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Steamhammer - Reflection CD (album) cover



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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

Steamhammer's debut is clearly entrenched into the second wave of British Blues Boom along with TYA , Savoy Brown , PG's Fleetwood Mac and others. However , this album has enough progressive overtones to indicate that the next albums will be of more interest for the scope of the site.

There are many fine moments on this album full of good interplay and good songwriting making this album a sort of example of progressive blues and proto-prog. The two part water is actually book-ending the album and some tracks such as Junior's Wailing , Even The Clock and 24 hours are very enjoyable. Hardly essential listening in the Archives's scope , this albunm remains a very pleasant spin in your deck. much better is to come, though.

Please note that this album came out with different sleeves back then and that all Steamhammer records have been reissued on the Repertoire label in the early 90's, although never in the mini-lp format as here on the Italian label Akarma.

Report this review (#40215)
Posted Monday, July 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Steamhammer's first album is one of their most bluesy efforts. Kieran White's voice resembles Ian Anderson's, making me think what would have happened if Mick Abrahams stayed with Jethro Tull for another album. Martin Pugh's guitar is fluid and is generously featured in short, bluesy solos. Rhythm guitarist Martin Quittenton, bassist Steve Davy and drummer Michael Rushton are discret and efficient through all this album, allowing full space to Pugh and White to shine. White and Quittenton wrote almost all songs, leaving space to B. B. King's "You'll Never Know" and Eddie Boyd's "Twenty-Four Hours". A brief instrumental "Water" splitted in two parts, begins and ends the proceedings. IMO, the best songs are "Junior's Wailing" (their first single), "Lost You Too" (the most ambitious blues- rock piece in this album) and "When All Your Friends Are Gone" (with a superb, fierce guitar solo by Martin Pugh), along with the two blues covers mentioned above. I would give 4 star to this album, but only progheads which are also interested in blues-rock would welcome "Reflections" as an excellent additon to their collection.
Report this review (#42005)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The best term that describes this record is...prog blues, or prog related blues. The basic influence is the blues of famous artists like Freddie King and early Jethro Tull. The lead vocals remind a bit Elvis Presley himself. Some guitar solos also remind Jimi Hendrix: the guitar sound is just excellent for the early year! Steve Joliffe, who contributed for the Tangerine Dream's Cyclone album, plays here some excellent flute parts a la Jethro Tull, a la early Solution or a la Focus. There are some visceral & typical harmonica parts. The tracks are a bit catchy, and some of them retain more particularly the attention. The melodic and galloping bass has a loud & bottom sound. Unlike MKII, Reflection unfortunately has no sax parts, and it is also slightly less progressive. This is a surprisingly good album for 1969.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Report this review (#124329)
Posted Saturday, June 2, 2007 | Review Permalink

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