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Pavlov's Dog - Pampered Menial CD (album) cover

PAMPERED MENIAL

Pavlov's Dog

 

Crossover Prog

4.07 | 365 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Pampered Menial by Pavlov's Dog first caught my eye in a review in Mojo magazine that cited it as being a great example of classic prog rock. The article highlighted the vocal technique of David Surkamp and the highly innovative structure of the songs. I saw this album rather cheap in a local store and could not resist trying them out. On the first listen I could see immediately what the Mojo article was trying to say. Surkamp's vocals are indeed some of the strangest and yet highly listenable vocals I have ever heard. He has a distinctive high soprano that vibrates at the top register, beyond tenor, and unlike even the high soprano technique of Rush's Geddy Lee. The voice souds bizarre enough to turn many off but if you stick with it, this album can be an exhilirating experience.

'Julia' is operatic in style and a beautifully executed single that works well as a ballad: "I can't live without your love". The pathos and potency of the lyrics is Surkamp's forte, and he continues in form with the astounding 'Late November'. I saw this clip live online and it cemented my decision to get this album. It's a great track and is actually my favourite of the band.

'Subway Sue' is also excellent and features brilliant keyboards from David Hamilton and Scorfina's guitar rings throughout. Another track of note is 'Of Once and Future Kings' with its time signature changes and incredible blend of instruments.

Not every track works for me and the tracks all seem rather similar due to the distinctive style, but its impossible to emulate the sound of this band and for that reason alone they are worthy additions to any prog collection. This is a very unique album from a very unique band, their sophomore album if you like. I understand Pavlov's Dog have other albums to choose from but if you are only after one example of their music, this is the album to get.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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