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Gnidrolog - Lady Lake CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.07 | 389 ratings

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4 stars Catchy and memorably, jazzy and folk-y, complex and simple: an extensive recipe, cooked to perfection. Or near so. Gnidrolog, as a band, stand as living evidence that not all excellent music make the mainstream, even in prog. This is a perfect starting point, and a perfect inspiration to begin a journey into the deep and cavernous world beneath the surface. From 'classic rock' - a genre or sub genre that Gnidrolog have some to do with - this gem is a huge dig (especially nowadays). But for prog specifically, it isn't actually too obscure, and shouldn't prove too difficult in finding. On that topic, good luck to all, for as we all know, some of the more revered albums are sometimes the hardest to find. It is important, however, not to glorify, exalt, or raise albums that prove difficult to find too high. When you do eventually unearth these legends, they're so immortalized in your mind. If ever there's the smallest crack in your holy grail, you'll be disappointed beyond belief.

Progressing from the year's previous release, Gnidrolog develop further the jazzy taste to their music very much, incorporating brass instruments. The result of doing so is a very refreshing sound that is, in some ways, reminiscent of King Crimson's jazzier side (Pictures of a City, particularly). Still neither explicitly being guitar led, vocal led, or rhythmically driven, this diverse album manages to remain fresh with a huge amount of varied instruments and styles, changing swiftly. Complexity is an integral part of the writing, and never lingers too long on any particular phrase or atmosphere. Effects and whatnot adds an extra level of interest - but not to the point of overpower the instruments. The vocals still carry a very strong presence, but the rigid, aggressively experimental edge that was key on Harry's Toenail, along with the Tull-ish folk influence that made a stark contrast to the guitar sections have both been watered down, and replaced by the more explicit jazz direction.

Musicianship is important, and is clear that the instrumentalists wield the lion's share, but don't ever go over the top with it, and never chaotically and arrogantly show off their skills. Their talents, however, have been put in a more meaningful and less hazardous route, where all players focus on making and jointed sound, instead of a collection of distant musicians. Melodies that catch the ear are present in many situations, typically in the vocals, but also in many other instruments. John Earle's touch on the album is undeniable, what with his incredibly influential, and very, very powerful saxes blasting, nay, pounding away, adding an entire dimension of energy. His vocal talents are also utilized on the phenomenal album ender, Social Embarrassment.

Any casual fan of powerful jazz, or complex classic rock, with mild folk and experimental interjections, should keep an eye out for this classic. Just look for that phenomenal artistic cover and shouts "I'm a prog record!"

Shakespeare | 4/5 |


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