gaining notoriety within prog circles. They won the "Limelight Award" for best new band at the 2013 Progressive Music Awards, and have released a stunning debut album, recorded and produced by Simon Collins, Dave Kerzner, and mixed by Genesis/Mike + The Mechanics/Marillion audio engineer, Nick Davis.

The band is called Sound of Contact. It was co-founded by Simon Collins and Dave Kerzner, and is widely considered to be descended from such legendary progressive rock bands as early Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, and Marillion, infusing such classic sounds with modern alternative influences. They are one of the bands currently participating in the progressive rock revival movement, and have the talents of both Collins and Kerzner, the latter of whom is an excellent audio engineer in his own right, having worked with Alan Parsons and many other tremendous people in the music industry.

The lead vocalist/drummer is Simon Collins, son of Phil Collins. Simon grew up in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and began his journey towards becoming a musician at an early age, developing a passion for drums and being inspired by his father. While his voice is often compared to his father's, Simon also derives his vocal influence from such artists as Peter Gabriel, formulating a unique sound with elements from both Phil and Peter. His drumming is also solid, reminiscent of the elder Collins. If anyone remembers the album Duke, Simon's sound on this album harkens back to that.

Dave Kerzner is the keyboardist, as well as Simon's co-writer and co-producer. With his sound production company in Miami, Dave has worked with such legendary musicians and bands as Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, Keith Emerson, Steve Hackett, Genesis, Jon Anderson, Neil Peart, Rik Emmett, and many others. His production experience and influences have contributed heavily to the sound of SoC.

Their debut album, Dimensionaut, is a concept album mixing influences from "classic rock," progressive rock, space rock, and other alternative genres.


Here's an excerpt from their official website bio:


An incredible amount of spontaneous energy and live studio performance has been captured on the album with a powerful interplay between keyboards, guitar and drums that is reminscent of progressive rock of the ’70s like Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd yet it has a modern musical quality akin to popular classic rock-influenced alt rock bands of today such as Coldplay, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Porcupine Tree and Muse.
The band members have also worked with former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett more than a few times before, and they pay homage to some of the legends of progressive rock on this album while trying to strike a balance between progressive and mainstream: think of it as progressive on the same level as Genesis' classic album, Duke. They are influenced widely by many notable bands, and have forged relationships with other bands within the progressive rock community. Simon's co-producer, co-writer, and the band's keyboardist, Dave Kerzner, has worked with many of rock's greatest musicians such as Alan Parsons, Keith Emerson, Neil Peart, and others as a sound designer.

Here are excerpts from the album. There are multiple instrumental pieces, and a nineteen-minute finale to conclude the album:

This is the band's first single, "Not Coming Down," released in May 2013.

Sound of Contact - Not Coming Down

This song, "Beyond Illumination," is often praised as one of the best tracks on the album, though there's no word yet on whether it will become a single. The band has thought about it.

Sound of Contact - Beyond Illumination

Here's a rocking instrumental. In the video is John Wesley, former member of Porcupine Tree, who played with SoC live during their first stretch of gigs.

Sound of Contact - Cosmic Distance Ladder

This instrumental pays homage to some of their progressive rock influences; this is "Realm of Inorganic Beings."

Sound of Contact - Realm of Inorganic Beings

And here's a jam that ended up becoming one of their finer efforts on the album, "Omega Point."

Sound of Contact - Omega Point

Here's the 19-minute epic that concludes the album, "Mobius Slip."

Sound of Contact - Mobius Slip


About three minutes into the song I Am Dimensionaut there is some drumkit cleverness. I mention this because if you listen to Duke’s Travels by Genesis you might notice some very similar cleverness. This is no coincidence – Sound Of Contact is the new band featuring Simon Collins, son of Phil. I won’t labour this point because I want to discuss this band and this album, not the music of the drummer’s dad, but there is no denying the Genesis influence here – it comes at you in spades. On top of this Simon drums and sings spookily like his father. I’m not complaining – Phil is one of my great heroes as a musician; without him and his work with Genesis and Brand X I’d probably never have started drumming myself. So, as far as I’m concerned, this is all just spiffing. I will now discuss this no further.

With that out of the way then, what do we actually have here? Well, we have a 71 minute long science fiction progressive concept album about a dimension-jumping space pioneer. Somewhat brave for a fledgling band’s debut disc don’t you think? This was a question I put to Simon and his partner-in-cryme Dave Kerzner during a phone interview they were kind enough to let me inflict upon them, but you’ll have to wait to find out what they said because there isn’t space here. Sorry! Suffice to say, releasing an album such as this would have been commercial suicide just a few years ago. But today? Maybe not… maybe the musical climate is shifting a bit thanks to the likes of Muse, so maybe it stands a chance.

When I first heard that a Collins was drumming on a science fiction themed album I could barely believe my luck – InsideOut Records seemed to have conjured up a record tailor-made specifically for me. Brilliant, eh? However, as is the way with things that sound too good to be true, I assumed it would be too good to be true. But you know what? It isn’t too good to be true. It’s blinkin’ brilliant.


They release their second single, "Pale Blue Dot," next month. It's a tremendous album.

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You noticed that too, eh! It seems like a lot of listeners have picked up on that. Even the band's co-founder/co-producer/co-writer/keyboardist, Dave Kerzner, noticed that. He posts over at another forum with the alias "Squids":


So I suppose even Phil Collins himself picked up on his son's Gabriel-esque sound.

Looks like I was quite right...


There's also quite a notable Coldplay and Radiohead influence to their sound too.

I wonder what Dad thinks about his son respecting his former bandmate and possible rival as his musical influence more. Then again, you probably get more respect by NOT copying your parents. Jakob Dylan of the wallflowers gets accolades by doing his own thing and sounding nothing like his dad Bob, whereas nobody cares about Frank Sinatra Jr.

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Another track has been leaked. This is the last one I'll post, since I want people to support the band by actually purchasing the album:

7. "Beyond Illumination" (uploaded in... 240p)

It sounds great.

This is like Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush all over again.

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A very interesting story about "Omega Point:"


That was a really fun one because it was written and recorded in one take. Everything you hear musically in it was an improvised jam that happened only once. So it captured a very raw energy of the band live in the studio... that probably means it drifts off the clock and all sorts of things you don't get to hear enough of in modern music that is often quantized or at least played to a click (which is necessary for some songs but a song like this benefits from being able to go off the grid). It's also exciting to play live because not only is the music fun to play there's also a lot of vocal harmonies between Simon' date=' myself and Matt Dorsey (the bassist/guitarist on the album). It's one of the more unusual songs on the album and part of that is due to the non-standard structure that came out of an inspiring jam. Sometimes that happens and when it does it's really cool.[/quote']
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