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Brainbox - Brainbox CD (album) cover

BRAINBOX

Brainbox

 

Proto-Prog

3.34 | 39 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
3 stars Brainbox is mainly known for being the embryo out of which Focus was born. Akkerman took himself to a whole other level with Focus but this is a document that holds both interest and worth. It is basically a rock/pop album with a psychedelic flavor but there is also that wonderful element of progressive tendencies in it's very beginning.

Three out of seven tracks are primarily hard rock with "Dark rose" really hitting the mark with the flute, intensity and wonderful instrumentation, not least due to Akkerman's blistering guitar work. A really great and intense song. "Baby, what you want me to do?" is an old blues song made famous by Jimmy Reed and later also covered by Elvis Presley. Alright but progressive? No, not in the least. "Sinner's prayer" opens up with a great, heavy riff but it all goes unremarkable when the song gets going. Just another blues song. That isn't bad but nothing to brag about.

"Reason to Believe" is a cover of Tim Hardin and it differs not much from the original. Quite unimpressive rendition.

Four of the seven tracks are covers. Two of them ("Baby, what you want me to do?" and "Reason to belive") adds little to the development of progressive rock. However, "Scarborough Fair" does. I've heard several versions by other bands doing this particular track and it is well suited for a progressive treatment. It is very atmospheric with flute, great acoustic guitar, restrained drums and vibes that gives the track a spacey and warm feel. Elongated and embellished this version is one of my favorites. It is a treat.

The second cover worth mentioning is "Summertime" that gets the Heavy or progressive treatment aswell. Again the result is great. and the proto-prog elements are there and in abundance. Nice organ too.

The "Epic" of the album is "Sea of delight" with it's 17 minutes worth of playing time. It is not like any Epic of later years with a whole lot of sections and pieces. It is more of a jam than anything else. It starts with a great melodic vocal part that soon heads into a frantic session where each of the instruments gets it's fair share of room. It's an interesting and really good piece of progressive jamming shrouded in late 60's psychedelia. I like it alot and it does not get boring at any time.

So, is the first album by Brainbox anything to spend time on? Yes, I Think so. If you peel away the uninteresting tracks. you're left with some prog made in it's infancy that is really enjoyable. This album is not only interesting due to the presence of Akkerman, it is interesting as a time piece and holds some really great and interesting ideas. Had they done something more interesting with, say, "Reason to Believe" for instance the rating would have earned them an extra star but as it stands I'll give it Three. But do check it out. It's worth it.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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