terça-feira, 2 de setembro de 2008

REPOST: Gravy Train - Gravy Train (1970 UK Rock Hard Prog)


PRIMEIRO DISCO DESTA EXCELENTE BANDA INGLESA QUE TINHA UMA SONORIDADE QUE LEMBRAVA MUITO O JETHRO TULL EM SEUS PRIMEIROS DISCOS, PRINCIPALMENTE PELO BOM USO DA FLAUTA E OS RIFFS DE GUITARRA PESADOS!! EXCELENTE DISCO COM HARD ROCK PROGRESSIVO CONSISTENTE E DE PRIMEIRÍSSIMA LINHA!! VENENO ALTAMENTE RECOMENDADO!!

Starting like your typical Vertigo act, Gravy Train's first album sounds faintly like early Jethro Tull, mainly due to similar flute lines, but without a dominating personality like Ian Anderson. Hard-rock riffing is alternated with more quiet and melodic moments and the flute is high in the mix throughout. The tracks are not at all "folky" as some dealers' lists describe them. Some of the music sounds like any old power trio. A nice track is "Dedication To Syd" (Barrett), a quiet but highly atmospheric experimental piece.

Much better is the surprisingly rare second album for Vertigo. The solos are tighter and more controlled and the compositions are better. It is also less bluesy, very crisply produced and features good multi-part singing, greatly enriching their textures. They also try a track with a hook, the lovable "Home Again". Lack of commercial success drove them away from Vertigo and into the arms of Dawn, while gigging all over the country to create a following. The result, "Second Birth", is not very satisfying and actually sounds like a step backwards. Although more diversely arranged than either Vertigo album, the songs lack distinction and verve, making this sound like an attempt to please too many people simultaneously.

Their swansong, housed in a Roger Dean cover and with a revised line-up, starts with the very best cut they made, "Starbright Starlight", a blistering piece of melodious hard-rock, that sets the standard for similarly inclined music (though not many may have heard it, of course). The rest of the album isn't up to the same standard, but the title track with its Bach-derived intro and an unexpected foray into Greek folk, is good too. All in all, a band that plays well, but has too few original ideas to be of more than passing interest.

Wonderful debut by this British band. Gravy Train isn't exactly the most progressive band out there, this here is more of a hard rock album, a Tull meets Sabbath hybrid, with heavy guitar riffs from Norman Barrett, and Ian Anderson-like flutes from J.D. Hughes. This is a more aggressive offering than their next album, (A Ballad Of A) Peaceful Man, and no orchestrations either. And there's no "Alone in Georgia" here, which is a plus for me. "The New One" has a rather strong Tull-sound, with some "Living in the Past" type of guitar rhythms to go with it. "Dedication to Sid" (often in reference to Syd Barrett) is a rather odd piece that gets more experimental at the end. "Coast Road" is a blues piece, a bit like This Was-era Tull, based on blues riffs and flute. "Enterprise" features some really killer guitar riffs. "Earl of Pocket Nook" is a very extended number that includes lots of guitar solos.

Norman Barrett - vocals, guitar
Barry Davenport - drums
J.D. Hughes - woodwind, keyboards, vocals
Les Williams - bass, vocals
Russell Cordwell - drums
Jim Frank - drums
George Lynon - guitar
Pete Solley - synth
Mary Zinovieff - synth, violin

1 The New One 5:15
2 Dedication to Sid 7:17
3 Coast Road 6:46
4 Enterprise 6:20
5 Think of Life 5:10
6 Earl of Pocket Nook 16:11
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