Much derided by numerous critics over the past thirty or forty years prog rock is like one of those tenacious weeds in the garden that can survive anything. Granted, the excesses of the pre punk heyday (King Arthur on ice, synthesisers being set alight on stage etc) have, thankfully, been confined to the Dark Ages and the New Age of Prog is a less pompous, more musically adept beast. One of the newer pretenders to the throne is Touchstone whose first CD release, Mad Hatters, first saw the light of day in 2006 before current vocalist Kim Seviour had joined. Early Touchstones music is a light, delicate concoction, not too serious or too heavy with clever lyrics and catchy snippets of music - similar in many ways to early Genesis. There is certainly a good, driving rhythm on Hear Me and The Mad Hatter's Song with plenty of noodling keyboards to lift the music out of mundane AOR. With personnel changes on bass and drums and Ms Seviour sharing vocal duties with Rob Cottingham the sound became harder and more punchy on the following year's debut album, Discordant Dreams but Mad Hatters remains a very listenable EP and is a great value introduction to a great band.