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


Pavlov's Dog


Crossover Prog

4.07 | 380 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Straight to the heart

I was looking for Gong like material, and particularly interested in the more jazzy stuff. When I posted a request for suggestions on the PA forums, among a lot of responses, there was also someone who pointed me to Pavlov's Dog's At the sound of the bell. That person might have been inspired by my thread title At the sound of the Gong, now that I think of it. The band and the album did not exactly fit in my quest, but I really did enjoy the album enough to also get their (presumably more progressive) debut, Pampered Menial. A good idea, given that it went straight to the heart, from the first note of the piano intro of Julia, right through to the fabulous instrumental mid-section of Song Dance and the varying rhythms of Fast Gun. After full speed Natchez Trace things slow down a bit to visit Subway Sue, after which we may enjoy the piano and mellotron driven Episode. Preludin is a nice intermezzo, showing off the mellotron and other non-standard rock instruments. The closing Of Once and Future Kings could have been an epic, if it wasn't limited to 5 and a half minutes. It consists of multiple parts, each with it's own tempo and main instruments. A better closing could not have been choosen for this album - it invites to replay right away.

In summary, this album contains a collection of very well written rock songs. The solid rock basis is brilliantly extended with layers of piano, mellotron, violin and flute to create pure magic. More pure rock can be found here than with a lot of other bands here in the archives - which is refreshingly beneficial in this case. And a final note on the vocals: their just another layer on top of the mix. If you don't like it, just get used to it, otherwise you'll miss out on some fabulous music. Fans of Geddy Lee won't have problem with David Surkamp I expect - although they each have very distinctive way of dealing with high pitch.

A very firm 4 star album from my point of view - get it, and loose your heart...

Angelo | 4/5 |


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