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The Web - I Spider CD (album) cover

I SPIDER

The Web

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 39 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Last or second last album of this group, depending on how you view the Samurai album that followed I Spider. Personally I prefer this as the second last The Web albums (making Samurai the last), but who cares anyway? Here the group went through an important shuffle, losing their singer John Watson and bassist, the former getting replaced by keyboardist and singer Dave Lawson (ex-Episode 6, ex-Almond Marzipan & future Greenslade), who'll become also the only songwriter on this third album. The latter's replacement is one of the guitarist switching to bass, thus making the group a sextet down from a septet. This change, plus the label change (from Deram to Polydor) made The Web a dramatically different group, even if the music mini-suites from the two previous albums remained, here with the 10- mins+ concerto For Bedsprings. The album came with a stunning gatefold artwork, showing animals with Chinese finger-lade shadow-heads.

In itself the music of the group was greatly changed, sounding much more like a brassy King Crimson and Colosseum, starting with the five movement 10-mins+ mini-suite Concerto For Bedsprings, which from the tone of the voice is not about to please our pornographic or erotic hunger, with the depressing I Can't Sleep for first movement. The next sack Song is definitely more upbeat with the horns reminding of Charig, Miller or Evans on early Crimson albums, Lawson's voice certainly not having the strength of their previous John L Watson, but is not that bad a fit for this type of songs. The following three movement keep a Colosseum feel close by. The following track is another lengthy title track, which pumps its main slow riff from somewhere else (it could also be from atomic Rooster), with Lawson's gloomy voice towering over the guitar and the sax, while the drum take dramatic tom rolls. Excellent stuff, especially Harris' soprano sax solo.

The flipside starts with the ultra slow intro-ed Love Song, which soon gets its gallon as a pure brass rock gem that unfortunately overstays its welcome by a minute or so. The following Ymphasomniac repetitive instrumental sounds like a second rate The Nice until the percussion/drum duo changes the tune, as it reprises with horns, but it's a bit too late to save it, even though it's got its charm. The menacing and almost brooding Always I Wait closes the album and it's got some of the best instrumental interplay including some vibraphone, (which again send Colosseum comparisons) and some interesting childish vocals.

Many of these tracks from this album (including the Bedspring Concerto) will find themselves as bonus live tracks of a reissue of the Samurai album. I trust Vicky and her friends from the Esoteric label to have done a good thorough job cleaning and mastering this album in the brand new reissue of all three Web, plus the Samurai albums, which were all in dire need of it, because it takes a bit too much an effort to actually dig out what shouldn't be. In the meantime, This probably the best Dave Lawson album, possibly along with Samurai, I Spider is an excellent album that could turn your shelves into something more special than if you had a shitload of Greenslade album.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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