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Nicholas Greenwood - Cold Cuts CD (album) cover

COLD CUTS

Nicholas Greenwood

 

Canterbury Scene

3.58 | 47 ratings

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JackFloyd
2 stars A forgotten, and ultimately flawed, gem this is. This used to be very rare, but isn't anymore, of course.

Bassist Nicholas Greenwood (a.k.a. Sean Nicholas) had been a member of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and would soon become part of the short-lived band Khan, but in the time between both stints, he would record his first and only solo record, entitled Cold Cuts.

Cold Cuts is, most of the time, a blues album, but also is a collection of sometimes surprisingly not-very-orthodox compositions, all featuring very prominent and inventive Hammond organ playing by Dick Heninghem (also a future member of Khan).

Regarding Nick Greenwood himself, he and his intonations sometimes remind me of Ozzy Osbourne, but with a lot more feeling, colour, and a wider range, with the more dramatic passages also sounding a bit like Arthur Brown. The bass is buried in the mix, but if you ever heard Space Shanty, you know how it is: fat but sensitive.

The music is very ecletic, even if the blues is the main style, including nice touches of classical music, jazz and psychedelia, making up for a certain diversity in atmosphere and different moods.

And the pieces: "A Sea Of Holy Pleasure" is a multi-part mini-suite that sounds very delicate in the beginning, bombastic in the middle and jazzy in the end, but has some indentity to be actually very good, in spite of the relatively weak lyrics; "Hopes-Ambitions" is based on a play of dynamics, constantly changing backwards and forwards from mellow to hard, though never heavy; "Corruption" is where comparisions between Greenwood and Ozzy come to mind, sometimes I just think I'm listening to Black Sabbath, perhaps the lyrics and music have a lot to do with it; "Lead Me On" is built almost exclusively on a splendid hook but the trick is overdone; "Big Machine" resembles "Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of)" in almost every way, including similarly bombastic organ, sombre vocals and understated drumming, but the backing vocals set this apart from Procol Harum and closer to blues itself, and are definitely an acquired taste; "Close The Doors" has a brighter sound but the message is as clear and simplistic as the "A Sea Of Holy Pleasure"; "Melancholy" could have worked better with a different texture, here it just sounds a self-parody; "Images" stays static for most of it's duration, creating the impression that something big is about to happen but never really does; the drama that lies within the vocals and music of "Promised Land" is one of the only high points of "Cold Cuts" for me; "Realisation and Death", another high point, closes the record achieving what "Images" tried but failed, a piece so static that when the grand finale comes it's almost like the world is crumbling around the listener.

It's a good album, even if it gets very tiring after repeated listens. I would not recommend it for a prog fan since there are not many things I would consider particularly proggy, but may be very much a good buy for those who have a taste for the blues and John Lord-like Hammond Organ.

Nicholas Greenwood didn't do much music after this record, maybe because he got as drained by it as some people may be.

JackFloyd | 2/5 |

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