Mixing prog, pop and AOR, the first album by World Trade is somewhat of a cult classic. Showcasing Billy Sherwood’s multi-layered sound, the record is essential listening for fans of ‘Images of Forever’ by Cannata, ‘90125’ era Yes and ‘Hold Your Fire’ era Rush. Given it’s technical approach and sophisticated choruses, it’s no wonder Billy became a member of the Yes family tree a short time later. Six years on, a second World Trade album appeared, but ‘Euphoria’ seemed to not quite match expectations. Maybe it’s because both Guy Allison and Bruce Gowdy had founded AOR band Unruly Child with Marcie Free in the interim and had other interests; maybe it was just a difficult second record. The record, while enjoyable, lacked the focus of the debut and re-used tracks that Sherwood had previously demoed with Chris Squire alongside other material.

With Sherwood having other projects taking his time and also taking on the unenviable position of full time bassist with the ever-touring Yes in 2015, and with Gowdy and Allison having commitments with Unruly Child, it seemed we’d heard the last of World Trade…and then a third album appeared somewhat unexpectedly on Frontiers Records in 2017.

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N.O.W. – Bohemian Kingdom

NOWUnder the creative guidance of bassist Alec Mendonca and boasting the vocal prowess of ex-Unruly Child vocalist Philip Bardowell, N.O.W.’s 2010 debut album ‘Force of Nature’ had the makings of an cult AOR classic.  It had the well arranged tunes; it had some strong choruses.  On the surface, the album had the potential to be very good, but was sadly marred a little due to demo quality recordings (parts of the album were even mastered at different volumes).

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