Like Wendy – The Fisher

This is a musical project by Dutchman Bert Heinen, in 1998 the debut album The Storm Inside was released, it got a lot of praise from the progrock reviewers all over the world. I wrote about it “Like Wendy is a Dutch musical project by multi-instrumentalist Bert Heinen, this debut album sounds pleasant and elaborate with flowing shifting moods, lots of compelling solos, including sensitive, often howling guitar runs and sparkling keyboards. Don't expect complex or original prog, this is music that will please the many fans of early Marillion, IQ and Pendragon. A big hand for this fellow Dutchman that managed to sound as a band!” In 2005 I wrote about the album The Endgame from 2002 “If you like mid-Genesis, IQ, Pendragon and Barclay James Harvest, this one is yours!”. And now anno 2020, 15 years later, Like Wendy produces his studio-album # 10, with fellow multi-instrumentalist and long time collaborator Mark-Jeroen Heek.

So it was 15 years ago that I had my last musical encounter with Like Wendy, listening to  this new album anno 2020 I conclude that Like Wendy has matured in song writing, and that the sound is less derivative. The music is very melodic and harmonic, the atmospheres are mainly between mellow and slow rhythms, wonderfully embellished with the unsurpassed Mellotron, and often intense guitarwork.

The titletrack Part 1 (15.40) shifts between slow rhythms and mid-tempo accellarations, with elements from mid-Genesis (twanging guitars and synthesizer flights) and Pendragon (guitar sound). Halfway a moving guitar solo, supported by soaring Mellotron violins, simply beautiful! In the second part the guitar sound develops into a kind of bluesy David Gilmour, very compelling. In the end melancholical vocals in an atmospheric climate, to me evoking early U2.

Next Stormbound, a very short song (3.07) featuring a wonderful blend of melancholical vocals, majestic Mellotron violins and sensitive electric guitar runs, in a slow rhythm.

Then the mid-long The Cross (9.53). It starts with dreamy vocals and again intense guitar work, topped with varied vintage keyboards (Mellotron, Moog and Hammond). Halfway a break with a slow beat, warm vocals, spacey sounds and excellent slide guitar. And finally an awesome Mellotron violin sound.

Now the second part of the titletrack (14.10). First a blend of Mellotron violins, rhythm guitar and warm vocals, then a tender piano part, beautiful. The music turns into a slow rhythm with melancholical vocals and piano, then sensitive guitar, and swelling Mellotron choirs. Now the music slows down into dreamy with twanging guitar and melancholical vocals, and finally a moving guitar solo with soaring keyboards, what a wonderful emotional prog music.

The final track is a short ballad (2.17) with rhythm guitar and warm vocals, emphasizing that Like Wendy succeeds to make varied and pleasant, very melodic prog.

© 2020 Erik Neuteboom