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Van Der Graaf Generator - The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.05 | 940 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is arguably the first real van deer graaf album. By this time, Charisma had been formed and Van deer Graaf had signed to them. (in fact, Tony-Stratton Smith formed the label for vdgg).

The sound that the band would later become famous for is clear here, and this is no surprise, for what would become the classic line up is all present at this point, including bassist Nic Potter. The bands sound is typified by the aggressive saxophone attacks of David Jackson, the atmospheric organs of Hugh Banton, and the energetic drumming of Guy Evans. And while each of these players is an integral part of the band, Peter Hammil cannot be ignored, already the creative leader of the band, credited with the song writing of all tracks (sharing credit with David Jackson on Out Of My Book). He also brings his unique voice to the band, the voice which has been known to be either loved or hated. I, personally, love it, but would also state that on this album, the moments that I think are likely to cause a hate are less present.

In fact, compared to future albums, the band seems somewhat restrained - as if in this one, they have not yet quite found their limits, and it was in finding their limits that the band created some of their best moments. In this album, Guy's drumming is not yet quite so manic; Peters vocals not quite so extreme (thus why I think they are less likely to be hated here than on future albums), David's sax playing somewhat less intense.

There are no bad songs on the album. Darkness (11/11) is almost as cool as it's title; Refugees makes me think of what Rod Stewart would have sounded like with Van Der Graaf Generator as a backing band; Whatever Would Robert Have Said? is a very pleasing track with many interesting shifts and nice lyrics; and the best on the album, the one that hints at the heights the band would reach in this incarnation, After the Flood, is replete with contrast, energy, and aggression.

There are a few low points; Out of My Book, while nice, does not appeal to me in the way that most van deer graaf songs do, so I tend to forget about it, and while White Hammer is fine, it tends to drag after some time.

Ultimately, this album is enjoyable, but I rarely listen to it over Van deer Graafs masterworks, their next four albums, each of which reaches further, is more consistent, and stays strong after more listens.

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |


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