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Pavlov's Dog - At the Sound of the Bell CD (album) cover


Pavlov's Dog


Crossover Prog

3.07 | 156 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This US band debuted with the excellent Pampered Menial which would have deserved much more attention. It featured great violin/viola playing of Siegfried Carver, plus a lot of mighty Mellotron. David Surkamp's vocals have the high pitch of Geddy Lee (on helium) and the vibrato of Family's Roger Chapman! Also the compositions had interesting variety, trading influences from the British prog such as King Crimson, Genesis and Family. But the group was doomed with bad luck: even though they started with a luxurious deal, the money went elsewhere. The line-up got shaky, Carver left and the original drummer was pushed away too in those sour circumstances. It's the one and only mr. William Bruford from the UK who was brought into the studio, but don't let that fact fool you: really it could have been any average drummer, his talent is mostly wasted here as well as other guests, e.g. saxophonists Andy Mackay and Mike Brecker.

OK, even under hard times they could have delivered another strong album with more maturity, but this is terribly diluted and toothless compared to the debut. Prog attitude is very scarce, best represented on 'Valkerie' and 'Did You See Him Cry' that are the relatively modest highlights. The album is dominated by mediocre, ballad-oriented pop. Surkamp is still a unique vocalist but he can't save these songs from being just harmless and maybe nice, nothing more. As Trotsky put it, Jackson Browne would fit better into these songs. Running times are between 2:08 and 5:36, the whole album being only about 33 minutes long. Quite listenable, totally forgettable.

PS. I regret how I didn't make a clear distinction between the first two albums (they were both referred as classics compared to even worse that followed) in the short band introduction in my prog book. At the time of writing I hadn't heard enough to be more precise. To my amazement this album has also very favourable reviews.

Matti | 2/5 |


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