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STEAMHAMMER

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Steamhammer biography
Blues-rock band STEAMHAMMER was formed at the end of 1968 by Martin Quittenton (guitar), Kieran White (vocals, harmonica, guitar), Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass) and Michael Rushton (drums). Their first album, "Reflections" (AKA "Junior's Wailing") was released in 1969. After this first album, Quittenton and Rushton both quit the band to be replaced by Mick Bradley (drums) and Steve Joliffe (sax, flute), who gave a jazzy influence to the band in their second album, "Mk. II" (1969). Shortly after this release, Joliffe left the band, wich continued as a 4 piece in their third album "Mountains" (1970), which was a returning to the blues-rock of the first album. After a major turnover, Pugh and Bradley invited Louis Cennamo (bass) and, along with special guest Garth Watt-Roy (vocals), recorded "Speech" in 1971. This last album was released posthumously, after Bradley's death in 1972. Kieran White released a solo album; both Pugh and Cennamo formed Armageddon with Keith Relf in 1975. Martin Quittenton went to play with Rod Stewwart.

For blues-rock fans, "Reflections" and "Mountains" should be STEAMHAMMER's best albums. Progressive rock fans will find "Mk. II" more interesting. This is a highly recommended band to everybody interested in the late 60's British blues-rock scene, along with SAVOY BROWN, BAKERLOO or JOHN MAYALL'S BLUESBREAKERS.

: : : M. B. Zapelini, BRAZIL : : :

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MountainsMountains
Import
Repertoire 1990
Audio CD$7.16
$5.14 (used)
SteamhammerSteamhammer
Import
Bellaphon Germany 1991
Audio CD$10.60
$6.96 (used)
Riding on the L & N: AnthologyRiding on the L & N: Anthology
Import
Repertoire 2012
Audio CD$7.37
$7.36 (used)
ReflectionReflection
Import
Repertoire 2002
Audio CD$6.72
$7.00 (used)
ReflectionReflection
Import
Repertoire 2010
Audio CD$8.21
$8.20 (used)
Mk 2Mk 2
Import
Repertoire 2009
Audio CD$7.29
$6.29 (used)
SpeechSpeech
Import
REPERTOIRE 2009
Audio CD$6.72
$5.75 (used)
Junior's WailingJunior's Wailing
Import
Repertoire 1999
Audio CD$6.72
$5.51 (used)
Steamhammer by Steamhammer (1991-02-15)Steamhammer by Steamhammer (1991-02-15)
Bella
Audio CD$209.00
Mountains by Steamhammer (2010-01-20)Mountains by Steamhammer (2010-01-20)
Airmail Japan
Audio CD$111.24
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Soulmotor - Soulmotor (CD, 1999, SPV/Steamhammer, Germany) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1h 42m
SODOM PERSECUTION MANIA LP PICTURE DISC VINYL *RARE* STEAMHAMMER 1987 EU LIMITED USD $79.90 Buy It Now 4h 30m
Eternity by Freedom Call (CD, May-2002, Steamhammer) USD $3.00 [0 bids]
5h 16m
STEAMHAMMER-MOUNTAINS-JAPAN MINI LP CD Fi83 USD $27.99 Buy It Now 6h 29m
2- CD Import - Best Of Wacken - Open Air - UPC 4001617214527 - 1999 Steamhammer USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h 2m
DORO - "CALLING THE WILD", Import CD, Germany, 2000, Steamhammer-SPV GmbH, MINT USD $20.11 [0 bids]
7h 42m
DORO - "FIGHT" Music CD, MADE IN GERMANY, Steamhammer / SPV GMBH, 2002, GEMA, NM USD $17.99 [0 bids]
7h 43m
Live & Louder * The Dead Daisies (CD/DVD, Steamhammer) USD $6.50 [4 bids]
16h 14m
Steamhammer CD Speech 1972 Prog Mini LP Sleeve Akarma Italian Import USD $25.00 Buy It Now 16h 32m
The More I See - The Wolves Are Hungry (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD) USD $8.85 Buy It Now 18h 55m
Unleashed - Midvinterblot (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD 2006) USD $8.85 Buy It Now 19h 15m
Sodom: Tapping The Vein CD 2004 SPV Steamhammer Records Germany NEW USD $13.95 Buy It Now 19h 32m
Freedom Call - Dimensions (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD 2007) USD $8.85 Buy It Now 19h 33m
Glenn Hughes-Addiction-CD Album-Steamhammer SPV 1996 USD $5.70 [0 bids]
19h 38m
Axel Rudi Pell - Mystica (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD 2006) USD $8.85 Buy It Now 20h 21m
DESTRUCTION RELEASE FROM AGONY LP *LTD* 12" PICTURE DISC VINYL 1987 STEAMHAMMER USD $29.90 Buy It Now 20h 31m
Skid Row - Revolutions Per Minute (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD 2006) USD $8.85 Buy It Now 20h 37m
Kamelot - Ghost Opera (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD 2007) USD $13.91 Buy It Now 20h 43m
Metal Church - The Weight Of The World (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD) USD $8.85 Buy It Now 21h
Mob Rules - Ethnolution A.D. (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo CD) (CD 2006) USD $6.32 Buy It Now 21h
Dry Kill Logic - The Dead And Dreaming (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) CD 2004 USD $6.32 Buy It Now 21h 12m
Freedom Call: Live Invasion 2 CD Set 2004 Steamhammer Germany SPV 085-74842 USD $10.95 Buy It Now 21h 21m
Messiah's Kiss - Dragonheart (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD 2007) USD $8.85 Buy It Now 21h 22m
STEELER Undercover Animal CD rare 1986 STEAMHAMMER AXEL RUDI PELL german metal USD $5.50 [2 bids]
21h 42m
Fair Warning - Sundancer [5/27] (CD, May-2013, Steamhammer) HARD ROCK USD $11.69 Buy It Now 22h 24m
MAN/ANCIENT GREASE/STEAMHAMMER/JASPER/BODY/DR.STRANGELY STRANGE~JAPAN MINI LP CD USD $128.00 Buy It Now 23h 10m
Rhapsody Of Fire - Triumph Of Agony (SPV/ Steamhammer Promo Metal CD) (CD 2006) USD $7.58 Buy It Now 23h 21m
Sieges Even A Sense of Change Steamhammer German Release cd USD $10.99 Buy It Now 23h 21m
Markus Teske - Ethnolution A.D. GERMAN PRESS CD STEAMHAMMER USD $7.58 Buy It Now 23h 40m
Destruction - Mad Butcher/Eternal Devastation cd Steamhammer USD $3.78 [0 bids]
23h 46m
Intaferon Steamhammer Sam (PS) 7" Vinyl Single USD $11.08 Buy It Now 1 day
The Very End - Turn Off the World CD 2012 digi death metal Steamhammer SPV USD $16.95 Buy It Now 1 day
The Quill - Voodoo Caravan (CD, Feb-2002, Steamhammer) NEW AND SEALED USD $11.69 Buy It Now 1 day
Prong - Ruining Lives CD 2014 jewel case SPV Steamhammer USD $16.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Prong - Ruining Lives CD 2014 limited digipack bonus track poster Steamhammer USD $19.95 Buy It Now 1 day
LEATHERWOLF original CD "Leatherwolf" "S/T" 1985 pressed 1988 on Steamhammer USD $48.00 Buy It Now 1 day
STEELER original CD "Undercover animal" 1988 on Steamhammer USD $50.40 Buy It Now 1 day
STEAMHAMMER - MOUNTAINS CD NEW+ USD $23.62 Buy It Now 1 day
Kill Devil Hill, SPV/Steamhammer CD 2012 USD $17.28 Buy It Now 1 day
Play My Game, Steamhammer / Spv CD 2009 USD $13.61 Buy It Now 1 day
Beyond Fear, Steamhammer / SPV CD 2006 USD $11.79 Buy It Now 1 day
Lay My Soul to Waste, Steamhammer / SPV CD 2013 USD $12.54 Buy It Now 1 day
Reflection Steamhammer Vinyl Record USD $32.86 Buy It Now 1 day
Kreator 'Enemy Of God' 1st Press Steamhammer/SPV 2005 ORG Double LP Sealed/NEW! USD $119.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NUCLEAR SIMPHONY LOST IN WONDERLAND 1990 STEAMHAMMER WOLF SPIDER WHIPLASH EXUMER USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Brocas Helm Into battle - 1988 SPV Steamhammer Mid-Price Serie USD $49.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Monday Morning Apocalypse by Evergrey (CD, Mar-2006, Steamhammer) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Reflection [Digipak] by Steamhammer (CD, Jun-2010, Repertoire) USD $8.38 Buy It Now 1 day
Motorhead Kiss of Death 2006 Steamhammer SPV99911LP Still SEALED !! USD $22.14 Buy It Now 1 day
Motorhead ~ Inferno Steamhammer 2004 SPV69741 2xLP Still SEALED !! USD $20.24 Buy It Now 1 day
Steamhammer Steamhammer UK vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $46.73 Buy It Now 1 day
STEAMHAMMER / THIS IS / ORIG 1RST PRESS GREEN BRAIN KRAUTROCK 2 LP'S 2ND COPY USD $70.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Motorhead LP Hammered 2002 steamhammer 1st press MINT FACTORY SEALED !!!!!!!!!!! USD $18.98 [0 bids]
1 day
Motorhead LP Snake bite love 1998 Steamhammer SPV GMBH Press MINT FACTORY SEALED USD $25.31 [1 bids]
1 day
Motorhead LP We are Motorhead 2000 Steamhammer SPV GMBH Press MINT SEALED USD $25.31 [0 bids]
1 day
River Runs Again: Live 2003 by Life of Agony (CD, Oct-2003, 2 Discs, Steamhammer USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Destruction Release From Agony, Pic disc, 1987, Steamhammer-PD 12-7515 German LP USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Planet E [IMPORT] by Heaven's Gate CD (Nov-1996, Steamhammer) POWER METAL USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Live & Louder by The DEAD DAISIES (CD+DVD/SEALED - Steamhammer 2017) NEW-NEW-NEW USD $8.50 [6 bids]
1 day
Stormwitch - War Of The Wizards (CD 1992) Steamhammer USD $5.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Steamhammer Mountains UK vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $46.73 Buy It Now 1 day
STEAMHAMMER Mountains LP VINYL European Akarma 8 Track Repress In Gatefold USD $31.01 Buy It Now 1 day
MOTORHEAD Overnight Sensation LP VINYL European Steamhammer 2017 11 Track With USD $27.97 Buy It Now 1 day
JAG WIRE Made In Heaven LP VINYL German Steamhammer 1985 8 Track (Spv081808) USD $12.59 Buy It Now 1 day
AXEL RUDI PELL Wild Obsession LP VINYL German Steamhammer 1989 10 Track With USD $27.22 Buy It Now 1 day
TOKYO BLADE Blackhearts And Jaded Spades LP VINYL German Steamhammer 1985 11 USD $20.57 Buy It Now 1 day
STEAMHAMMER S/T LP VINYL German Bellaphon 1970 11 Track Unboxed Purple/Silver USD $27.22 Buy It Now 1 day
AXEL RUDI PELL Nasty Reputation LP VINYL German Steamhammer 1991 9 Track With USD $60.46 Buy It Now 1 day
(DO645) Steamhammer, Lucifer / Eveline / Diva - 1999 DJ CD USD $4.74 Buy It Now 2 days
ANNIHILATOR - Metal CD 2007 Steamhammer SPV 98012 CD USD $7.58 [0 bids]
2 days
Kreator Hordes Of Chaos - Ultra Riot Box Set 2 CD new Steamhammer ?- SPV 91978 USD $17.49 Buy It Now 2 days
Everything Louder Than Everyone Else by Motörhead (Vinyl, Mar-2017, Steamhammer) USD $27.81 Buy It Now 2 days
Freedom Child - The Circle Of Life CD 2005 Steamhammer SPV Records USD $5.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Sieges Even - Steps CD Original Pressing 1990 Steamhammer SPV USD $8.99 [0 bids]
USD $11.99 Buy It Now
2 days
Demons & Wizards - Touched By the Crimson King STEAMHAMMER 2005 blind guardian USD $6.99 [0 bids]
2 days
RARE 2 Steamhammer 12" LP IMPORT Made in ENGLAND & MKII Made in HOLLAND 2 CBS LP USD $128.72 Buy It Now 2 days
STEAMHAMMER MKII Reissue vinyl LP Akarma Records New/Sealed USD $18.45 Buy It Now 2 days
FILL YOUR HEAD WITH ROCK- 70s, The Best of 2-LP Steamhammer/Moondog/Trees/Byrds USD $5.55 Buy It Now 2 days
CROWN OF THORNS - BREAKTHROUGH [STEAMHAMMER] (NEW CD) USD $12.31 Buy It Now 2 days
STEAMHAMMER - JUNIOR'S WAILING (NEW CD) USD $12.02 Buy It Now 2 days
Steamhammer in shrink german 2LP This Is USD $49.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Snake Bite Love by Motörhead (Vinyl, Mar-2017, Steamhammer) USD $19.23 Buy It Now 2 days
Everything Louder Than Everyone Else by Motörhead (Vinyl, Mar-2017, Steamhammer) USD $30.74 Buy It Now 2 days
Motorizer [LP] by Motörhead (Vinyl, Aug-2008, Steamhammer Records) USD $26.98 Buy It Now 2 days
PRONG CD - X: NO ABSOLUTES (2016) - NEW UNOPENED - ROCK METAL - STEAMHAMMER USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
@ CD NON-FICTION - IN THE KNOW / METAL STEAMHAMMER 1992 SS USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Temple of Shadows by Angra (CD, Jan-2005, Steamhammer) USD $13.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Steamhammer - Riding on the L & N: Anthology [New CD] Germany - Import USD $10.47 Buy It Now 2 days
Steamhammer - Mountains [New Vinyl] UK - Import USD $22.41 Buy It Now 2 days
Steamhammer - Mountains [New Vinyl] UK - Import USD $24.93 Buy It Now 2 days
Steamhammer - Riding on the L & N: Anthology [New CD] Germany - Import USD $10.84 Buy It Now 2 days
Resurrection by Venom (CD, Jun-2004, Steamhammer) Bathory Slayer Possessed Sodom USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Gorefest Chapter 13 1998 Steamhammer Mega Rare Silver Ring Germany CD FCS4793 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SAVATAGE - Poets & Madmen CD 2001 SPV STEAMHAMMER IMPORT + 2 POSTER USD $17.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Destruction: Best Of 2 CD Set 1992 Greatest Steamhammer Germany SPV 084-76482 USD $14.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Destruction Mad butcher + Eternal devastation - 1987 Steamhammer USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
DOKKEN One Live Night DOUBLE CD German Steamhammer 1999 25 Track Double USD $20.37 Buy It Now 3 days
MOTORHEAD Better Motorhead Than Dead POSTER German Steamhammer Repro Promo USD $8.22 Buy It Now 3 days
INTAFERON Steamhammer Sam 7" VINYL Dutch Chrysalis 1983 (106126) Pic Sleeve USD $6.32 Buy It Now 3 days
INTAFERON Steamhammer Sam 7" VINYL UK Chrysalis 1983 B/W Continuing Story Of USD $5.30 Buy It Now 3 days

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STEAMHAMMER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STEAMHAMMER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 21 ratings
Reflection
1969
4.02 | 34 ratings
MK II
1969
3.85 | 32 ratings
Mountains
1970
2.84 | 28 ratings
Speech
1972

STEAMHAMMER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

STEAMHAMMER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

STEAMHAMMER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.22 | 8 ratings
Junior's Wailing
1999

STEAMHAMMER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

STEAMHAMMER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 MK II  by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.02 | 34 ratings

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MK II
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Steamhammer's excellent sophomore effort came out in 1970 - a magical year for progressive rock. That was when most bands created their debuts. Something was being born. Something new was comming. "MK II" marks (a little pun for you there) the time when most blues rock bands started including elements from outside blues to their music. Steamhammer was no exception. And even though it is largely based on blues, a lot more influences are visible. An outstandingly talented flautist Steve Jolliffe (later of Tangerine Dream) joined, giving the group a much more eclectic taste. Martin Pugh's great guitar-playing taste gives you goose bumps. Kieran White's amazing voice once again doesn't disappoint. This work goes from "6/8 For Amiran", an Arabic-inspired music with great singing, guitar, flute and haunring rhythm, through folk-influenced "Sunset Chase" to full-on modern blues "Contemporary Chick Con Song". A unique work and a masterpiece that always seemed to stay in a shade of better known projects. It's a shame that it did. 10/10 without hesitation!
 Mountains by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.85 | 32 ratings

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Mountains
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This album is top of British blues rock excelence! A perfect crossover between stealthy, classic blues rock sounds and a hint of prog rock flavor. Steamhammer produced some fascinating and breathtaking material during their short-lived career in the British underground.

Wonderful songwriting, musical know-how, tasty moods - these terms perfectly define this album. Featuring excellent playing from one of the most underrated guitarists in the history - Martin Pugh. I can easily say he had his own style and his screaming signature tone, you know it when you hear it!! Kieran White supplies this album with robust, veteran blues vocals and rhythm guitar playing, which sits perfectly in the band mix, at times sounding like a Rhodes electric piano. Steve Davy, a young bass player with a strong jazz influence and a new drummer Mick Bradley provide a strong rhythmic fundation for the band's own sound.

My favorite tracks from the album... Every track is my favorite, but if I were to choose just one, a cover of a New York swing-blues classic "Riding On the L&N" leaves you speechless. This track has it all. An essential track in British blues history. A sign that blues is getting modern, that the new age for blues is comming. As an interesting fact - "Henry Lane" features something of a rarity in those days - a banjo! This gives the track a pleasant, folky feel.

Overall, I didn't even think about any other rating than 5 stars. This album is a must for progressive rock fans, showing boundaries of what the genre was and how interesting it could be. That said, hail Stemhammer - a criminally underrated band!

 MK II  by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.02 | 34 ratings

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MK II
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by Jeff Carney

3 stars I'm all for progress when it comes to musicians expanding their sound, but while this album is ultimately fairly successful, it plays a little too closely with serious misstep.

The debut album had such a warm, inviting sound. Beautifully produced and executed with real care, but also an admirable level of musical focus. Here, while the great production and excellent, disciplined playing continue, the band become somewhat lost in an endeavor to expand into areas of jazzy blues, a sort of darker bubblegum psych and progressive rock arrangements. And I just don't think the result is a cohesive musical statement.

While Steve Joliffe seems to have a lot of praise heaped on his contributions to this album by the prog crowd, I find his sound within the context of Steamhammer to be somewhat unconvincing. It almost comes off like they didn't want to be compared to Cream and the blues-rock giants of the day, so they quickly changed their identity. And perhaps too much. Add to that the harpsichords and some psych flavors which rear their heads on Side 1, and the album projects an unfocused feel. By the time of "6/8 For Amiran," they are in territory which I don't think juxtaposes well. Adding bluesy harmonica to a repeated, odd-time synchronized riff is innovative, but doesn't make a lot of sonic sense here. Krokodil might be one of the few groups who were able to texturally combine harmonica with progressive arrangements as they moved through their career, but here is doesn't come off as well thought out. Just attempted.

Side 2 really saves the record. The Steamhammer established on the first album is back at the wheel instead of riding shotgun. Steve Joliffe adds some flute which I think works well and is done with a subtle flare. His sax work seems out of place to an extent on Side 1 , but here it begins to merge more impressively. Still, it sort of appears and then disappears. It's not fully integrated into the twin guitar sound. The flute, however, begins to really convince as it weaves its way into the proceedings.

"Fran And Dee Take A Ride" is an absolutely gorgeous closer. Acoustic guitars gently pick through a wonderfully moving set of chords, as Leslie guitar drops delicate notes into the mix with beautiful results.

3.5 stars.

 Speech by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.84 | 28 ratings

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Speech
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Steamhammer's fourth record "Speech" was a different thing for me to review. It was released in 1972 and has a cool and artistic cover, presumably taking place somewhere in space. And it was space I got some thoughts about when I heard this form of music. I located it somewhere between blues rock(for example Jimi Hendrix) and Pink Floyd. An interesting mixture I guess.

The music began with an interesting and different track called "Penumbra" which lasted the whole side. Beginning with crying cello(it sounds like that) and voices and then overtaken by excellent guitar play this record welcomes us for this nice song which also consists great vocals and keyboards. The remaining tracks is not as good as this first one. "Telegram" do not make a success because of the song's low volume. But there are very groovy guitar and bass that play solos with perfection and towards the end we can hear some form of medieval march. "For against" has short intro and outro and in the long middle there is a drums solo. The drummer Mickey Bradley did a very good job in this song. Even if it's just drums it's like they were telling us a story. It was too long thought and not as interesting that I will praise it.

Mostly the first song was interesting in my eyes and something to explore more from. This was different music in all ways. It was like a common rock band which had to do a progressive effort in their lives and that was a good idea of course. As not overwhelmed three stars would be a fair rating.

 Speech by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.84 | 28 ratings

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Speech
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by ralphcat

5 stars How it is that this indescribably PHENOMENAL quintessential prog-rock album has only been reviewed by 4 other people is absolutely astonishing, especially considering that this site is taylor made for prog-aficianatos. What's even more bewildering is that 3 of these individuals who DID actually take the time to review this album gave it SCATHING REVIEWS!!!....REALLY??...Did you three actually LISTEN to the album?? Perhaps you guys were flat-out hallucinating?? Anyways, this 1972 album is absolutely brilliant and downright massive. There is nothing else like this recording. The opener, "Penumbra" is 22 plus minutes of pure sonic intensity and is infallible from beginning to end. The dynamically fierce guitar playing, the superb and intermittently strident and cacophonous (in a very, very good way) bass playing (implementing a bow), percussion that is just plain other worldly, and spacey effects make for one bohemoth of a composition. It most certainly merits a spot in my top three favourite pieces of music that I've ever experienced. "Telegram" is also a spectacular and totally unique piece of heavy progressive rock that demands maximum blasting. "For Against" is unadulterated drumming divineness and yet another piece of indisputable evidence that Mick Bradley was one of the all time greatest percussionists ever. It is beyond unfortunate that this supreme talent passed away at 24 years old, for god only knows what this amazing man would have continued to accomplish had he lived. "Speech" was consequently the last album Steamhammer created and to say that they finished on a high note is the understatement of the millenium. This masterpiece has no equal.
 Mountains by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.85 | 32 ratings

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Mountains
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've always had a soft spot for Steamhammer. There's something inexplicably nice about their music. Their albums MK II, Mountains and Speech are all very, very enjoyable indeed, though I personally prefer Mountains above them all. I guess that's because it was the first album I bought of Steamhammer's. I wouldn't say it's prog but I would not say it's not either. I guess a fair judgement would be progressive blues-rock and that isn't bad, I'll tell you. At times I get the feeling of Jethro Tull bar the flute. The music on Mountains is folky, bluesy, progressive and quite brilliant. The musicianship is excellent and really, the album leaves little to miss. I heard or read somewhere that Steamhammer set out making the best album EVER with Mountains. Now, I can't say it's the best albums ever made but it's really worth the effort, money and time if you like proto-prog (which isn't too far off the mark, when I think about it) with rough edges and both feet stuck in bluesy hard rock. Good'un!
 Mountains by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.85 | 32 ratings

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Mountains
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars STEAMHAMMER came out of the Blues (the first steps were made as a backing band for Freddie King) and attracted my attention due to the forerunner 'MKII' from 1969. Now this album, simply called 'Mountains', saw them underway on progressive rock paths at the latest. Generally noted as the definitive band effort it was recorded by Kieran White (guitars, vocals), Martin Pugh (guitars), Mickey Bradley (drums) and Steve Davy (bass, organ). They have been a very inspired quartet at that time, with live performances standing for wide excursions of improvisations. Sadly though the commercial success failed to appear and when Kieran White decided to quit in 1970, this actually signified the end of the band unfortunately, even though the others tried to continue for a couple of years.

I've purchased 'Mountains' sometime in the 1970s (vinyl of course), where you have to consider that original and re-issue are offering different tracklists. Not a problem at all, I would say, because this only affects the track order. Anyway, two live recordings are given here which left me flabbergastet immediately. The masterpiece couple Riding On The L&N and Hold That Train was recorded at the Lyceum Theatre, London, is showcasing their excellent jamming qualities in the vein of Cream or The Byrds, provided with just that typical twin guitar approach also known from bands like Wishbone Ash and Man for example.

So besides the excellent guitar interaction, a driving groove is remarkable, groundbreaking harmonica and bass solos inclusively. Definitely danceable, thus highly recommended for your alternative party. This stuff is worthwhile alone ... but furthermore you will find high quality studio songs all the way through, outfitted with wonderful melodies to sing along, offering a balanced appearance of acoustic and electric guitar. Something outstanding .... especially when considering the year of recording in 1970. It was a real pleasure to put this into the player again after some time (years).

 Mountains by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.85 | 32 ratings

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Mountains
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by imnotfashioned

3 stars Nice but non revealing record, I would say that this is an example of typicall blues rock. "I wouldn't have,thought" typicall rhythm with great guitar solo, played with an open and clear sound which breaks the composition arrangement. Nice work by Kieran White and the best moment of the record for me. "Riding on the..."starts with hard march bass, gradually turns on percussion and some dripping guitar. Vocal is attached, after 4 minutes of bluesy melody we got small bass sollo which goes smoothly to White's solo. That and another number "Hold that train" were both live recorded. "Hold..." starts with some harmonica stuff - just like slow version of Black Sabbath "Wizzard" but finished like some of a Canned Head number. rest of material is not worth mention - nothing appeared no different. Blues rock impregnated of progressive connotations but clearly an irresistible.
 MK II  by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.02 | 34 ratings

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MK II
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars More blues-rock than prog-rock, Steamhammer's second album would see this powerful outfit begin to accomodate more progressive elements into their rough 'n' ready sound, yet also affirm their wonderfully earthy style thanks to that rare mixture of grit and polish that is rarely found in late 20th century rock music. By now featuring their 'classic' line-up of Kieran White(vocals, guitar), Steve Davy(bass), Martin Pugh(guitar) and Mick Bradley(drums) and augmented by wandering multi-instrumentalist and future Tangerine Dream member Steve Joliffe, 'MK II' rivals follow-up effort 'Mountains' for the title of best Steamhammer album thanks to it's nicely-judged brew of ever-so-slight psychedelic ingredients, heavy riffing, old-style blues workouts and the occasional complex musical workout(evident on the superb sixteen-minute epic 'Another Travelling Tune'. Though their progressive rock credentials are rather thin, Steamhammer's muscular blues-drenched musical course makes lightweight groups such as Greenslade, Curved Air and The Strawbs seem positively feeble, especially when the group let their musical imaginations run away with them. The group's real strength lies in guitarist Martin Pugh's dextrous playing and Kieran White's gruff vocals, yet this is very much band music made by men who have obviously been playing on the road for sometime. Later albums such as 'Speech' - their ill-judged foray into prog-rock proper - would find the line- up fragmenting and the original magic slipping away, yet, for a few brief years Steamhammer were genuinely the real deal, straddling the gaping chasm between blues and prog with genuine aplomb. Highly recommended. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
 Speech by STEAMHAMMER album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.84 | 28 ratings

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Speech
Steamhammer Crossover Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Steamhammer's fourth-and-final album proves to be both their most progressive but also their weakest. Virtually instrumental, 'Speech' eschews the group's earthy blues-prog style in favour of three lengthy, drawn-out, metallic tracks that features none of the funky gusto evident on their previous three albums. The lack of vocals is a genuine surprise, as Kieran White's gruff, yearning tones were an important part of the group's make-up, but it's the total lack of inspiration or catchy melodies that is really noticeable. 'Speech' was recorded and released after original drummer Mick Bradley had died, and for the rest of the group the spark had simply gone, which would explain the going-through-the-motions feel that drenches the album. Maybe they should have stuck to their original bluesy sound and not gone for the bold new prog-rock sound, maybe they should have called it a day after the excellent 'Mountains'. Whatever your view there is no doubting that 'Speech' is a poor end for a once-great band who deserved a better swansong than this. 'Speech' is, simply put, strictly for Steamhammer completionists only. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
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