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PARTS

Brainbox

Proto-Prog


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Brainbox Parts album cover
2.64 | 12 ratings | 2 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A face (4:05)
2. You're used to be warmer (3:55)
3. Part of me is a part of you (5:35)
4. What it's all about (4:55)
5. Scotch ballad (2:05)
6. Another part (3:15)
7. Dilemma (3:30)
8. Drum and thunder suite (5:05)
9. When I was poor (5:50)

Total time: 38:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Michel van Dijk / vocals, flute
- Ron Meyjes / lead guitar, harmonica
- Robert Verwey / bass, organ, piano
- Frans Smit / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Jacques Bontje

LP Harvest ‎- 5C 056-24551 (1972, Netherlands)

Thanks to vibrationbaby for the addition
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BRAINBOX Parts ratings distribution


2.64
(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(8%)
8%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(17%)
17%
Good, but non-essential (50%)
50%
Collectors/fans only (25%)
25%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

BRAINBOX Parts reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Late-60's Dutch band, the history of which is more interesting than its links to Prog Rock.Polish singer/guitarist Kazimierz Lux, winner of a talent scouting competition, asked guitarist Jan Akkerman and drummer Pierre van der Linden to form a group, after playing together in a studio, gathered by the Bovema label for the sessions of an upcoming Lux demo.They were joined by bassist Andre Reynen and released a nice little Heavy/Blues Rock album in 1969.Soon Akkerman was forced to leave the band, after jamming with one Thijs van Leer.The two formed Focus and Akkerman brought van der Linden along.Conflicts with the manager and several line-up changes led to a complete lifting around 1971, when Lux and Reynen left Brainbox, dissapointed by the situation.The new formation now was Robert Verwey on bass, organ, piano, ex-Ekseption Michel Van Dijk on vocals, flute, Ron Meyjes on guitar, harmonica and Frans Smit on drums.Second Brainbox album comes in 1972 on Harvest under the name ''Parts''.

Some sort of early Renaissance case with no original members found in the line-up, the new-born Brainbox recorded the most progressive of the two Brainbox releases, not because of its complexity or groundbreaking sound, but mainly due to the mass of diverse paths explored by the new musicians.But here come also the first clouds with the sound leading actually to nowhere despite the decent compositions, too many flexible twists are present here and the several line-up shakes led eventually to a confusing sound.The opening side sounds a bit more consistent, having always a Psychedelic Rock basis and breaking occasionally into the territories of Blues, Folk and Pop, reminding a bit of premature YES with all these electroacoustic lines, light organ and multiple vocal moments, the songwriting is cool, but the material is far from compelling.Then comes the chaos of the flipside, which is a bit more intricate progressively speaking, but fails to deliver a trully adventurous sound.Opening with Verwey's interesting piano work with jazzy and Classical leanings, passing through a monstrous Heavy/Psych Rock style with Proto-Metal touches and a combination of furious guitars with harmonica and then giving space to an organ-driven Psych Rock, fading in the sake of Frans Smit's long and needless drum solo.''When I was poor'' is a lovely closing effort with again some early YES vibes in the guitar parts and excellent, melodic vocals and solos, fine piece, but not great enough to save the day.

Brainbox disbanded not long enough after the album was released with Michel van Dijk joining Alquin.Lux followed a personal career from 1971 and on and teamed up again with Akkerman for a couple of albums from mid- to late-70's.Brainbox reunited in early-80s with Lux, Reynen and van der Linden all on board for some lives and folded again in 1984.Another attempt was launched in 2003 by Lux and van Der Linden, releasing a live work, and this formation lasted for a couple of years as well.

''Parts'' should be seen as a document of a historical band, which comprised of some of the best Dutch Prog Rock musicians at its early days, but fails to be awarded as a serious attempt on Prog Rock.This is flat, melodic Psych Rock with proggy and heavy springles, well-played, but far from extraordinary...2.5 stars.

Review by GruvanDahlman
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog Team
3 stars This, their second and final album, is often marketed as "the progressive 2nd album" and that statement holds some thruth. The music on "Parts" is a big improvement, as far as the amount of real progressive rock is concerned, from their first album.

The opening track "A face" is a really nice number recalling early Yes with the singer adopting a somewhat Jon Anderson-like voice, while the instrumentation resembles the band with odd time signature and prominent bass guitar. It is the best track on the album. Focused, tight and with an obvious progressive direction. "You're used to be warmer" follows in the progressive direction but this time with a more jazzy approach. Really nice tune aswell.

After those two great openers follows a slightly less progressive quartet of songs. While they do have hints of progressive rock it does not reach the levels of the first two tracks. A bit more in a psychedelic pop-mode.

Then it goes piano-progressive with "Another part". That song could have been developed into a longer piece with the piano opening up the whole thing. Too bad it stops after Three minutes of playing the piano. On the other side they enter the realm of progressive stricken hard rock on "Dilemma", which is quite a nice tune but not much to write home about. The mouth harp ruins the progressive feel somewhat.

"Drum and thunder suite" is progressive enough in a jazz rock way. Heavy on the drums (as expected) with nice jazzy flashes of instrumentation it is quite interesting and shows some prominse Before the final song hits you. "When I was poor" opens with the sound of an audience cheering at the band. I doubt it is an authentic live recording but that doesn't matter much. The song itself is a ballad with a certain degree of energy to it. Call it rock feel. Not the best of tracks but not bad either.

Brainbox seems to have struggled with what approach or direction to take. Should they head on down the pop road or take to the skies in the spaceballoon of prog? Judging by the first track (though not entirely unique in any way) they had the means and capability to actually write seriously progressive rock as it sounded back in the early 1970's. But then it seems that they did not want to lose the pop audience or the opportunity to hit the charts, so they filled the album with almost equal amounts of pop songs and progressively constructed pieces. The result is an album that lands in no man's land. It is neither a prog album, nor a fully fledged pop record. Is that a bad thing? Well, yes and no. The balance is wrong. It's like having the dessert and the main meal served on the same plate at the same time. It's all good but not at the same time. The flow is disrupted.

If you're looking for serious progressive rock you need not go to any great lengths to acquire this album but if you (like me) enjoys early prog rock that is, so to speak, in the making you might enjoy pieces of the album. I really like the first two tracks. The remainder is really throwaways in the grand scheme of things. When I add things up the rating lands on 2,66 stars, so I'll round things up and reward it Three.

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