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


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.17 | 797 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars One of the most critically-acclaimed progressive rock releases of 2009, Big Big Train's sixth album 'The Underfall Yard' finds this British three-piece working with a heavyweight cast that includes the likes of Spock's Beard drummer-and-vocalist Nick D'Virgilio, It Bites' Francis Dunnery and Frost* creator Jem Godfrey. Obvious a lovingly-crafted album, 'The Underfall Yard' features a slow, careful, symphonic sound enriched by a collection of unusual instruments such as Trombones, Cellos, French Horns and Cornets that juxtapose warmly with Big Big Train's guitar-and-keyboard heavy approach. Obvious influences such as Genesis and King Crimson abound, though the prosaic, almost maudlin tone of many of the compositions on offer also hint towards a slightly more classical sound. Vocalist David Longdon has a deep, bassy, baritone voice that compliments the battery of instruments nicely, but despite the commendably complex instrumentation on show, 'The Underfall Yard' somehow never really takes off and truly excites. What the band have created is a kind of earnest balladry peppered with proggy ingredients that's all very interesting and but pretty hard tack for those in search of genuinely innovative and genuinely entertaining prog rock. There's no denying the group's expert craftmanship, but unfortunately, despite their richly-textured sound, Big Big Train have still yet to reach the heights reached by the genuine greats of modern prog such as Diagonal, Astra and Beardfish, three bands that have created contemporary prog that is both original and exciting. A worthy effort from Big Big Train, but, unfortunately, despite it's musical excellence, a fundamentally flawed one. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 3/5 |


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