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Stackridge - Stackridge CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.81 | 50 ratings

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5 stars Stackridge, from Bristol in England's West Country, recorded 3 masterpieces and several less interesting albums. Their 3 masterpieces are this debut album, Pinafore Days (Euro/UK title Man In The Bowler Hat), and Extravaganza. A band who fall into the category of "eclectic Beatles esque folkrock/prog" they wore the Beatles/60s influence in full regalia and in hindsight could have led to a band like Klaatu, without falling as low as they would after a flying start (you've GOTTA HAVE the first two Klaatu albums!). This album remains my favourite along with Extravaganza. The songs are full of lunacy and unexpected twists and turns. Take for example the album's longest track "Slark-" the tale of a boy swept off in a dream by a medieaval dragon. "Slark" is a real epic of dreamy vocals, lots of wild flute, and strange very English atmospherics. The rest of the album ranges from the mini tragedy "Percy The Penguin" which will remind you of The Beatles to more songs that will remind you of the Beatles, Bee Gees, et all!!! This is not to say Stackridge were unoriginal, they actually were VERY original, but loved 60s British pop and it left a stamp on their music. Country rock (think of a quirkier CSNY) influences creep into this magical brew too on "Dora The Female Explorer." If you want an album that turns into loud outbursts of wild guitar solos this will not be the one to do it, if you are looking for music to put you in a pleasant and joyous mood then you should pick this up without further adieu! Aside from the 3 songs I've mentioned, my favourite tracks along with "Slark" would have to be "Marigold Conjunction," "The 3 Legged Table," and "Grand Piano" all of which remind of the Beatles meets Genesis (the sophisticated melodic structures) only done in a more almost demo style dry rustic folkrock pop/rock way. I've been to Bristol many times and it's a delightful place, full of character, wit and charm. I would describe Stackridge as just that- character, wit, and charm. Aside from "Percy" and the trippy "Slark" this is feel good music- it makes you smile and it's nice to listen to it when you're feeling down. You'll find no ominous Satanic messages or Messianic vocals here, and the cover should make that obvious now shouldn't it. Stackridge never pretended to be heavy. An album doesn't have to be heavy to be a masterpiece. Stackridge's debut, with every song beautiful and glistening with post Beatles magic is a total masterpiece with no filler at all. It's also not the easiest to find of their albums, but should be obtainable if you look hard enough and you will be very rewarded.
| 5/5 |


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