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Big Big Train - The Underfall Yard CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.17 | 797 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I heard the track 'Last train' on a demo, and felt that the way that that song ended deserved my further investigation. Based on that premise I am slightly disappointed, though I'm glad I bought it (at reasonable cost too!). The first song 'Evening star' seems to be used as an opportunity to introduce the instruments and sound that we'll be listening to throughout. Rather shockingly, the sound of a brass instrument destroys any hope that we are entering Prog 'Nirvana'. Being English, the brass sound aesthetically conjures up the sound of northern English brass band music. Not my idea of Prog heaven. Infact, it surely has to compromise the aspect of 'rock' itself. Overall it's not a sound or style that I've heard before. Yes, there are influences of early Genesis (but without the intensity), Phil Collin's mid-seventies Genesis, and touches of early Yes, but they are not to the fore. It's not a style that I dislike (There's plenty of mellotron), but maybe it's too 'peaceable' overall, and I struggle to really warm to it. That said, there is a redeeming factor. Track 3, 'Victorian Brickyard' (you see, more emphasis on Britain's past and historic industrial greatness, which means Northern England). It's probably three songs in one. Regardless, it's one of those songs that goes on and on at the end, and is great because of it. It's over 12 minutes long, and alone makes the album worth buying. And yes, the 'brass' section works too! Track 4, 'Last train', is good, though I am over-familiar with it because it was the song on the demo. At over 22 minutes long, the 'Underfall Yard' should have been the 'special' one. Sadly, it's not. Nothing really happens. Yes, there's a brief reprise of earlier glories at the end, but it's not enough. The experience overall is generally positive.There's nothing really to offend (well okay, other than a bit of brass). The musicianship and production are faultless throughout, and that track 'Victorian Brickyard' , for me at least, is a definite winner.
sussexbowler | 3/5 |


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