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Peter Hammill - In Camera CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 452 ratings

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4 stars In My Youth ... I Played Prog Rock!

Yes, not all of us had the pleasure of an untroubled youth spent with our favourite toys. Some of us had a merciless older brother that force-fed us on progressive rock from the tender age of 10. Well I'm deceiving you a bit; it wasn't 'force-feeding'. I was entirely fascinated and drank lavishly.

However, Hammill wasn't in my brothers collection, so Van Der Graaf would be the first band I 'discovered' myself as soon as I was old enough to be spending afternoons in libraries and second-hand stores. This album has been with me since I was 16 or something. Needless to say it was defining for my basic taste: progressive rock, but with a dark and harsh angle in it. No wonder I moved on to post-punk and metal later on.

In Camera continued the style and sound of the Silent Corner but has never convinced me equally. It is mostly brilliant but has moments that are too over the top and far-fetched. "Ferret and Featherbird" is a very experimental track that always intrigued me and "The Comet, the Course, the Tail" and "Faint-Heart and the Sermon" are longstanding favourites. The remainder of the tracks goes from excellent to slightly annoying: "Tapeworm" never gelled with me and I don't think I've listened more then thrice beyond the 7 minute mark of "Gog Magog"

With his next album, Hammill would come back with an entirely stripped down version of his style. He had taken his pretentious and theatrical stand as far as he could with In Camera. Also on his solo albums of the late 70's, the experimental and keyboard driven songs were much more focussed and comprehensive.

Still this is an essential album for me and you also shouldn't miss the excellent peel sessions that have been added to the 2006 remaster.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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