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Jan Dukes De Grey - Mice And Rats In The Loft CD (album) cover


Jan Dukes De Grey


Prog Folk

4.21 | 214 ratings

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4 stars Mice and Rats in the Loft sound to me like an Andalusian combination of Traffic, The Doors, The Kinks, John Sebastian, Andrew Lloyd Weber, The Moody Blues, Fairport Convention, Simon & Garfunkle. The orchestration is quite welcome, the 12-string and other acoustic guitar playing is ambitious--perhaps a bit over-ambitious (lots of mistakes and rather raw recording choices)--but, in the era before midi and computer 'air-brushing' this is part of the acceptable defects and even charm of the "almost live" studio recordings--especially of 19 minute, 13- minute, and 8-minute songs.

"Sun Symphonica" (10/10) has the feel of a combination of and extended version of The Moody Blues' "(I'm) Just a Singer in a Rock'n'Roll Band" and The Doors "The End." It is an awesome song!

"Call of the Wild" (9/10) starts with more of a Jethro Tull feel, despite the multiple voices. Again, I wish the guitar pickups had been able to pick up a cleaner sound--though perhaps the band was going for the ROBERT JOHNSON sound effect? At 2:25 begins an odd vocal section over the unclean RJ almost-dobro sounding guitar. At 5 minute mark there is another shift, announced with some drums and culminating in a prolonged strumming guitar solo--a bit like Jimmy Page's mandolin on "The Battle of Evermore". At 8:40 the song really kicks in with full- band and sax sounding a bit Soft Machine-ish. Sax and guitar play off each other really nicely.

The title song (8/10) is the shortest, last, and, IMO, the weakest song--but it's still good! Just a bit drawn out. Distorted guitars and eery vocal again conjure up a feeling of the theatrics of Jim Morrison and his mates in The Doors. I like the use of the woodwinds and the treated/distorted mystery instrument solo starting at 5:05

A very enjoyable listen that I can't quite give 5 stars to, but so close! 4.5 for sure.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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