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Symphonic Slam - Symphonic Slam   CD (album) cover


Symphonic Slam


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3.74 | 50 ratings

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2 stars Symphonic Slam was an idea of Finnish musician Timo Laine, who moved from Finland to California, U.S.A., at the age of 6.He participated in a couple of local bands, before trying to experiment with the guitar synthesizer around 1973, while his listenings became more eclectic.He recorded some demos for Epic Records, before the producer was fired, and Laine had to move to Toronto for a better luck.There he formed Symphonic Slam with drummer John Lowery and keyboardist David Stone.He had previously secured a contract with A&M Records, which eventually released the band's self-titled debut in 1976.

The first few tracks give hope for a good proggy release.The keyboards of Stone and the unique guitar synth of Laine produce a dramatic sound with a very pompous style, based on shifting moods and changing climates as well as Laine's vocal distortions.The style is grandiose Art Rock with symphonic references, but the following tracks are not that succesful.For example ''I Won't Cry'' has a very commercial and cheap GENTLE GIANT-esque, funky approach, ''Modane Train'' is a groovy rocker, where the synths sound childish, ''Times Run Short'' sounds like a worse version of STYX'es commercial albums, even having Soul influences and ''Days'' is a flat instrumental with an excessive drum solo (despite its nice keyboard parts).''Summer Rain'' is a melancholic ballad with a very PROCOL HARUM-like atmosphere, while ''How Do You Stand'' is a bit better with a more bombastic and orchestral sound due to the fiery keyboards, though a dated PROCOL HARUM influence is still quite obvious.

The experiment was not quite succesful.The nice opening ideas of Laine are followed by sterile and close to forgettable compositions, where the inspiration of using the guitar synthesizer is lost in the chosen process.Better stick with the better bands of the style like STYX, SUPERTRAMP or AMBROSIA...2.5 stars.

apps79 | 2/5 |


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