Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, “Big Brother, Little Brother” (2016): One Track Mind

After taking decades to produce their first full album of new music, 2015’s New Way of Life, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop is quickly back on the scene with a follow-up studio effort. What Is The Secret, the new collection of all original material, won’t be out until early 2017, but these pre-Yes progressive rock legends are giving listeners a taste of the album with the release of “Big Brother, Little Brother.”

Unlike New Way of Life, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop forgoes engaging Yes bassist Billy Sherwood and keeps the production in house with band bassist Hugo Barre’ behind the boards for What Is The Secret. Judging from the first few notes of “Big Brother, Little Brother,” Mabel Greer’s Toyshop doesn’t need Sherwood this time around or former band member and original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye.

Guitarist Clive Bayley provides subtle guitar textures, which support his smooth English baritone. The tune has a classic progressive feel that recalls the Moody Blues more than Yes, and features tasty keyboard textures from Max Hunt and intertwined vocal and guitar support from founder Bob Hagger. Lyrically, “Big Brother, Little Brother” touches on the oppression of Native Americans, yet the narrative is never heavy handed – and the song, at more than nine minutes, never feels contrived or overblown.

“Big Brother, Little Brother” is an intriguing preview to what should be an enjoyable new album that will please fans of Yes and the progressive rock genre. The track is available beginning today (December 1, 2016) via the Mabel Greer’s Toyshop Bandcamp page, Amazon, and iTunes .

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
  • Max

    Great review. Please note that this was produced by Max Hunt and Mabel Greer’s Toyshop & Mixed and Mastered by Max Hunt. Max Hunt also plays additional guitars and backing vocal and Bob Hagger is a founder member and the drummer.