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England - Garden Shed CD (album) cover

GARDEN SHED

England

 

Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 199 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars England are an English band, not surprisingly, with a powerful Symphonic Prog-Rock sound, very reminiscent of YES, with elements of early 1970's Genesis too. The singer sounds remarkably similar to Jon Anderson of YES at times. The forerunner of this album was a 20-minute-long suite released as an EP, titled "The Imperial Hotel" (1975). This album "Garden Shed" (1977) is England's only full-length album release during the 1970's golden era of Progressive Rock, although they released two later studio albums "The Last of the Jubblies" in 1997 and "Box of Circles" in 2018, together with a Live album "Kikimimi" recorded in Japan in 2006. The album title and cover of "Garden Shed" is a humorous reference to the Golden Shred marmalade label. The album is known to have featured a sawn-in-half Mellotron.

The album opens promisingly in dramatic style with some delicate keyboard motifs before launching into a vibrant trumpet-like sound from the synthesiser. It's a tremendously uplifting and dynamic song which is very reminiscent of early 1970's YES. This is classic Symphonic Prog at its finest with powerful chords, dramatic changes of pace and triumphant and grandiose synth playing. The second song on the album "All Alone" is a beautifully gentle melody featuring some exquisite echoey piano playing and pleasantly laid-back vocals. The third song "Three Piece Suite" is a 13-minute-long majestic epic and fans of YES will immediately recognise similarities with the classic "Close to the Edge" and "Fragile" era of YES. This long track features beautifully melodic soundscapes, majestic synths and sudden and dramatic changes of tempo which should appeal to fans of Symphonic Prog everywhere. The humorously titled "Paraffinalea" is next up. It's a joyful sounding song with some sparklingly uplifting synth passages. The fifth song on the album "Yellow" is a gentle and melodic tune with similarities to early Genesis in some of their quieter moments. The album closes in dramatic and powerful fashion with a magnificent 16-minute-long epic, "Poisoned Youth", featuring constant changes of tempo and the ever-present sonorous sound of the imposing synth. This epic song concludes in commanding and grandiose style and makes a perfect ending to a superb album.

A classic example of Symphonic Prog at its finest. This rare album deserves far more recognition, as it's on a level par with some of the best albums that YES and Genesis have ever recorded. It's worthy of a place in every Symphonic Prog fan's music collection.

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |

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