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Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.88 | 1827 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars My friends and I, once upon a time, used to listen to music and play board games (mostly Risk), and we listened to quite a bit of old Pink Floyd. For those who are mostly familiar with the band's more familiar works, this earliest album can prove quite shocking.

"Astronomy Domine" When I think of psychedelic 1960s rock, I think of a certain Jefferson Airplane album and "Astronomy Domine." The vintage guitar sounds, coupled with soft, moseying vocals, and an unconventional chord progression make for some far out business. Syd Barrett-penned music involves a lot of semitones, even with chords bopping back and forth around half-steps. It even has a spacey introduction, setting the overall mood for the album.

"Lucifer Sam" What essentially could pass for James Bond music is ultimately a song about Barrett's cat. Electric guitar pounds out a descending riff, which falls out of an echo machine.

"Matilda Mother" For the first time, listeners of Pink Floyd hear the enchanting voice of keyboardist Richard Wright. The dark Phrygian mode the organ solo is in during its solo adds a sinister layer.

"Flaming" This fanciful song has a childlike quality, and as usual, a seemingly darker nature underneath. There's a powerful acoustic guitar chugging out the rhythm during parts, but mostly the music is vocal, with some steady drums, bass, and organ. The instrumental section in the middle is a bit haunting.

"Pow R. Toc H." Percussive and high-pitched vocals begin this highly experimental track, before Wright has a piano solo over simple bass and drums, all heavily panned to one side. After a second wild section, there's some light organ and soft electric guitar. The piece ends with the album's most bizarre moment, cementing it as my least favorite on the album.

"Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" Repetitive rhyming lines punctuated by vocal sputtering, and crispy electric guitar are what this Roger Waters-penned song is all about. Given the writer, the bass stands out much further in the mix.

"Interstellar Overdrive" Essentially an instrumental improvisational jam, this is downright bizarre! The bass is steady, the drums of Nick Mason simple and panned all the way to one side of the mix, with some gritty and "out-there" electric guitar playing from Barrett. This piece soon becomes freeform, punctuated by peculiar guitar noises and other weird sounds. The ending pans from side to side rapidly, and can almost make one listening through headphones dizzy! This can definitely weird out those who call themselves Pink Floyd fans but only know the 1970s output!

"The Gnome" This is a fun little romp with some silly lyrics.

"Chapter 24" Loosely based on the Chinese tome I Ching, this song has a prominent melody and some interesting keyboard work and bass.

"Scarecrow" A clicking and clocking begin this song, which is another lighthearted song featuring a lead keyboard. The lyrics seem to describe the existential problems of being the titular being.

"Bike" A jaunty song, this has some strange lyrics, which may prove much simpler than they seem, but given the cacophonic, and almost horrifying final moment of the album, it seems that isn't the case.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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