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Ramases - Glass Top Coffin CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.72 | 28 ratings

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2 stars Finally available on CD after a long hiatus, the second studio album from Ramases comes to us via the excellent re-issue label Esoteric Recordings. Featuring a much more expansive sound that seems like the product of better recording facilities and a bigger budget, 'Glass Top Coffin' is a slicker, better-produced album than it's predecessor but one that unfortunately fails to learn from 'Space Hymns' mistakes. Originally a jobbing electrician from Sheffield(a northern town in the UK), Ramases was a strange figure obsessed by Egyptian gods and mythology who would eventually commit suicide in the mid 1980's. His first album was a zany, unfocused affair featuring at least one terrific song in the shape of the rocking 'Life Child', but little else of interest bar the superb Roger Dean artwork of a church- cum-space rocket launching into the stratosphere. However, the actual musicianship on 'Space Hymns' was top class thanks to the fact that our man was backed by the four musicians who would, in time, go on to form the successful pop band 10cc. But despite 'Life Child' the rest of the album would prove disappointing, made up as it was of strange little folk songs, slow ballads and weak psychedelia, all of it penned by Ramases and his equally nutty wife but played very professionally by the temporary backing band. Sadly, the 10cc foursome are absent on 'Glass Top Coffin', instead replaced by a syrupy, 1950's-style orchestra that proves both tacky and frustratingly slow. Again, like in 'Space Hymns', there is only one genuinely good song, this time in the form of the funky title-track , and that aside 'Glass Top Coffin' turns out to be nothing more than just another uninspiring slab of out-dated sci-fi themed psychedelic pop. Fans of 'Space Hymns' and all things quirky will probably delight in the fact that 'Glass Top Coffin' has finally been given a proper, remastered released; the rest of us will shrug our shoulders and move on to the next 'lost classic' from the Esoteric archives. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 2/5 |


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