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Aardvark - Aardvark CD (album) cover

AARDVARK

Aardvark

 

Crossover Prog

3.40 | 62 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A hard-edged yet surprisingly-inventive progressive outfit who, like Rare Bird and Van Der Graaf Generator, eschewed the use of lead guitars in favour of bruising mellotrons and brisk keyboards, Aardvark belong to that large band of exciting young bands who, for whatever reason, failed to make the commercial grade during prog-rock's early 1970s 'golden' period. Initially featuring Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke, who would, of course, abandon ship in order to join the soon-to-be fabulously-successful rock group Free, Aardvark released one album during 1970 which garnered little support from their record company and virtually no press from the various British music magazines of the era. Usually, the reason for an album being ignored like this is due to the lack of a suitable(from the record company's point of view) lead-off single, a rather strange analysis one might think as the opening track on this eponymously-titled affair features a very catchy, if somewhat heavy, mellotron riff that wouldn't sound out-of-place on an album by the likes of, say, Uriah Heep or even, at a stretch, The Nice. The track in question is the nicely-titled 'Copper Sunset', and it's a groovy start to an eclectic and highly-enjoyable set of hard-rockin' prog tunes that really did deserve better. 'Copper Sunset' soon segue's into the surprisingly deft and jazzy 'Very Nice Of You To Call' - an album highlight - which in turn gives way to the powerful psych-rock of 'Many Things To Do'. The album only really falls down on the slightly silly, and tediously repetitive, 'The Outing', which sounds like a bad football chant and almost breaks the ten-minute barrier. Thankfully though, this (slight) aberration is quickly forgotten thanks to the complex closer 'Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke it', which starts out with a Tangerine Dream-style organ before charging headlong into an impressive mash-up of Deep Purple-style riff-rock and ELP-esque jamming. Exhilarating is the word that comes closest to summing up 'Aardvark' after initial listens, and the effect is in no way dimmed by further explorations into the album. We'll probably never know why Aardvark failed to mount a serious challenge on the rock world, but, thanks to a sterling reissue job, the music by this sadly-ignored four-piece can finally be given the proper recognition it deserves it all it's remastered glory. Once you hear 'Copper Sunset', those with a fondness for the heavier side of prog should be instantly hooked. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
stefro | 3/5 |

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