December 6, 2017


English Translation Below -“Always nice to discover a debut album with a surprising smear. No dried up cake, but an intriguing progrock album. Already published in 2016, and it is high time to highlight this. The driving force behind the new band Cairo is Rob Cottingham from Milton Keynes (UK), an experienced dark rocker in the solo album Captain Blue and the hard rock band Touchstone: described by the Classic Rock magazine as “cracking rock music for all ages”. With the name Cairo, the band suggests a relationship with the Middle East, hence the oriental intro. The basses and drums drenched with synths like a gothic party in the Egyptian souks. And then the ‘spoken lyrics’ as prologue to a concept album that is somewhere between gothic and progrock. Blind progrock albums mostly by long drawn-out compositions, Say on the other hand is a smooth succession of short songs. Only 4 songs exceed 5 minutes. Rob Cottingham is fascinating with the buttons on his synths and singer Rachel Hill does not only convince with her vocals (now replaced by Lisa Driscoll). The influences of Genesis’ guitarist Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson are clearly audible in the nine-minute ‘Nothing To Prove’: many tempo changes, and frequent use of ‘symphonic’ accompaniment via programming and SFX. Then add a raw ‘Black Sabbath’ guitar by James Hards, and you can speak of an original mix. Wow! There are also very predictable songs such as ‘Searching’, therefore no less beautiful. The framework of classical piano gives the song a special cachet.

Rob Cottingham often approaches his compositions from his ‘accidentally’ discovered electronic sounds, builds a whole song around them and adds a bit more guitar passages. Or am I mistaken? All band members love the same ‘classics’ (Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, …). Their contribution is therefore greater than initially thought. Let the CD run for another minute at the end. A surprising piece with a ‘hidden’ composition on piano makes you completely relaxed. With ‘Say’ Cairo delivers a fascinating debut album that can not be missing in any progrock collection.”