Mirthrandir - For You The Old Women CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 70 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Another one of these obscure US prog groups (this one from New Jersey) that did one album that bore too much its UK big-5 prog influences and didn't manage to create their own sound. Their 75-releaesd album probably sank without a trace, and no doubt they would be totally unknown today, if the Syn-Phonic label hadn't unearthed it in the early 90's - even Vernon Joynson almost ignores the band in his revised Fuzz Borderline book. The sextet features a double-guitar attack and a lead singer that also blows in a trumpet here and there, but the focus is very much on Ganett's impressive array of keyboards, which may surprise since they didn't get any kind of major-league success. Nevertheless, Mirthrandir's music hovers around or between Genesis, Yes and some slightly more-AOR sonics and the rare trumpet moments do not induce a special or specific originality. Note that it is only the second wind instrument by presenceafter bassist's Miller's flute parts

The album's A-side consist of the opening 8-mins+ title track, where the trumpet's presence intrigues long-enough, but fails to live up to its promise. The other three shorter (everything being relative, since they're all above 4-mins) songs are of lesser interest., but their tiny AOR sonics give them a fairly modern sound (o at least not-so-dated 70's soundscapes), which might appeal to 90's prog fans. The flipside is mostly about the almlost 15-mins epic For Four, which is easily the lbum's highlight, despite a few very clear Genesis-inspired moments.

Note that Syn-Phonic's reissue features a totally different artwork than the original, thus erasing the album's original title's meaning, though the new artwork is pretty cool, nonetheless. Soooo, yet another worthy and worthwhile unearthing of a gem from that mythic (but long-gone) label, but like most of these mid to later-70's US prog are rather over-rated (IMHO) or at least, not as essential for the originality-demanding proghead. But I gather most will find a suitable place in their shelves for this nonetheless enjoyable album. Just don't look for something that you've never heard before, despite that slight AOR touch.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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