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

THE UNDERFALL YARD

Big Big Train

 

Crossover Prog

4.18 | 538 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some months ago a friend gave me a bunch of CDs to listen while he was travelling. One of them was by a band which had the strange name of Big Big Train. I listened to it just briefly, didnīt pay much atention and just put it away since it didnīt appeal to me soon (besides, I had plenty of others to hear). Only recently my curiosity on this band was aroused when lots of on line prog fans talked about their latest releases. I decided then to get their last album and, this time, to hear it with my full atention. Later I found out this was a very necessary move.

Big Big Train seems to be a band plagued by constant line up changes, but somehow core members Greg Spawton (guitars, keyboards, bass) and Andy Poole (bass, keyboards) manage to produce fantastic music together. Of course the presence of such seasoned guests like XTCīs Dave Gregory,. Frostīs Jem Godfrey and drummer extraordinaiere Nick D'Virgilio helped a lot! Also new singer David Longdon proves to be a great find too. He has a fine, warm and versatile voice and also plays some tasteful flutes here and there.

The music on The Underfall Yard reminds me a lot of Guy Manningīs Anserīs Tree. Like that album, BBTīs last is a dense work, with several layers of complex music that sounds a little too bland at first, but reveals itself to be quite rich and very well craft after a while. They produce something quite rare: a music that is very original and interesting, while not too provocative and zany. In fact it is clear that those guys love classic prog, some references to Genesis and King Crimson are quite easy to spot. And still they did not copy any of them. There are no real highlights on this album, it is very well done and you can hear it from start to finish. However, unlike most prog works, I fancied the shorter tracks more, maybe because they were easier to get into it. Last Train and Winchester Dive are probably the most accessible tracks and they made me think of a cross between Marillion and Peter Gabriel era Genesis with a modern twist on it. Production is also very good.

Conclusion: after repeated spins, I found the music here to be as rewarding as it is demanding. This is no easy listening music, but it is also something most progheads will relate to. Great symphonic music that will be an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Four strong stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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