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Van Der Graaf Generator - The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.06 | 941 ratings

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The Ace Face
3 stars Van Der Graaf Generator. the epitome of darkness in progressive rock, how suiting that the first song on their first notable album be called Darkness. With the lineup of this band in a transitional stage, the material is slightly inconsistent. There are a few strong tracks, like Darkness and White Hammer, but some of the songs are not very well thought out. Darkness its a good sax oriented song (As a lot of VDGG tracks are) with a cool chord progression. Hamill's lyrics are, as he will come to be known for them, thought provoking and incredibly poetic. Theres a very long electric guitar note in the middle, turning into a nice solo from Nic Potter, who would leave following this album. Alternating between light and dark sections, and ending with a great sax solo, this song is classic VDGG. Refugees sounds far too happy-go-lucky to be VDGG. It doesnt seem to go anywhere, and I dont like it much. White Hammer Picks it up again, with a nice organ intro and Hammill introduces us with "In the year 1486, the Malleus first appeared, designed to kill all witchcraft and the papal fears." the rest of it goes on to describe an inquisition against witchcraft and infidels. The WHITE HAMMER is intended to slay only evil things, but killed innocents too. the trumpet in the back ground is perfect, and the music fits the words perfectly. near the end, the song gets very dissonant and scary.

Whatever Would Robert Have Said? is a classic song, with a great hammond intro, adding sax, drums and acoustic strumming to fill out the sound as it builds. Hamill's lyrics are interesting as always, and some distant electric guitar accompanies him. the acoustic guitar now sounds like a lute almost, and the harmonies are great. The middle section slows down and has a great sax solo from Jackson. then it builds into a driving climax, and the softer vocal part is reprised for the ending. Out of My Book sounds like it might turn into another Refugees, with lots of acoustics and flute. It turns out to be better though, but still a song i dont usually listen to. After the Flood has an interesting riff that gets repeated by Organ, sax and acoustic guitar. Then the vocal line comes in, imitating it. then it kicks into 4/4 for a rocky section, but this song isnt nearly as good as the other 2 epics on this album. It seems to use a lot of repeating, to its disadvantage. There is a good flute solo at some point, sounding a little like Ian Anderson, but this cant save the song.

Overall, a very up and down album, with about half of it being mediocre and the other half bringing it up a little, so 3 stars it is.

The Ace Face | 3/5 |


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