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Vulgar Unicorn - Under The Umbrella CD (album) cover

UNDER THE UMBRELLA

Vulgar Unicorn

 

Eclectic Prog

3.23 | 29 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Woof! What d'ya say? I said Woof! D'ya know anymore? WOOOOOOF!" Beatles-Hey Bulldog! In continuing my scribed reverence for this Vulgarprog beast, I will lay some light on this fine disc , thus completing the first trio of their discography. I purchased this back in 1995 and have adored it unrelentingly ever since. "Under the Umbrella" is VU's debut offering and what a hidden gem this is, a playful, whimsically very british whimsical spy story, illuminated by some fabulous melodies and great solos. Being from Albion, the vocals, courtesy of Tony Busby are above average, unpretentious in a Ray Davies meets Richard Sinclair style, sweetly sung but loaded with that typical island aloofness (a bit snotty at times!). This is really just one long suite, separated into 4 movements that bleeds into the next , flowing nicely along. What makes it so laudable, is the intrepid use of trumpet that will even duel with the saxophone (when do you see that in supposed Neo-Prog, huh?), a violin streak swooshes through, unexpected. Acoustic guitars court a cello lament with intense grace. All this adding to the general aural bliss under the umbrella, vodka martini shaken not stirred. Guitarist Bruce Soord (of future Pineapple Thief fame) liberally splashes some interesting rythmic webs , punctuated with some devastatingly alluring "The Edge" like solos. The strangeness and charm of the arrangements rely on some original changes of pace, from groovy a la Ozrics to frenetic , like a sonic roller coaster.Yes , it wanders, thankfully. When you least expect it, the journey turns on a dime , an urgent sax solo out of the blue, urging one to smile. Keyboardist Neil Randall tosses everything into the cauldron: electronic bleeps, synth sweeps, great bopping bass heaps, rushing organ weeps and refined piano leaps. Whether you like this or not (you shouldn't judge prog harshly anyway: its all good), the bottom line is that this isn't boring, shallow. Please remember that CAT FOOD is anathema to proggers, according to Mister Sinfield. No mention of dog food, Sean! Five techno thrillers, for arguments sake!
tszirmay | 5/5 |

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