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Humble Grumble


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Humble Grumble Flanders Fields album cover
3.46 | 28 ratings | 4 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sirens Dance
2. Aging Backwards
3. Flanders Fields
4. Sleepless Night
5. Horny
6. Little Bird
7. Duck on a Walk
8. The Greatest Kick of the Day
9. Never Lose Your Mind
10. Love Song
11. Purple Frog

Line-up / Musicians

- Jonathan Callens / drums, backing voices
- Jouni Isoherranen / bass, backing voices
- Gabor Humble Vörös / guitar, voices
- Pol Mareen / saxophone
- Pedro Guridi / clarinets, backing voices
- Pieter Claus / marimba, vibraphone, percussion
- Lisa Jordens / backing voices (3,5,6,7,8)
- Hanneke Osterlijnck / backing voices (3,6)
- Joriska Vanhaelewyn / backing voices (2)
- Juan Carlos Torres Iturra / Spanish voices (5)

Releases information

CD Altrock Productions (2011)

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the addition
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HUMBLE GRUMBLE Flanders Fields ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HUMBLE GRUMBLE Flanders Fields reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you wish for an album to elevate your spirits, if you want happy and jovial music, if you want groove, excitement, jazziness and a bit of eclecticism, you're in the right "field".

Humble Grumble from Belgium started off as the folk group Dearest Companion in 1996. As this band dissipated, Humble Grumble came into being and have released three albums thus far, Flanders Fields being their first on the fabulous Italian AltrOck label. The lineup here consists of 8 members with a big cast of guest musicians. The album has 11 tracks on it, two of which are instrumentals, though you'll find a lot of their exciting instrumental prowess on all their songs.

Before addressing specifically the songs on here, the music on the Flanders Fields is as I said, of a positive and uplifting nature. It reminded me of the likes of Frank Zappa, Miriodor, Panzerpappa and Caravan. There are diverse styles meshed up together and confronted, silliness and humour, coolness and grooviness, jazziness and rock; all are well put to use in here.

In Sirens Dance, the instrumental piece opening the album, there are intricate structures and rhythms are the core; there is constant interchanging patterns and directions in their music but not such that would make you lose direction or interest, but rather one that will get you excited and glued to the album to hear their spinning musical tales.

In the following song, Aging Backwards, reminds me of Caravan with its coolness and mellowness but then proceeds into wonderful high energy guitar soloing as the song develops into an instrumental segment.

The following song, the title track, starts on a slightly "blue" and sadder note, but gorgeous melody, with Gabor singing and female backing vocals. It then "deteriorates" into their typical "insane" and organized chaotic form. I absolutely love the marimba and vibraphone used there. The song picks up pace and develops through interchanging sections and sax soloing upon the marimba and bass playing.

The band offers a groovy jazzy tune in Sleepless Night, a silly and entertaining song in Horny, an exciting and breezy jazz-rock song with lovely flute solo in Little Bird, a bi-polar tune in Duck On A Walk? I think you get the picture. It's as good, if not better from here on.

What I find lovely about this album, aside form the catchy and refreshing song-writing, is the lovely sound of it, due to the wide selection of instruments and their interactions. The saxophone and clarinets alongside the marimba and vibraphone add an exotic and splendid vibe that works extremely well. Moreover, the bass and drums give such a propulsive groove to the songs that is hard to not shake your head to. The vocalizations top off the rich sound with soft male and female voices.

The Flanders Fields are a vast spacey place; where amalgams of styles come together; where energy is put to efficient use, tunneled in various directions and manipulated into a variety of possible opportunities; a place where one feels as if freed on a huge landscape and is being tossed around by the changing scenery, the shifting of the musical geography. This album is filled with well-written compositions, exciting song structures, top-notch musicianship and above all fun.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars More fun and fresh music from AltrOck Productions. These songs are much more straightforward folk/jazz--there's a 1940s/50s feel to this music--and clever English lyrics and quirky vocal presentations in the vein of Continent-lover Cole Porter and Brit Porter-lover Joe Jackson. Also a bit of a Rockabilly feel of the music ŕ la Stray Cats. Fun but, like Rockabilly, not for everybody, so adventure into this album with an open mind and open heart, prepare to be entertained and surprised while at the same time given a twinge of nostalgia. Excellent songwriting which reminds one that "they just don't write songs the way they used." Except, here there are some!

3.5 stars rated down ("good, but non-essential") because this music will not be everyone's cup of tea. If you like flamboyant, Porter-esque, Broadway show tunes, definitely check this out. Fans of Edgar Winter, The Cardiacs, Paul Weller, and Frank Zappa will probably enjoy this a lot.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This ensemble from Ghent, Belgium, formed in mid-90's, started as a Folk Rock band, originating from another act called Dearest Companion, with guitarist Humble Gabor (apparently of Hungarian origin) and Tom Theuns writing most of the material.The 2005 tribute to the music of legendary Hungarian Folk Rockers Kolinda was representative of what the band was proposing for about a decade.They slowly developed a more adventurous style, when they were discovered by Altrock label, on which they released the album ''Flanders fields'' in 2011.They were then a sextet, featuring Humble Gabor on guitar/vocals, Jouni Isoherranen on bass/vocals, Jonathan Callens on drums, Pedro Guridi on clarinet, Pol Mareen on sax and Pieter Claus on percussion/vibraphone, and a long list of guest musicians.

While Humble Grumble's music appears to be something between Jazz Rock and R.I.O., their new approach contains diverse sounds and sights, always with a serious instrumental depth, filling though their complicated instrumentals with laid-back tunes and lots of romantic vocals.I can hear echoes of SOFT MACHINE, MIRIODOR and later-day MANEIGE in their stylistical attitude, which is dominated by wind instruments and an impressive rhythm section, while Gabor provides some fine electric rhythms and jazzy fests on guitars.The folky leftovers of their past are now reduced to the sound of whistles and the new face of the band is based on complex interactions and jazzy solos, where the sax and clarinet battle the twists of the rhythm section.While all tracks are pretty short, the music is highly compressed to provide dense jazzy interplays, smooth sax and clarinet moves and some powerful ideas, when the guitars jump in.They even offer some trully vintage ideas, like coming from 50's movies and occasionally visiting the Canterbury scene, as the ethereal voices meet the soft jazzy interludes.There's no doubt that the instrumental ideas are intricate and captivating with a high deegree of technique, but somehow this band manages to offer tricky, playful tunes, which should appeal to a wider audience besides prog fans.

Fresh and inventive approach on an R.I.O./Fusion affair.Lovely tunes and vocal exercises are thrown in a monster instrumental jazziness, the result is an enjoyable and frenetic album, where the 50's meet the new millenium.Nice and strongly recommended stuff...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The debut of Belgian Humble Grumble at Altrock Productions, "Flanders Fields" is not just a pleasant surprise for the lovers of alternative music, it is an undisputed fusion masterpiece. Yes, beware, this review will be a collection of superlatives, but this time, only because the record actua ... (read more)

Report this review (#510634) | Posted by justaguy | Sunday, August 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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