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Gnidrolog - Lady Lake CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.06 | 333 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The second half of a great 70s duology from Gnidrolog. If you're like me and are too lazy to try to hunt down the vinyls or individual CDs, you'll likely be familiar with the recent CD that smooshes both this and HARRY'S TOENAIL on one CD.

In comparison to HARRY'S TOENAIL, this effort is largely of the same mould being that there are four meaty long-winded compositions augmented by two quiet ballads. However, other than the ballads, LADY LAKE is very different from its immediate predecessor in terms of sound. Obviously, newcomer John Earle is given quite a bit of leeway as his flute solo on ''I Could Never Be a Soldier'' and haunting sax lines on the title track automatically certify him of official Gnidrolog status even if this is the only album Earle participated in. However, it's much more than Earle.

To connect this album to HARRY'S TOENAIL is hard. Sure, Colin Goldring's voice is still as sharp as ever, the rhythm section still give the same impression and Stewie gives a solo every so often. But the avant tone of the compositions has gone down in comparison as this album tries for a more melodic, tuneful approach whilst still keeping the same power as before. The title track is the only song that could fit on HARRY'S TOENAIL soundwise, and even then, the production on ''Lady Lake'' is far superior as the rest of the album attests to.

What we get is a great rock jam in ''I Could Never Be a Soldier''. The prog here is not in the sense of virtuoso playing (other than the flute and bass solos) and not a keyboard is played, but the prog aspects are in the building effect of the piece as it starts very soft, builds into a strong chorus, drops again by the flute solo but builds again towards the chorus all leading up to the payoff: an epic guitar riff followed by a guitar solo, a bass solo and a superb sax line that reminds me of Magma.

We also get a slighty weak sea shanty in ''Ship''. Not that ''Ship'' is bad per se but it lacks a lot of oomph for me to get behind it. ''Social Embarrassment'' is a weird experiment. Earle sings the lead vocals here and, depends on how you perceive it, they are either better or worse than Colin's. The avantness of the previous album is here in this song (even if it doesn't exactly fit on HARRY'S TOENAIL), but in a higher octane performance. To describe the last song, think of a 70s punk song with tricky basslines and saxophones.

It's production is better than the one presented on HARRY'S TOENAIL. However, I keep comparing LADY LAKE to HARRY'S TOENAIL because it seems like the compositions were aiming for more melodic acceptance rather than the ecletic avant inventiveness on HARRY'S TOENAIL. Even then, LADY LAKE is still a phenomenal, overlooked prog album that welcomes all those who dare listen to it.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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