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Big Big Train - The Difference Machine CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

3.64 | 316 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars After being blown away by their 2009 release 'The Underfall Yard', I decided to start exploring these guys last couple of albums and in the course of those explorations am both happy and perplexed; how is it that more people on ProgArchives aren't talking about this band? Moreso to better effect than Spock's Beard or Transatlantic or the various output by Flower Kings' members, it seems to me that Big Big Train sound the best and push the envelope the most, blending postmodern melancholy with Genesis circa' A Trick of the Tail' and 'Wind & Weathering' to stronger and more emotional degrees with each subsequent release....and they're only going to continue to get better and better until ProgArchives regulars get a clue and give them the headlining they deserve.

Anyway, 2007's 'The Difference Machine' is distinguished a bit from the rest of BBT's discography in several ways, particularly with the presence of tenor sax and an elusive sense of greater space that let the tracks breathe a little more than on their 90's neo-prog phase releases or 2004's 'Gathering Speed'. Nick D'Virgillo, a phenomenal drummer and whose contributions make Spock's Beard bearable instead of terrible, gets his first taste of session time here and adds an interesting element of the proceedings. Lyrically, BBT have shed some of the amateurisms of Gathering Speed and set their eyes toward the stars, reflecting upon usual scticks of time and identity, but with a poise and prose and delivery that compel rather than repel.

Back in 1994 or so when these guys first released their generic Pendragon-esque debut 'Goodbye to the Age of Steam', could any of you have imagined that by 2004 and onwards they would climb out of that vast neo-prog hole that so many other bands are stuck in and that by 2009 have released three masterpieces? I certainly wouldn't have believed it!

If 2004's 'Gathering Speed' didn't convince you these guys were prime rib, then 'The Difference Machine' certainly will. 5 shiny gold stars out of 5.

Candlejack | 5/5 |


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