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Spirogyra - Old Boot Wine CD (album) cover

OLD BOOT WINE

Spirogyra

Prog Folk


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars After the stunning debut (they did sell quite a bit of it) Sirogyra had problems confirming it. The second album is rather tame and I would say un-inventive when compared to the other two albums. Cussack was listed as a guest musician in this album and replaced by Martin on guitars and KB. One of the most evident flaw, I can tell you about is the disastrous mixing of the drumming of Dave Mattacks (not one of my favorite drummer too), simply too loud and disruptive (the drumming in the other two albums is discreet and well- suited to the delicate ambiances).

Only parts opf songs work well! Dangerous Dave, Van Allen's Belt (mispelled above and refering to Diamond Dave's sexual exploits), Canterbury Tale (their home town), Disraelly's Problem (an answer to Cream?) all have their moments but click too rarely to be really enjoyable. Only the long track World's Eyes can remind you of their debut but actually announces the third album with the great use of the cello!

I rounded up this rating to the upper star simply because I regard highly the other two albums. But this one should be for confirmed fans, really!

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#34697)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well, finally I have been lucky enough to track down an LP of this highly coveted album, however, its reputation exceeds its worth - to an extent. We are greeted with 'Dangerous Dave', which rocks out nicely, with a brief melancholic bit in the middle and back again. Hardly the stuff a prog-head looks for but the track is well composed. Van Allen's Belt is in a more sombre mood with acoustic guitar and piano. 'Runaway' strikes me as the most proggy piece on the album. It features 3 distinctive movements, some organ and lovely piano playing, vocals from Mark Francis and the beautiful Barbara Gaskin, and some bars in 7/8 !! Starting out uptempo, but finishing in a dreamy way with Gaskin's gorgeous voice - a well performed proggy-folk epic in under 5 minutes ! 'Grandad' is again a sombre piece of fragile beauty featuring a delicate Cockerham with his acoustic guitar, backed by Cusack's string arrangement. 'Wings of Thunder' is another rocker which is pleasant but without any 'twists and turns'. Side 2 opens up with the only long number, 'World's Eyes', of which the first half of the song recalls a bit of the eccentricities of their debut, 'St. Radigunds', containing a brief moment of manic energy which reminds me of zeuhl (don't ask how I get this, but it does), hyperactive bass from Borrill, some semi-tone riffs and strange vocals. The second half of the song settles into more conventional territory but still holds the attention. Most 'standard' track I find is 'Don't Let it Get you', a non-offensive ballad which doesn't out-stay its welcome. 'Disraeli's Problem' features more dreamy vocals from Gaskin, with mellow sections that I enjoy immensely. Last track, 'A Canterbury Tale', has a sombre first half which is beautiful, finishing with a multi-tracked Gaskin vocal backing with Cockerham singing over the top. A fine album for sure, but not quite the masterpiece I was hoping for.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#84429)
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9.0/10 Incredible

Spirogyra's second effort is certainly not a perfect album. Why is this album Incredible? Because here we are given the epitome of the Spirogyra sound, if not the all encompassing opus of all acid or pschedelic prog is general. The song is Grandad. This is by far, hands down the greatest achievement on any Spirogyra album...Martin Cockerham reaches the depths of his inner genius and destroys you with this miracle of a song. The album itself continues surrounding this with fantastic music, with some of the best songs by the band and one of their best endings ever on Runaway. Dangerous Dave is a fantastic opener and a great song, and while some of the tracks are less experimental and seem more simple than St. Radigunds, this is almost a calling for the band to lean towards this style. The album, afterall, was the next step in leading to their best album, Bells, Boots and Shambles.

A couple of tracks on here certainly did not strike me as brilliant or truly loveable, but everything here is consistent Spirogyra sound and goodness. Martin Cockerham screamed for me to research him after this one, and I've found a true genius of music throughout. I would love to give this album a masterpiece score just based on Grandad, but then I would have to do the same for alot of albums with one absolutely mind blowing track. The album is amazing, though, as is to be expected from Spirogyra. The masters of the acid folk scene, check this one out.

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Send comments to The Lost Chord (BETA) | Report this review (#157688)
Posted Saturday, January 05, 2008 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Spirogyra for me sounds as great name from my teens. Returning now back to their second album, I am a bit disappointed.

Still great folk harmonies, nice arrangements and complex arrangements. Still nice balance between folk and rock elements. Still some psychedelic air all around. But - let be honest, it sounds more as evident from it's time than as music which can attract someone right now.

A bit sad feeling, but life is life. I believe that real band's fan still love them.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#261699)
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Despite the surreal cover art, Old Boot Wine actually feels a bit less adventurous and progressive to me than either of the other two albums of Spirogyra's original run. Those who enjoy folk rock with progressive sensibilities will still find the material here to be of interest, Barbara Gaskin still charms on the microphone, and Martin Cockerham and Marc Francis' instrumental sparring is still a treat, but the proceedings feel rather sedate and tame compared to the more unpredictable St. Radigund's - there's no departures into not-quite- Comus spookness, for instance. Call it three and a half stars - add half a star if you really like 1970s British folk rock, subtract half a star if you're here for the prog side of the Spirogyra equation.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1012363)
Posted Wednesday, August 07, 2013 | Review Permalink

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