After finishing school, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Ant Phillips, and new drummer John Mayhew retreated to a remote college, where they rehearsed for 11 hours per day, living off food parcels from their parents. Despite only having three members of their classic quintet on board, Genesis already had their style figured out on Trespass. Their brand of progressive rock relies on gentle 12-string acoustic guitars, prominent organ parts, Gabriel’s croaky emotional vocals, and creative but not entirely serious lyrics based on mythology.
In terms of song writing and arrangement, the Genesis are still learning their craft on Trespass; the first side maintains a pleasant sound but tends to run together, especially in the lengthy instrumental passages, although the second half is more accomplished. The funereal ‘Dusk’ achieves an almost hymn like atmosphere with its pretty harmonies and slow feel, but the top tier track is the closing ‘The Knife’, with its uncharacteristically aggressive sound from Philips guitar runs, Gabriel’s violent lyrics, Rutherford’s busy bass lines, and Banks’ cutting organ.
Trespass is a large step below the albums that follow it and it’s not the ideal place to start in the Genesis catalogue, but it’s very much cut from the same cloth.