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Paladin - Charge! CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.46 | 67 ratings

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2 stars Ooh! This is a real tough one for me, because Paladin is a decent band, but I can't help feeling that it's contribution to progressive rock is neglible at best, and non-existent at worst. When I first listened to this album I was quite put off, because I spent virtually the whole of the first half of it wondering how anyone could consider Paladin to be remotely progressive. After getting used to what the band has to offer, I've softened my initial stance, but I really don't think Charge! is anything more than an enjoyable classic rock effort with a mix of styles that do not add up to a particularly creative whole.

The opener Give Me Your Hand for example sounds a little like Uriah Heep with driving rock and searing organ, but at one point breaks into a loose soulful jam that could have cut by Traffic or Tonton Macoute. Well We Might is mindless glam-tinged (hey t'was 1972 after all) boogie rock. Get On Together is an edgy funk instrumental, all wah-wah and tearaway Hammond work from organist Pete Solley. Anyway is strangely like some John Lennon solo track I can't put my finger on. Good Lord is a breezy Allman Brothers type rocker on which guitarist Derek Foley really gets to stretch out although vocalist Lou Stonebridge rules the middle of the song with a delicious echo-laden electric piano solo! My favourite track is probably Mix Your Mind With The Moonbeams which rides a lovely lead vocal melody (that would do any Beatles wannabe proud) before launching into a dandy organ solo. Interestingly Solley's organ lines show a distinct appreciation of the work of Procol Harum's Matthew Fisher ... and Solley would join that band for the Something Magic album!

The closer Watching The World Pass By is a real hotpotch of a track (and is probably what passes for progressive) ... it has a suitably laidback opening with a tranquil harmonica solo from Stonebridge, but then after threatening to break into something interesting, it explodes into another boogie extravaganza. Round about the 4 minute mark, we are suddenly treated to some sort of hoedown fiddle fest (well Solley is on violin for this), before Foley cuts back in with some smokin' axe lines.

So what you have is a pretty good album that touches numerous classic rock cornerstones, but almost never strays into the realm of progressive rock. Perhpas this will be of interest to those who get a kick out of the art-rock stylings of a band like Babe Ruth, but from a prog point of view, this is actually quite poor. ... 45% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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