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Pavlov's Dog - Pampered Menial CD (album) cover


Pavlov's Dog


Crossover Prog

4.07 | 365 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The first times i listened to "Pampered Menial", i had no idea that i would eventually be sitting here, writing a 5 star review on it. What a strange world it is, no?

This is a pretty intense recording. It is a mere 33 minutes in length, but between David "Geddy Lee on helium" Surkamp's soaring vocals, tasteful guitar solos, the ever-present mellotron, and the shorter format of the songs themselves, there is not a dull spot on the album.

The most progressive element of the album would be the instrumentation, melltron, keyboard, flute and violin ensures that this is in no way a simple hard rock affair, and the overall song structure of some tracks, which are somehow a light-version of symphonic prog. Especially "theme from subway sue" builds up wonderfully towards the end, and then there's the two-part pocket-epic "preludin/of once and future kings".

"Pampered menial" is, however, a very straight-forward recording, and very accessible. The only thing that might take time getting used to would be the singing, David Surkamp will immediately remind you of Rush, around 2112 period, but has a much more fragile and emotional voice, whereas Geddy Lee is more all-our rock 'n roll. And what's more, the lyrics of the album are absolutely terrible, on every single track.

So why 5 stars? It's short, not terribly original for 1974, and it features rush's "shrieking witch" sans testicles on vocals.. what are the positives? Well, the songwriting is simply incredible. As i said, there's not a single dull spot on the album, and no mellotron freak should be without "pampered menial". Also, after finally getting used to him, i can only regret that there are not more vocalists out there like David Surkamp.

Don't expect an album that goes boldly where no album has gone before, but if you, like me, appreciate good songwriting and tasteful composition more than technical showery and jazzy improvisation, give this one a spin.

(If you're interested in Pavlov's Dog, try the sample featured on the site. it is a very good indicator on what you will get from "Pampered Menial")

Evans | 5/5 |


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