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Gravy Train - Gravy Train CD (album) cover

GRAVY TRAIN

Gravy Train

 

Heavy Prog

3.33 | 41 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dark Nazgul
2 stars Not a goldmine.

In the seventies Gravy Train are one of the bands of the British underground scene. This album, their debut and one of the pieces of Vertigo catalog, is in my opinion an average record and nothing more.

There is nothing particularly innovative in this album and sounds are typical of other blues/rock bands of the same period with heavy guitars, flute and sax and a few keyboards. The style reminds a bit other bands like Catapilla , East Of Eden, and early Tull, but the results are not the same.

In particular the long jam Earl Of Pocket Nook, in my opinion, is particularly tedious. In this track the attempt to create new sounds leads the band in the wrong direction, and soon the confusion prevails over everything else: the result is a song full of experimentation for its own sake, totally incoherent and inorganic, a bit noisy, without musicality and harmonies. The raw blues Coast Road and the mediocre Think Of Life do not increase the overall quality of this work.

Things go better with the other tracks: Enterprise, a song with exotic mood, with flute, sax, guitars and filtered voices, very reminiscent of the style of early East Of Eden. The New One is the most enjoyable song of the album, featuring beautiful harmonies and a delicate flute interlude. Dedication To Syd has good rhythmic variations and strange choruses in tone, however, with the atmosphere of the song.

Another thing that I find very hard to digest is the voice of the singer and leader Norman Barrett. Surely his voice does not leave indifferent: you love it or you hate it, without compromise. Personally I find that Barrett exceed in emphasis when interprets the lyrics, and this happens especially in the slower tracks where it would require a more measured approach (and this is even more evident in "A Ballad Of A Peaceful Man", the band's second album ).

If you are interested in the underground scene of 70s British music, I suggest you first listen to other bands, such as T2, High Tide, Catapilla, Tonton Macoute and East Of Eden.

Final rating 4/10.

Best song: The New One

Dark Nazgul | 2/5 |

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