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Titus Groan - Titus Groan & ... Plus (1989) CD (album) cover

TITUS GROAN & ... PLUS (1989)

Titus Groan

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 37 ratings

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bristolstc
4 stars Not quite a "masterpiece," but almost. Titus Groan were an early (they formed sometime in 1969 and released their only album and single in 1970) art rock/ progressive band who sounded uncannilly like a cross between Czar without the mellotron and The Move circa Message From The Country with a bit of Jethro Tull thrown in for good measure. This means high energy melodic songs with lots of guitars. sax, vocal harmonies, and great percussion work/drumming. There's occaisonal organ and electric piano, but mainly a much earlier guitar battling with flute, sax, and oboe sound. The first song "It Wasn't For You" is very bluesy and grooves along with a restrained hard edge. The vocal sounds eerily like Ian Anderson and this is true for the lead vocals for the whole album. I have no idea which of the four band members took care of lead voice, but he has a great one and if you love Tull (I do) you'll love this. The guitar, which is strong and confident, also brings to mind that group, while the bass and percussion have a jazzier approach like Cream or King Crimson. The hard hitting attack balanced with good melodies always reminded me of Czar on this album, and that can only be good. Every song is excellent, and there is no problem with any of the words or music here. The only problem is a "rushed" quality that leaves me salivating for more. It sounds like Titus Groan were a confident band who hurried into a studio and gave it their very best and suceeded in making a fantastic album, why wasn't there a second one? My favourite tracks here are on Side Two, the dark and ominous turning into light and playful at the end epic "I Can't Change" and Czar soundalike "Fuschia." Play the two albums together and you'll see what I'm talking about. Hey, I prefer Titus Groan to Blodwyn Pig- this is prime period Jethro Tull and NOT the much inferior first album with Mick Abrahams. There's strong melodies here, and even at their most daringly progressive on "Hall Of Bright Carvings" these guys cook and are impressive singers and musicians. If you like early prog with lots of energy this album will knock you out. I don't know why Titus G. have always been slammed by critics and dealers, I think this is a great album, in fact I know it is. The single wasn't too good, though, so skip over that if you get the reissue with the 7 inch tracks. Same scenario as another band wonder who that is... Czar. Surprised? Well I'm not, like I said take out the mellotron and put in saxes and flutes, it's the same great solid sound.
| 4/5 |

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