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Emergency - No Compromise CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.07 | 9 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

No Compromise is the group's fourth album and probably the album whose line-up resembles the most the previous album, although there are still a few changes. As Knaak ceded his drum stool to Corredy and Palmer-James ceded the guitar to Frank Diez, but remained active in writing the lyrics of over half the tracks. Again released on Brain in 74, the tracks were self-produced, but apparently more by individuals than the collective and the stunning but tacky artwork of the gatefold is stunning, but not necessarily in a good way, while the inner gatefold shows pictures of the band live.

The opening 7-mins+ Motown/Stax-like Smilin' track is probably more funk than the whole previous GOTTC album held, but somehow, there is not a wasted moment in it: incredibly tight playing. The almost 6-mins Praise Famous Men is to reminiscent of BS&T material to be taken seriously, Diez pulling a Butterfield, Bischoff pulling a Colomby, Marvos pulling a Kooper and leader Berka pulling an Ian Anderson on the flute, but the bluesy-soul track is too long and end up irritating. From here to NYC is another 6- mins+ affair that pull its influences from 60's US R'nB, proggying it up a bit through some time sigs and flute solos. The same can be said for Time Can't Take It Away, with its great organ solo.

The delicate Hideaway is one of the highlights with its aerial mellotron choirs chords layers, fine guitar solos, etc. as for the mammoth no Compromise, it starts out with a solid brass section pacing, and while Marvos pulls some out-of-this-world synth sounds, Biscoff is sounding a bit like Chris Farlowe and the musicians exchange great licks and obviously enjoy themselves. The closing Goodbye To A Friend is a moody tear-jerker written by new-coming Diez, but Berka intervenes in a emotive sax solo.

As close as possible to BS&T, emergency always managed to avoid to sound as pompous and bombastic (at least in their last two albums, I haven't heard the CBS ones), and while hardly essential to progheads, they might well be worth the detour if you like proggy brass rock.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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