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Gnidrolog - In Spite Of Harry's Toenail CD (album) cover

IN SPITE OF HARRY'S TOENAIL

Gnidrolog

 

Eclectic Prog

4.02 | 126 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

laplace
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A sensational album full of bite and contrariness!

Most listeners will be shocked by the sudden, crashing opening of "Long Live Man's Dead," and that's no accident - Gnidrolog seem to appreciate the value of a little ugliness when it comes to gaining a listener's attention. Don't worry, because they have a sensitive side which will be revealed before the song is over, lolloping through sweet flutes and violin before sputtering out somewhat anticlimactically. Again, this is part of the plan, and your misgivings at the song's "remarkable" conclusion should be alleviated by "Peter," which is a songwriter's song and while not being predictable, it remains roughly in an acceptibly traditional frame and grows to be very poignant. I hope you liked it, because it precurses "Snails", this album's high point in terms of spiky weirdness. This reviewer's favourite track on display, the song lurches choppily like the waves even while at its rockiest, changes mood in a lunatic manner and expects the listener to keep up through various baffling and dissonant moments of musical hopscotch. An out and out success.

Side B is prettier, thankfully. "Time and Space" is very romantic and has lovely cadent lyrics (Incidentally, I would love to have heard Gnidrolog perform some of their songs in their native Welsh - it's a beautiful language) sung somewhat precociously by Goldring, who has a tendency to overpronounce, maybe to the irritation of some listeners even though I personally find it sweet. The song doesn't recline all the way into a pastoral mode because the band soon slip into jilted, Crimsonic storminess which takes the track in an odd and cutesy-horror direction. I'll leave you to explore that one. "Who Spoke" is a acoustic bridge in a sort of introspective major-seventhy mood, not really long enough to be worth distinguishing from the tracks that surround it, but it's very pretty. The title track feels like "Epitaph" from a parallel, slightly more relaxing dimension, and contains that rare bird - blues-based solos that doesn't patronize. How wonderful!

If you think you've concluded your forays into the hegemony of the classic progressive rock world but haven't auditioned Gnidrolog, then you're missing out. I'll leave you to scratch your head over whether you should opt for the expanded "Toenail" or the set that offers both original albums, but for heaven's sake, don't pick "neither"!

laplace | 4/5 |

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