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STILL LIFE

Still Life

 

Heavy Prog

3.49 | 42 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Still Life - "Still Life" - 5 Stars

This album started to be one of my favorite just after first listening. I can definitely recommend it to all early 70' art rock fans, especially to Hammond organ aficionados. This usually unknown band made really fascinating album with incredible solos and memorable melodies. It can be shown as one of the most representative record of these great times for good and more ambitious than nowadays music. So let's start describe all of these songs:

1. "People in black" - it begins with mellow flute section and quite soft singing but suddenly Howells starts to play his organ, at first slow and tender but after a while it changes to real Hammond orgy. This keyboardist shows us that he is a real master of this instrument. We can hear memorable melodies here, but first of all a lot of aggressive, spectacular and expressive solos.

2. "Don't go" - this is the shortest and I think that the weakest track (only in comparison to the other songs on this album of course!). In fact this is very soft song, "chorus" parts can be even called "sweet". In general it's almost radio-friendly, but again I have to remark that organ-playing here is very "smart" and interesting, too.

3. "October witches" - another great track comparable to "People in black" but here we don't have any doubts who is the main person in this band 'cause Howells electric organ plays the leading role from beginning till the end. He makes many incredible things with this instrument (for example makin' a lot of "slides" effects when he touches all of the keys with one short move).

4. "Love song no. 6 (I'll never love you girl)" - it starts a little surprising with acoustic guitar, soft vocals and after a while piano playin'. But from second minute Howells starts to use his Hammond in really fury way. His solo is breathtaking and its main part includes repeated "sliding" like in some psychedelic madness attack. Another interesting moment is outro where keyboardist plays almost classic music. Of course I can't pass over Cure's vocals 'cause he sings his "I'll never love you girls, You'll never love me" in really impressive & passionate way.

5. "Dreams" - first of all it has really stunning intro - some melorecitation which after a while changes to some dramatic almost hysteric screaming (in the type of '60 psychedelic rock a la Jim Morrison or Arthur Brown). Along with crescendo organ sound makes really great atmosphere here. But this is only a beginning! In the middle of the song we can listen to couple of another Hammond solos with all of these murmurings, roars, growls and squeakiness effects which you surely expect and await for J. But prog-song couldn't be fully progressive without some more lyricism...and Still Life don't forget 'bout it 'cause in the ending part of the song they changed their music to some softer and more poetical singin' (in chorus type) and pathetic organ playin'.

6. "Time" - another gem from "Still Life". It starts with pompous organ along with choir-like singing: "aaaaa..." and after few seconds Hammond begins riffing some insane, breaking "melody". When this intro is over and Curve starts singin' music tends to be almost conventional but after a while we can notice that organ become more and more important & omnipresent here. Near to the 5th minute of "Time" Howells starts something which can't be even called Hammond solo 'cause it's a real, psychy madness played by lunatic in insane "delirium tremens" fury with more and more slowest & immelodic rhythm...great ending for this song and all impressive album.

Conclusion: this is "a must see" for all progressive rock fans, especially these who admire Hammond organ-driven type of this music with some psychedelic flavor. If you are kin of Still Life, you will probably like The Nice, Aardvark, Bram Stoker, Beggar's Opera, Quatermass, Odin, Rare Bird, 2066 & Then, Ache and Frumpy, too.

ozzy_tom | 5/5 |

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