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Vulgar Unicorn - Under The Umbrella CD (album) cover


Vulgar Unicorn


Eclectic Prog

3.23 | 29 ratings

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3 stars British Prog/Psych/Art Rock band, formed in mid-90's by two close high-school friends and multi-instrumentalists, Neil Randall and future The Pineapple Thief leader Bruce Soord.With the addition of drummer David Hutchfield, singer Tony Busby and a few guest musicians on saxes/violins/trumpets, Vulgar Unicorn recorded their debut ''Under the Umbrella'' between September and October 1994 at Smallworld Studios.The band had already signed a contract with Cyclops and the album was released in April 1995.

''Under the umbrella'' was an attempt by Vulgar Unicorn to throw some fresh and modern Progressive Rock in the market and is highlighted by the 45-min. eponymous track, split in three long pieces, each clocking at over12 minutes.The style of the band is not always conveincing but it is definitely quite different compared to bands trying to immitate the Classic Prog legends.It is a mix of the growing Post Rock movement with Neo Prog, Classic Prog, Psychedelic Rock and Jazz and, as already said, this works fine for the most of the album's length.The guitar work of Soord seems to be the most demanding music section in the album, offering good jamming parts, adventurous riffing and nice solos throughout.The arrangements are tight with an alternation between different themes and go from OZRIC TENTACLES-like electric passages to spacey jazzy themes with a Post-Rock attitude, not unlike JAGA JAZZIST, with decent sax and trumpet solos to elegant grooves in the Neo Prog matrix of 90's MARILLION.Mix also some parts with fiery guitar workouts and some synth-based atmospheres to get the full picture, which is really unique but always nice to listen to.The vocals are clear and decent, though they do not always walk equal to the music.A fourth epic 10-min. track entitled ''Thief of Clubs'' closes the album, offering Vulgar Unicorn's most powerful ideas with incredible and crystalline guitar work by Soord and a great rhythm section supporting, close to the style of PORCUPINE TREE.

Good debut by this duo of talented British musicians, which seem to walk right on the path of blending new and old prog stylings.Worth investigating, as after so many years since it was released ''Under the Umbrella'' sounds quite fresh.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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