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Gnidrolog - In Spite Of Harry's Toenail CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 175 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Debut album by a band that could have gone far but didn't, featuring six tracks of generally good quality, a couple of which were actually quite superb.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this band is their use of non-typical rock instruments. Perhaps not the most unique thing on a prog website, but their use of flutes, cello, et al was done very well, and although there are parts without a single "rock" instrument playing. They never quite lose that rock sensibility, and some of their tracks (including the instrumental section of the title track) have quite a bluesy feel to them, something that is somewhat rare in the progressive music I have experienced to this point and much appreciated for that fact.

In general, the longer tracks on this album are the better ones. They contain more shifts, emotion, and energy. Both the short tracks (Peter and Who Spoke) sit more on the quiet acoustic side. I do think they fit great between the longer tracks, but do not stand out so much on their own.

In my eyes, what would have been Side 1 features the two best tracks of the album - Long Live Man Dead, and Snails.

Long Live Man Dead, the opener, is one of the better tracks on the album. We are introduced to the vocals of the Goldring twins (whose name was mangled to create the band name), which are quite distinctive and fit the music perfectly. The second half of the track, which is mostly instrumental, reveals to us the unique textures of the band that made them interesting enough to still be of note over thirty years later, despite the fact that they were never hugely influential.

But as far as I am concerned, it is the third track on this album, Snails, that really cements this album as something that needs to be heard. It starts slow and quiet, building up over the next minute, until the vocals come in - where there is a really neat interplay between slower vocals with no instruments, and an energetic instrumental outburst. The song just doesn't sit still, but keeps shifting between various moods. Just three minutes in, we are introduced to yet another excellent theme from the track, somewhat more jagged and aggressive than previous sections. Although this track sits around seven minutes long, it contains a lot of ideas that work great together.

Beyond this, there are no bad tracks on the album, and both the other longer tracks (Time and Space, and the mysteriously-named In Spite of Harry's Toenail) are very good. It is definitely worth giving this album a number of spins.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |


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