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Walrus - Walrus CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.13 | 18 ratings

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3 stars Rip-roaring fun on this 1970 debut from 9-piece heavy blues-jazz-rock orchestra Walrus, blasting forth with ragged and rich numbers from founder Steve Hawthorn's warm basses, guitarist John Scates' dirty riffs, and the over-the-top tribal yell of Noel Greenaway. On backup is a pulsing band of horns, woodwinds and percussion making this, their only release, a surprisingly tight blend of the sophisticated brass-jazz of Blood,Sweat&Tears, the stormy blues of Janis and her Holding Co., and echoes of early Who or Jethro Tull.

'Who Can I Trust' is typical but perfect hard acid rock boldly followed by 13 minute epic 'Rags and Old Iron', a journey of rhythm 'n blues, ancient ancestry, stoic folk rock, weird Brit-pop and sprawling brass-psych. 'Why' is a confident folk bit in paisley with Bill Hoad's pretty intertwined flutes and Greenaway's pining lament, tongue-in-cheek romp 'Turning', refreshing modern jazz in 'Coloured Rain', and beyond kitsch 'Tomorrow Never Comes' reminds of The Nice.

Nothing spectacular and brutally old-sounding, Walrus were destined to evaporate with little trace but the ensemble's impressive arrangements put them on a par with contemporaries as Room, and they deserve their small spot among the progressive orchestras of the era.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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