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Rare Bird - As Your Mind Flies By CD (album) cover


Rare Bird


Crossover Prog

3.98 | 183 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars RARE BIRD were the first band to release music with the Charisma Records back in 1970. Other bands who would sign to this label were GENESIS, VDGG, HAWKWIND and many more. Actually they shared something in common with VDGG back then as neither band had a lead guitarist. RARE BIRD featured two keyboardists(organ, synths, piano), a drummer, and a vocalist / bass player.They fuzzed out the piano and organ at times as well. I was impressed with how progressive this album is. Lots of tempo and mood changes. The side long song "Flight" has so much variety and different styles of music on it. Parts of this album(side one) may sound a little too commercial, but that's a minor complaint.This album has a lot offer.

"What You Want To Know" had to be released as a single. It opens with organ as vocals join in on this pastoral intro. Just a beautiful sound really. The song kicks into gear 1 1/2 minutes in before calming right back down. This contrast continues. Some fuzz piano comes and goes. Lots of piano late in the song. "Down On The Floor" is a mellow, straight forward track with vocal melodies to begin with that turn into vocals later. "Hammerhead" is probably my favourite. Intense vocals are accompanied with an even more intense soundscape. This rocks out pretty good. The bass and powerful organ has a lot to do with that. The heavier sections are contrasted beautifully with lighter passages. "I'm Thinking" builds to a full sound 1 1/2 minutes in. The synth work reminds me of GENESIS. It calms right down as reserved vocals arrive before 3 minutes. The contrast continues. Yeah i'm saying that a lot with these tunes.

"Flight" is my second favourite, but no doubt the most amazing track on here. An almost 20 minute ride. The drumming to open is prominant as keys pulse. The organ take the keys place in the soundscape and they keep trading places. The tempo speeds up 2 minutes in with vocals right behind. It really sounds like mellotron before 4 minutes, or choirs? The song settles down to a whisper 6 minutes in. Organ a minute later hen more mellotron-like sounds.Incredible passage right there. More choirs after 9 1/2 minutes. A haunting, atmospheric soundscape arrives after 10 minutes. This is really cool and unexpected as it turns into something out of a horror movie soundtrack 12 1/2 minutes in. We're grooving again after 13 minutes with vocals back a minute later. Some powerful organ follows. Nice. Some fuzz late as the vocals return.

It was interesting reading Graham Fields(organ player) reason why the band didn't employ a lead guitarist. They felt back then in 1970 that fuzzed out piano / organ was a lot nastier and evil sounding then any guitar could be. I can't argue with him on that point.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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