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GARDEN SHED

England

 

Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 134 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Amazingly, this forthright slice of symphonic prog was written, recorded, produced and released in 1977, a full year after the horrifying punk tornado had come swirling through Britain. Not so amazingly, however, England's slightly twee debut failed to sell and the band wouldn't re-appear again until a belated 1997 follow-up. It's an odd tale, as one genuinely wonders whether England would have found more success if they had managed to get their act together five or six years earlier and release 'Garden Shed' during the early part of the 1970's when prog still ruled the roost. We can never know, but at least we know where this four-piece garnered their influences from. Their un-ashamedly symphonic sound has serious echoes of Yes, and England can be placed in that slightly unfortunate category of bands - along with fellow Brits Druid and yankee proggers Starcastle - that are often labelled 'Yes clones'. That tag may be taking it a bit too far but it's easy to see why the bands are so often compared. England sport a light, airy, keyboard-dominated sound that resonates with Yes- isms, whilst the band's lead-singer has an uncanny ability to hit those high notes a la Jon Anderson. Quality-wise England are miles behind Yes, but, happily, 'Garden Shed' is an enjoyable if sightly lightweight affair that is, like Druid's 'Toward The Sun' or Starcastle's eponymously-titled debut, a fine example of lush symphonic prog from people who care not about style but are all about substance. Fans of mid-seventies Yes and the previously-mentioned twosome will find much to admire on 'Garden Shed'. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 3/5 |

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