The presence of a famous family tie to a band is always a tricky issue to come by. It can prove to overshadow the accomplishments of the new, or it can bring them a wider audience than expected, to great effect. Sound Of Contact face such a scenario on their debut album; “Dimensionaut” with their frontman and main song writer Simon Collins being the son of a certain Phil (you know the one, he did that song with the Gorilla drumming on the chocolate ad, and was in some band called Genesis).
“Dimensionaut” follows the concept of the ‘Dimensionaut’, a man existing in multiple dimensions, and his struggle to understand himself and his trials to find love, to put it in brief terms. Overall a complicated story throughout is portrayed with finesse; through the likes of the reflective and rather melancholic ‘I Am Dimensionaut’, the eerie and quizzical ‘Pale Blue Dot’ to the tender interplay of ‘Beyond Illumination’ with guest vocals of Hannah Stobart.
It would be all too easy to draw constant comparisons between Simon and father Phil, but it is avoidable that Simon’s voice is remarkably (and unsurprisingly) symmetrical to daddy Collins’; musically as well much of this is more akin to Phil’s AOR era stuff but through an otherworldly lens rather than the quirkiness of early Genesis. Plenty of ballads and very memorable melodious passages veer this to near melodic rock territory, with the final near 20 minute ‘Mobius Slip’ showing the bands real prog credentials.
The relation with such an instantly recognisable and appraised figure in our music as his father could very well put much of Simon’s work under the microscope, but evidence on this (and not his first musical venture it has to be stated) he and Sound Of Contact have more than enough to stand up to these expectations. “Dimensionaut” is an ambitions endeavour and a very rewarding listen. You can definitely feel the potential (calling in the air tonight).