by Salander

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Peter Jones
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Peter Jones Intelligent. Inventive. Rocking. Melodic. Thundering. Delicate.

Book Of Lies, featured, is a vaguely Beatles-esque track. Ever After starts out as a voice-guitar ballad but then ends with a wonderful instrumental section (I think of it as the forced smile over the tears).

More of the drumming does sound programmed on this album than the last - but then, there's a lot more synthetic sound, so it's far from out of place. The other instrument work and production are excellent, of course. Favorite track: Book Of Lies.
Michael Stevens
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Michael Stevens This is WONDERFUL. These 2 guys are great. Good old prog music - no heavy, fuzzy guitars, strong vocals that I can actually understand - just how I like it!
kees de jonge
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kees de jonge not bad at all, well done
paul rote
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paul rote I don't think these guys realize how good they are! I was into prog for a couple years around 20 years ago.this is better than some big. Name bands.this reminds me of marillion except in ain't poppy and weak. Prog for stoners? Sometimes you just need to mellow out!!! Favorite track: Controlled Flight Into Terrain.
FDJ thumbnail
FDJ Quality prog that is well written and beautifully performed. Stunning guitar solo's, washes of keyboards and some lovely bass lines underpin the warm vocals. It's hard to believe that this is all performed by only two people. Favorite track: Zeitgeist.
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A rousing tip of the hat to the following for your support and encouragement;

Brad Birzer, Frank Urbaniak and all at
Henri Strik at
Joris Donkel at
Frazer(FDJ), Zaakjes, Trey, Yodaman, Huebschmania,Loud-quiet-loud, Love among ruins, and everyone at
Kev Rowland and everyone at
Mark Hoaksey and Phil Kane at Powerplay Magazine
Nicky Baldrian at TSM. Emimike,
Behrad Brumand and all at Mainstreammusic.not on facebook..
Last but not least,Harry the studio cat.
And finally many thanks to everyone who downloaded or bought our last album.
When we released Crash Course for Dessert, we wrote “We hope there is at least one other person in the world who likes this” It appears there are many of you who do. For all the nice comments and support Crash Course has had, we thank you !

A review from Brad Birzer at

A Love of Lingering: Salander’s STENDEC (2014)

A review of Salander, “STENDEC” (2014, independent release). Tracks: Pearls Upon a Crown; Book of Lies; Ever After; Hypothesis 11/8; Situation Disorientation; Controlled Flight Into Terrain; and Zeitgeist. Total time: 65 minutes. Recommendation: HIGHEST; MUST OWN

Salander’s second album of 2014: STENDEC. Even better than the amazing first album.

From the moment I first heard “CRASH COURSE FOR DESSERT” by Salander, I knew I not only loved the music, but I also knew I would love the musicians as well.

And, so it came to pass.

A rather significant part of my 2014 has been the sheer joy of getting to know Dave Smith, one of the two Daves who make up Salander. Sadly, I’ve not had the chance to get to know Dave Curnow, the other Dave, but I trust the judgment of the first Dave. So, per my respect of Dave, Dave must also be great.

Ok, now I’m getting confused.

There are a thousand things to appreciate about Salander. First, the level of professional artistry is as good as it gets. The two Daves not only play each of the instruments on the album, they do so with elegance and perfectionism.

Second, the lyrics move and flow powerfully as an integral part of the entire art. These are not add ons, nor are they the rock equivalent of an “um” or an “err”: “baby, baby.” No, these are fine, deep, thoughtful words integrated with the notes and the lines.

Salander and the two Daves: Words, notes, lines.

Third, Salander are willing to linger. That is, they take their time to build their art, to build anticipation, and to explore an idea. Rushed, hurried, and superficial are not descriptions applicable to anything this extraordinary band does.

Beginning with Spirit of Eden-esque sounds of nature, cries, pings, wind, and waves, the opening track, “Pearls Upon a Crown,” lingers and hovers for almost six full minutes. Very Talk Talkish, it also reminds me of the best of Pure Reason Revolution and Spiritualized. Space rock atmospherics at its best. A gorgeous Gilmour-like guitar comes at 2.59 into the music, but no vocals emerge until 5.57.

The words open with a Socratic moment: “Can you feel the power.” Essentially, the Daves ask, how far can you allow your imagination to soar? And, will you trust your deepest and best part to another?

Regardless of style, Salander has invited you into their art. The choice to enter is yours. But, once you’ve accepted, there’s no turning back. Indeed, no mere sprinkling or christening here. They demand full immersion.

The second track, a bitter folkish wall of sound tale of deception, is as epic as the first track. At 11 minutes, “The Book of Lies” again shows Salander at its most diverse and epic.

The third track, a much sweeter (or so it seems, musically) take on life and music, “Ever After,” takes us back to the end of “Pearls.” Who do you trust, and how far are you willing to trust that person with what matters most to you?

Not surprisingly given its title, “Hypothesis 11/8,” the fourth track is instrumental and serves as the perfect interlude for this rather heavy album. The first minute has a Vangelis feel to it, and it could certainly serve as the cinematic soundscape to much of Blade Runner. The final three minutes of the four-minute track allow the two Daves to demonstrate their excellence at drums, bass, and guitar. This is really prog at its finest. Listening to this track for the twentieth time or so, I’m still reminded of Cosmograf in terms of expertise and craft.

“Situation disorientation,” the fifth track, follows the interlude with more atmospherics slowly resolving into an angsty and contemplative space rock song, pulsating and pounding by its end. The lyrics swirl around a love affair gone terribly wrong, with the protagonist plagued with guilt, pride, and doubt.

The longest song of the album, “Controlled Flight Into Terrain,” comes in at just under fourteen minutes. The Daves have broken it into four sections, the name of the album coming from section three, STENDEC. Interestingly enough, STENDEC was the last word coming from a Chilean plane that mysteriously disappeared in 1947. Over the last seventy years, STENDEC has become synonymous with UFO abduction. The story and riddle of the word fits perfectly with the themes of the album: confusion, gravitas, and loss. Section III, STENDEC, is perfectly creepy, spooky, and claustrophobic. It gives me chills with every listen.

The album concludes with “Zeitgeist,” a tune that could have come out of the best of rock’s moment of New Wave in the early 1980s and the walls of sound of the end of that decade. As with Salander songs, the vocals are captivating, demanding the full attention of the listener. The song’s lyrics deal with the mystery of time and the loss of the past without surety of the future. Rather brilliantly, Salander presents a wall of sound, full of anxiety, with heavy but tasteful guitar and a lush angelic background soundscape. Of all the songs here, this is the most reminiscent of the best of their first album.

I’ve had a copy of STENDEC for almost two months, and I’m sorry I’ve not had the chance to review it before now. But, it’s an incredibly important album, and it deserves as much attention as possible, inside and outside of the prog community. Without question, this is one of the best albums of the year. No person who loves prog or music should not include this in her or his collection. Certainly, a must own.

STENDEC also caught me by surprise, coming out so closely following the release of CRASH COURSE. I gave CRASH COURSE my highest recommendation. Amazingly enough, STENDEC is even better, as it’s even deeper and more coherent as an album. Even after 20 or so listens, I’m still stunned by its excellence and the ability to draw me into and immerse myself in the album. While I don’t want to seem greedy, it would be an understatement to state: I can’t wait to see what album three will bring.

A Review from

Nowadays it's much easier to record your own music and get it out into the world than in the past. However positive this might be for the musicians involved, you have to consider that not everybody has grown to a professional production level that will lead to a good sounding product. Unfortunately therefore, many releases come out that shouldn't have seen the light of day. Releases that aren't yet ready to review or just get a low rating score, despite all the effort that was put into them. Thank God there are enough musicians around that know how good their music is, and dare to take it out of their garage, bedroom or other any recording location. One of those acts that are, in my opinion, ready to get a real record deal are Salander; a British duo consisting of Dave Curnow (lead guitars, rhythm guitars, bowed guitar, vocals) and Dave Smith (keyboards, acoustic guitars, rhythm guitars, bass, drum-programming, vocals). They already impressed me with their former release Crash Course For Dessert (see review); a release that came out earlier this year. Now, only a couple of months later, I had the chance to hear their new musical effort too, so let me introduce you all to: STENDEC.

Once again both musicians, were involved in writing, performing and producing all the music on this release. A release which contains seven excellent tracks. All of the same high level and once again with several musical influences which might have been taken from a diverse range of acts like, for example, Pink Floyd. Just listen to the excellent guitar parts throughout the entire album and you'll know what I'm talking about. Also, Steven Wilson and his band Porcupine Tree came to mind, as I noticed on, for instance, the opening piece Pearls Upon A Crown. A band such as Barclay James Harvest could have inspired them as well, as is audible on Zeitgeist, Controlled Flight Into Terrain and Situation Disorientation. The famous Fab Four, better known as The Beatles, are also never far away; especially on the aforementioned Controlled Flight Into Terrain; a track that certainly belongs to the highlights on STENDEC. This is mainly due to the fact of its strong instrumental parts, with lots of awesome solos, performed on synths and electric guitar, but that's something I could say about each individual piece on this release. On each song the two Daves shine on their instruments; maybe even more than on their predecessor.

This predecessor was a true concept album, something which isn't that much the case on this new release, but you could say the lyrics do have an overall theme of love and loss.

Well, Crash Course For Dessert already impressed me when I heard it for the very first time. Maybe STENDEC impressed me even more after listening to it several times. The album really started to grow on me after a while and I guess those are the ones you love the most. Anybody who loves the music made earlier by this act, should try to check out Salanders's website. You'll probably be impressed as much as I was. Hopefully a serious record label will pick them up very soon! They certainly deserve it!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Esther Ladiges)


released June 21, 2014

Salander are:

Dave Curnow: Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Bowed Guitar, Vocals.

Dave Smith: Keyboards, Acoustic Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Bass, Drum
Programming, Vocals.

All songs written, performed and produced by Dave Curnow and Dave

Engineered, mixed and mastered by Dave Smith.

STENDEC was recorded between April and June of 2014 at
Gästrummet Studios, County Durham, England.


all rights reserved



Salander UK

Salander are Dave Smith and Dave Curnow who make progressive rock music and hail from Durham in the UK.
We pay homage to the past whilst embracing the future

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Track Name: Pearls Upon A Crown
Pearls Upon a Crown

i. Antecantamentum

ii. Corona margaritæ

Can you feel a power
That will never, ever, ever go away
Like a fragile flower
That will always bloom no matter what you say
Can you feel the raindrops?
They will fall on you wherever you will go
Lift your face up to them
Let them touch your face just like I used to do

I thought I knew the reason
Did we share so much then have to let it go
Or was it just the season?
Just a summer love which soon began to show
Can you feel the raindrops?
Running down your face like pearls upon a crown
Can you climb the mountain?
Can you climb so high you never will come down?
Come down.

iii. Primae silentio discessum

It’s like a far off scream
An unending dream
A magical evening with no-one else around
We had so much to share
The wind blows through you hair
Then I see you walk away without a sound
It’s like a far off scream
An unending dream
A magical evening with no-one else around
We had so much to share
The wind blows through you hair
Then I see you walk away without a sound
Track Name: Book Of Lies
Book of Lies

i. A Dawning of Consciousness

They came across the Eastern Sea
To bring a change to you and me
We are searching.

Ringing bells, the priests cry out
We said so. Didn't we tell you !
The evil that we promised is amongst us
Get on your knees and beg forgiveness from us
We will save you from yourselves
As you play your wicked games in darkened places
We bind you with our benign smiles
With stories from our book of lies
We control you.
We control you all !

Yet this is not the way the priests told us that it would be
These masters from the sea,
They tell us things we hardly can believe
Believe !

We have come among you, not to take you
To free! Not with chains to enslave you
You may leave. But we implore you to stay
Emancipation is our song,
We bring a world where you will belong
Emancipation is our song,
We bring a world to which you will belong

Yet this is not the way the priests told us that it would be
These masters from the sea,
They tell us things we hardly can believe
They say go children, go
Cast these chains away, run and play
These foolish priests only tried to keep you scared
With lies and fear
But now you're free !

ii. A Procession of Individuals
Track Name: Ever After
Ever After

Eagles diving down
Tearing pieces from my soul
Hides a heart of coal
Changes fill my mind
Maybe that's all right with me.
And how it used to be.

Did you ever really want someone?
I mean, really want her bad?
Did you ever need to touch someone?
The merest softness of her hand?

Escaping to my dreams
The one who needs is you
The way you used to do
Still further in my dreams
I hear a sweet voice calling me.

Do you ever relate to me, loved one?
And as we're growing old
I'm standing out here in the hailstorm
And I'm growing old

Loneliness bears down
From the rain-clouds up above
I can't bear this grinding pain...
........... Of a life without love
A life without love
A life without love
Track Name: Situation Disorientation
Situation Disorientation

Well here I am again in lands of consternation
Just like the easy times before I had hidden my frustration
Things were so simple then I had no need for worry
My kingdom ruled itself with fairness, never in a hurry

Holes open in my mind
I drift before the tide
That's the thing about true peace
It makes you seek release
Who said that thing about pride?
It comes before a fall
I'm sure my eyes were open wide
But I didn't see it come to me at all.

No dragon is this thing called love it has more tact
It stalks you like a tiger leaving no time to react
Perhaps it seems a simple thing to try and live your dreams
But dreams are for the darker hours where no one can hear your scream

Perfumed lace hangs on the breeze
Next thing you're on your knees
A brightly coloured ball
Lies shattered on the floor
I watch my resolve die
Each time I look into your eyes
Or are they just a whim
Built high to keep me in
I am sure my eyes were open wide
But I didn't see it come to me
To me at all.. at all... at all

Dear lover, I must long away, I'm here against my will
I want to flee from your caress, but see my legs are still
Let me take you by the hand and walk my castle walls
Are they there to keep the demons out when sweet temptation calls?

Or are they just a whim
Built high to keep me in
I watch my resolve die
When I look into your eyes
A brightly coloured ball
Lies shattered on the floor
Lace hangs upon the breeze
Next thing you're on your knees
Who said that thing about pride?
It comes before a fall
I'm sure my eyes were open wide
But I didn't see it come to me at all.
To me at all
To me
Come to me to me at all
To me at all
To me.....
Track Name: Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Controlled Flight Into Terrain

i. Not an easy day to forget

ii. See Fit

Maybe not today
Maybe not tomorrow
Was it yesterday?
When it turned to sorrow
And for the rest of our lives
At the end of the day
We greet our final curtain
The "foggy airport" way

The reasons are so simple
We keep forgetting who we are
We lost ourselves along the way
Behind a speeding car
Too busy looking forward
We forget to look around
Distorted pointless attitudes
Now we're heading for the ground

Don't know where we are
Don't know what we gained
Is this it all it becomes
A "Controlled Flight Into Terrain"
Don't know where we are
Don't know what we gained
Is this it all it becomes
A "Controlled Flight Into Terrain"


iv. "We'll always have Paris"
Track Name: Zeitgeist

Seaside. This my time
I am walking here alone
The Zeitgeist, she plays games with my mind
Takes me into the danger zone
and Oh! .......... Oh !
The past becomes the present becomes the past

Through autumns' rusted blanket
Walks a friend with a long black coat
At times she's so intimate
At time she's so remote
While I watch her walk away
A scream forms in my throat
She is the ocean of my life
Upon her, there, I float

Seaside........ This is our time
I am no longer on my own
The Zeitgeist takes me in her arms
But I know she's going home
and Oh............Oh
I know she's going home.

The bitter wind of winter storms
Screams through my tearful eyes
As I stare of into distant lands
To where my Zeitgeist lies
I hold the precious photograph
It's deep beside my heart
I caught the spirit of another time
Then time tore us apart

She's going home.......
..........She's going home
She's going home.......
..........She's going home

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