Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Incredible String Band - Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air CD (album) cover


The Incredible String Band


Prog Folk

3.08 | 15 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Considering the number of years and releases between "Hangman's.." and "Liquid Acrobat", not much has changed in the ISB camp. Some more trademark early 1970s keyboards are creeping in, and the songs have some tighter yet more progressive structures. Yet ultimately the improvement is of minimal significance.

It's true that "Dear Old Battlefield" and "Red Hair" both show a more mature songwriting style, and the cello and pipe organ on the latter really notch it up. But sometimes the keys are just deployed to enhance a honky tonk atmosphere as in "Evolution Rag". It might have worked on a quick 1 or 2 minute interlude, but at 4:12 it's an interminable insult. "Painted Chariot", like so many ISB tunes, starts off promisingly, and, like so many ISB tunes, unravels dramatically. Usually they dissolve in silliness but here the undoing is a hard rock outro with punishing stabs on the organ. More pretentious philosophizing mars the pretty Licorice flavoured vocals on "Here till Here is there". "Jigs" shows that ISB was listening to what some of their contemporaries were doing, and works reasonably well for what it is. A couple of minutes of trad instrumental is quite sufficient.

These were the heydays for long prog suites, but "Darling Belle" is just an extended twee ISB song that could have been improved had they listened to STRAWBS ("Antique Suite") or even MAGNA CARTA ("Seasons") first, both of which appeared the year before. In the meantime, by now ISB had been surpassed by at least one imitator that put the music first and the psychedelia second, and that would be FOREST. I would seek out any of the aforementioned first. In the dubious search for the defining ISB album, I find the liquid acrobat to be another unbalanced effort.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives