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Warm Dust - Peace For Our Time CD (album) cover

PEACE FOR OUR TIME

Warm Dust

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.42 | 15 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 3.85 stars really!!!

Second album from this English brass rock band, that was a bit the answer to Chicago Transit authority mixed with some Caravan and some Dutch/Holland Solution. Actually it is interesting to note that England had The Greatest Show On Earth, If and Warm Dust (and to a lesser extent Colosseum) to answer to American's giants of brass rock (which automatically induced a jazz feel without being the typical jazz-rock): Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Electric Flag and The Flock. None of course would match the New World's candidates for commercial success, but artistically the balance tips a whole lot more evenly. Lead by singer Les "Dansfield" Walker, the sextet had a double sax attack, even if both handled other duties (namely second keyboard and guitar), but as far as the proghead is concerned only first KB man Paul Carrack would face further success (first in new wave group squeeze, than later as a collab in later Steve Hackett albums), but their three albums are definitely worth a listen.

This second album is a conceptual story based on the successive recent wars, punctuated by extracts of a Chamberlain speech spoken in 1938, then extrapolated to speak of further conflicts. Graced with an explicit war-like gatefold artwork (and some unsettling inner-fold war horrors-related pictures as well), the project was not only ambitious, it was idealist (a product of its time) and by today's standards might seem a little too pretentious for its own good. If I spoke above of brass rock, it is mostly in the regard that there are indeed many "brass" instruments - even if saxes and flutes are woodwind instruments because of the reed, but I never heard of Reed Rock (Reed Lover however..;-) - it is partly because of the songwriting (allowing for much space for wind instrument arrangements) that provides the typical sound that early Chicago or If expanded so well upon.

Starting on the superb and dramatic Blood Of Our Fathers, without wild and spine- chilling throat-splitting winds and a superb vocal line, PFOT is heading towards a small- undiscovered prog gem status, almost right away. The following Wind Of Change is less enthralling, but although of more ordinary standards, by all means not any less progressive in its songwriting. The third track, Justify, is a lengthy organ-driven blues- rock interrupted by a slow starting gloomy mid-section (which incorporates the then- obligatory drum solo), then returning to the previous blues-rock.

The flipside is composed of five shorter tracks, which build up on their usual formula. Rejection is delicate slow builder where Carrack's Rhodes and Hammond are taking the lion's share of the work with Surguy's flute (I'm guessing it's him, here) floating lightly above, but ensues a bunch of well written chord changes and brilliant playing are making this track one of the highlights of the album. The following tracks are all plenty of excellent prog twists and tricks that should please almost every progheads including the most demanding ones, such as yours truly. However the last two tracks Wrote A Letter and Peace Of Mind fail to enthral me as much as the early part of the album did. Both are very standard conservative almost soul-ish songs where way too few things are happening to raise our enthusiasm or even maintain it at a good level.

While hardly revolutionary or even groundbreaking Warm dust's second album is a rather unearthed rough gem, that has its flaws (mostly the concept narrations), but its value is no less appreciable. I will round up this album's rating to the upper unit, thus giving it an essential label that must be taken carefully, as one must be sure that he will enjoy the early UK proto-prog (in the non-PA sense of the word) peppered with much horns and take it in regards with the rest of the group's discography.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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