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Jody Grind - One Step On (AKA Conception) CD (album) cover

ONE STEP ON (AKA CONCEPTION)

Jody Grind

 

Crossover Prog

3.68 | 21 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars JD is one of those early 70's UK proto-prog that enjoys a semi-legendary status mostly because their two albums were highly sought- after by collectors along with Indian Summer, Cressida and a few others. I must admit that I like most progheads hailed these groups as they received early 90's Cd reissues that made them fairly easily obtainable and allowed us to discover those small-unearthed gems. But some 15 years later, have those groups kept their early discovery magic? Not really, if you ask me. Most progheads marvelled at these unearthed albums (me included) because they got reissues in very dire times (just before the start of the second prog boom in 93-4), so the famined proghead was maybe a bit too enthusiastic back then, just as they were in the 80's with those neo-prog groups that wouldn't raise an eyebrow today.

JD delivered only two albums, but did so fairly early and disappeared relatively quickly from the scene, even if all three members would find future adventures throughout the rest of the decade. With this haunting and bizarre artwork, their first record was a very honest and thrilling debut, even if it was a bit indulgent in terms of songwriting. Indeed most of the tracks have a jam-derived structure, especially the sidelong title-track that included a rendition of the Stones' Paint It Black and a drum solo. But with their organ-driven hard prog, the group manages to stray fresh, energetic and maintain your enthusiasm, sometimes by short brass/horn section bursts that provided incredible surges of power and intrigue, Hinkley's organ providing much of the sound, but was often superbly seconded/answered by Holland's fiery guitar solos.

The flipside unveils what they were taunting us with: the horn section coming in a full part of their music. Indeed Little Message and Night Today appear as almost full-blown brass rock: while not abusing of them either, this remained quite tasteful and as powerful as when Atomic Rooster used the brass section. The lengthier (almost 7-mins) blues-rock USA is a real pleaser and the highlight of this side of wax, while the closer is a Foghat-like boogie-RnR track without much interest.

This debut album came out when the adjunction of heavy horn/brass arrangements was obviously the craze, but if JD's debut bows to that trend/fad, they do not succumb to it either: their brass section is made of guest musicians and are not part of the group. While hardly essential on a prog scale, JD's first album is a pleasant affair even if at times they could've been slightly more concise.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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