Header
Egg - The Polite Force CD (album) cover

THE POLITE FORCE

Egg

 

Canterbury Scene

4.11 | 263 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Utnapishtim
5 stars Canterbury...a little city in the South East of England. A mysterious place that lives since before of Romans with one of the most famous cathedral in the world. The place where an astonishing musical wave suddenly flooded the basic rock concepts, bringing a storm of elegance destined to remain a mark unique forever.

"The Polite Force" represents a milestone of Rock, an example of pure experimentation mixed to a musical knowledge really impressive. Certainly this is not an uncommon skill into the existence of Prog, but I think here is so significant as to be never boring. This is a manifestation of oneness of the Canterbury Scene and its group identity to a really social phenomenon hard to reproduce. After intertwine of bands, departures, new forming bands and important first approaches between fundamental musicians (I recommend to deepen their biography!) In '68 was born "Egg" trio with Dave Stewart on organ and piano, Mont Campbell on bass and vocals and Clive Brooks on drums and vocals. This three guys are so inspired and integrated in Canterbury Scene context that quickly abandon the interpretation of other musician's song to present their real soul. In fact in 1970 they release both the debut album (same name) and the masterpiece "The Polite Force". The musical style unripe of the debut (however interesting) fades soon, growing up with its own structure in second album, where the personalities of musicians finally can express themselves. In this album the Classical influence is less marked than the first album. The sound became decisively Progressive Rock, based on organ composition and unpredictable add times masterfully followed by drums, without ever losing touch that characterized the genre. There is only one song with vocal parts very pleasant.

"There used to be a time when we lived in the van, We used to loon about with Janice, Liz and Ann Now looking back it seemed to be a happy time, And so we kid ourselves we didn't really mind The hang-ups and the lack of bread".

These words open the song "Visit to Newport Hospital". Memories of a recent past these, soaked of a sort of nostalgia and that only now that I have read them better, discover to be really in line with the atmospheres. With this I mean that the importance to understand texts is a constant that should never miss to appreciate a Prog Rock album. The song, with a renewing maturity starts with a strict organ riff that precedes a soft ride, where a pleasant bass underlines the organ melodies. Every time I listen to this song I have the impression that all my present and future thoughts, my dreams gather to dance confusedly in my head, and then quickly return to their positions with the final reprising of the main riff. It's a happening always the same where I lose myself, "short-changed" by its psychedelic atmospheres expertly arranged and Campbell's voice so calm.

These dreamy notes are abandoned to let free to explode the creativity in "Contrasong". Odd times and dissonant melodies pop like whipping behind the ears, by an insistent piano and the voice also here able to follow the rhythm. To embellish it there are two trumpets and two tenor sax. The addition of this instrument is really impressive, able to change completely the sound of the band. A real pleasant choice. Sometimes I try to imagine what would have happened if the trumpets and saxophones was inserted in all pieces? The A side ends with a musical experimentation born and bred into meanders of creativity (sometimes remember me Atom Heart Mother's Pink Floyd style) with the song "Bolik" which includes Bach excerpts. It's a soundscape of an old Krautrock painting soaked by psychedelic echoes and flashes of lucid insanity.

The B side is entirely occupied by the suite "Long Piece N3" divided in 4 movements (Part 1-4), where mastery in composition and execution alternates to jazz experiments. With this long piece is possible to appreciate how Dave Stewart inspires his style to that of Nice's Keith Emerson, in fact the band is often considered like the ELP of Canterbury, a definition that personally I dislike. But is obligatory admit that there is a certain affinity between two keyboardist's style and similarities for two bands; naturally in two different styles. The result of the suite is an accurate research of avant-garde sonorities (which anticipates many future Prog works) with sudden changes of time in a dissonant way that alternates organ parts sometimes sweet and intimate, sometimes adventurous and galloping.

A memorable forty-four album able to be always current, new at every listening. A mix of musical skills in composition and execution, creativity, insanity, intimacy, psychedelia where all is perfectly structured to become a milestone of Progressive Rock. An intelligent way to express the creativity especially with this album forerunner and representative of Canterbury Scene and of an unbelievable Era where music was pure Art.

5 Stars - How cannot love it...

Utnapishtim | 5/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Share this EGG review

>

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.03 seconds