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Van Der Graaf Generator - Now And Then (Van Der Graaf Generator / Jackson, Banton, Evans) CD (album) cover

NOW AND THEN (VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR / JACKSON, BANTON, EVANS)

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

2.21 | 28 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars N&T is a weird release that many fans should at least once get their ears on it as much of it is the group's tapes between their two classic periods. If you wondered what VdGG would've sounded without Peter Hammill's voice and songwriting, you have two choices: either you find the first album of The Long Hello or you get onto this sometimes poor-sounding release. Actually from having listened to both, none of them two disc sound the same and neither do they sound much like VdGG either. Actually, you will find a few tracks where Peter is indeed present

The opening Saigon Roulette is obviously taking after one of their classic track, but also mixed a bit with their Theme single. Liquidator is one of two tracks that do sound Graaf-esque, not surprisingly because Hammill is present, but it is out of character and ends strangely. The trio effort of Gentlemen Prefer Blues is exactly that: a blues done the Graaf way and Jaxon shines on this effort as he takes of the lead and comes close to even soloing.

One of the more sinister tracks ever to come from the Generator must indeed be The Main Slide (written by drummer Evans), which is made of slow drones, atonal percussions and some improvisation (while hardly free jazz, it is nevertheless . Tropic Of Conversation is a sax-lead reggae track that expands strangely (percussion-wise as well) with Jaxon even sounding like Supertramp's Helliwell. Spooks is anything but spooky, but more of a lightweight mid-Carribean affair: there is again some reggae, but mixed with more stuff from the small Antilles islands as well. Tarzan is again in that register as well. Epilogue is almost an elevator sorta Calypso music track where Banton's electric piano and Jaxon's sax are just boring me away.

Certainly not recommended, N&T does deserve to be heard at least once in the proghead's life, just to know what dGG sounds like without Van.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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