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Big Big Train - Wassail CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

3.79 | 115 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The star of this 25-year old British, nowadays 8-piece band has grown brighter in the Prog sky in recent years, but sadly I haven't yet listened to any of their albums. Nevertheless this 4-track EP (25 minutes in length) is probably a good introduction to the band's strengths. And one can spot them immediately: a full-blooded sound that leaves enough room for the acoustic folk touch also; powerful vocal harmonies; and tight, effective songs.

At least within this narrow sampling (three new songs unless the live-in-studio recorded 'Master James of St. George' isn't new as well), each one has their individual hooks. On the title track, about the Medieval tradition of banishing the evil spirits away before cider-making, the folk flavour comes out beautifully and the multi-vocal repetition of the word "wassail" is gorgeous rather than irritating. Perhaps my favourite is the near-instrumental 'Mudlarks' that has a vintage prog spirit equivalent to e.g. STEVE HACKETT's classics. In fact the lush info sheet tells that their preceding EP features a version of Hackett's 'Spectral Mornings'.

I'm not necessarily a fan of the somewhat stuffy main vocals of David Longdon, and an EP is always just an EP, but an album's worth of as strong material as this would surely receive four stars from me. I really need to get a closer look at this band.

Matti | 3/5 |


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