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

THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS WAVE TO EACH OTHER

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

4.03 | 642 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

russellk
Prog Reviewer
3 stars VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR are something of a cause celebre amongst prog rock fans, who love them for their darkness and unconventionality. They were the antithesis of the gentle, melodious sounds of symphonic prog: HAMMILL's half-spoken acerbic voice and strident, BOWIE-like delivery, JACKSON's brittle, dissonant saxophone and the sharp-edged timbre of the music all serve as unmistakable markers of this band. Eschewing moments of beauty, and most certainly going nowhere near the cheese and repetition of pop music, they are a compelling example of '70s progressive rock.

That doesn't mean this is a great album. VDGG are a lo-fi band, relying on basic sounds to create their effect, and the ponderous drumming and shrieking sax at the end of 'White Hammer', while having the requisite ominous effect, really has not dated well. Compositionally the songs are a mixture of structure and improvisation, the latter being rather unconvincing in places. The opening and closing tracks are the highlights, introducing the VDGG tradition of theatrical performance unmatched by any of their contemporaries - and no doubt explaining their popularity in Italy.

I see this album as 'Trespass's evil twin. Raw material in the formation of prog rock - certainly it spawned a whole sub-genre of psych-prog dissonant madness, much of it brilliant - but of itself not especially demanding, compelling or well-formed. The real VDGG masterpieces were, in my view, still to come.

russellk | 3/5 |

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