Get this crazy baby off my head!


Combination Head

Combination Head - Progress? - 2007 - S.A.M.

"The new CD is stunning. It blows away everything I have heard from anyone recently in prog-rock terms." - Martin Hudson, Classic Rock Society

"From the addictive hooks of ‘Glass And Steel’ and ‘Solid Ground’ to the equally uplifting ‘Tomorrows World’ and ‘Cloud Cover’ that closes the set, these are stand-out songs that stand high alongside many I could name from many big-name bands... a superb album that showcases an expansion of the Combination Head sound that takes them a few steps up the ladder to a new league in Prog-Rock musical terms and on to much bigger things I’m sure" - Dave Shoesmith, CD Services

Combination Head creates a perfect blend of complex keyboard sounds with the melodic song based compositions. Just imagine a blend of melodic ELP & Camel combined with that of Alan Parsons Project and then you get a a basic idea of the band‘s sound. I must say even with the inclusion of the vocals on this album, I wish it was one so there can be some sort of a recognition with the band. Other than that there's not a dud track on the album thus fallling under the ‘very recommended release for 2007’ category. Reviewed by & © Ron Fuchs on March 20th, 2008 © 1998-2011, ProgNaut.com, All Rights Reserved http://www.prognaut.com/reviews/combination-head2.html

We all get a tad bit suspicious when we hear the terms "supergroup", or "next best prog band from the UK". These are exactly the terms I had heard prior to getting an opportunity to finally hear the band. I went through the phases of Kino, Frost, Porcupine Tree, Magenta, Muse and the like, the only band that really left a huge impression when comparing the excellence that came from the UK when progressive rock was at it's initial peak has been Andy Tillison's Tangent. And a few lesser known things. Yet here this band which has been dubbed a "supergroup" somewhere, (Not sure why as these are not exactly household names in this band), comes along and delivers a cds worth of delightful music, the kind that just grabs you as if you have been familiar with it for so long. I keep having to remind myself that this is newer music, as it really does leave that lasting impression of familiarity, a kind of progressive rock deja-vu if you will. Very musical band, with a lot of instrumental aspects, yet never being overindulgent, just staying in the formation of the style of writing. It's what you remember hearing from the early artists that help define the genre, except providing some modernization to their sound. I love how the band is able to convey their instrumental prowess and still remain a strictly progressive rock band, no fusiony as some bands do, which is still ok in my book, but rarely do we hear bands doing instrumental music, from a progressive rock standard, and be able to maintain the integrity of the genre, without crossing over. This comes large in part by virtue of the standard of composition on display. So while the band may not be a "supergroup" by popularity standards, they certainly are by their talents and chemistry. I am not sure how well received Combination Head is in todays progrock culture, very few quality artists go unnoticed as the community is well connected on a global level. But I can assure you, if they are not known yet, they will be, and deservedly so. They simply are doing what most other progressive rock band should be doing. Being creative and playful, letting both their skills and imaginations bleed together to bring forth some memorble and high quality music. This is the kind of music that reminds me of the old days, without being blatantly derivative. I can hear echoes of Bardens, Fritz, Emerson, Jobson, etc, in the keyboard work of Paul Birchall. Actually everything about this band sounds good, the guitar work is very skilled and unique, the bass playing makes it's own statements, and the vocals are very solid. This is a very, very solid recording, and a band that has been getting a lot of play around here since my discovering them. By & © MJBrady - Published on 8 May 2008 © ProGGnosis - Progressive Rock & Fusion 2000 - 2011 where appropriate - All rights reserved http://www.proggnosis.com/PGRelease.asp?RID=25173

"You've restored my faith in contemporary music - less fluff, more stuff!" is part of a message sent to CH's Paul Birchall's by the legendary American record producer, Tony Visconti (Moody Blues, Gentle Giant,Thin Lizzy, Stranglers, T.Rex, Iggy Pop, David Bowie) after the release of Combination Head's 2006 s/t album. "Progress?" is another exceptional album from the great, but obscure progressive rock band, Combination Head. The album is more vocal orientated than the band's brilliant 2006 s/t album, but the music is still original and inventive, and encompasses melodic, symphonic prog. rock, fusion, jazz, Canterbury rock, and more. Musicians include Keith Ashcroft, the great keyboardist Paul Birchall, and the terrific drummer Paul Burgess who has played with 10cc and Camel. This kind of music is rare in the 2000's. It harks back to the early days of ELP, Yes, Jethro Tull, BJH, Camel, and even Focus. "Progress?" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. CH's s/t album can be found @ COMBHD2006 Modern day progressive rock music as good as this is pretty scarce. Buy the band's "Museum" album and promote real music


1 New City - Birchall 5:08
2 Glass and Steel - Birchall, Moulton 4:10
3 Liquid - Birchall, Moulton 5:41
4 Smoking Tree - Birchall 2:19
5 Future Wisdom - Birchall 3:36
6 Anthem - Birchall, Finley 4:09
7 Solid Ground - Birchall, Eede, Finley 5:19
8 Tomorrows World - Birchall, Finley 4:41
9 The Great Escape - Birchall, Finley 4:11
10 Cloud Cover - Birchall, Moulton 5:08


Keith Ashcroft - guitar, bass
Gareth Moulton - guitars, vocals
Dominic Finley - bass
Paul Birchall - keyboards
Phil Knight - drums
Paul Burgess - drums, percussion
Nik Van Eede - vocals


COMBINATION HEAD a Neo-Prog band from the UK originally formed as a trio of Paul Birchall on Keyboards, Keith Ashcroft on bass and guitar, and Paul Burgess on drums. Paul Birchall had previously worked with the likes of THE CORRS, Geri Halliwell and Cher and recorded singles with them all. Although he has previously worked with bands and performers who have nothing to do with progressive rock, he takes inspiration from keyboardists such as Emerson, Bardens and Jobson. He has also worked with jazz-fusion guitarist Gary Boyle as well as Jim Diamond. Paul Burgess may be a familiar name to Progressive Rock fans, as he has played drums with CAMEL, JETHRO TULL and 10CC. Taking inspiration from CAMEL and ELP, and augmenting the band with Gareth Moulton on guitars, Dominic Finley on bass and a couple of additional drummers, the band released its all-instrumental self-titled debut album in 2006. After the release of their first album, the band began working on their second album, "Progress?". This time they decided to add vocals to the mix. Guitarist Gareth Moulton was called on to provide lead vocals to three of the six vocal songs on the album. Guesting as lead vocalist on one of the songs on the album was CUTTING CREW's Nick Van Eede. Again the band was augmented by additional drummer and percussionist Phil Knight who provided drums on four of the album's songs and percussion on three additional songs. After the release of "Progress?", the band released a non-album song "We Are Machine" as a single. Fans of the band will be very happy to know that they are currently working on their third album, with the working title "Museum". - (From Prog Archives)