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Brainbox - Parts CD (album) cover





2.67 | 13 ratings

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2 stars Late-60's Dutch band, the history of which is more interesting than its links to Prog Rock.Polish singer/guitarist Kazimierz Lux, winner of a talent scouting competition, asked guitarist Jan Akkerman and drummer Pierre van der Linden to form a group, after playing together in a studio, gathered by the Bovema label for the sessions of an upcoming Lux demo.They were joined by bassist Andre Reynen and released a nice little Heavy/Blues Rock album in 1969.Soon Akkerman was forced to leave the band, after jamming with one Thijs van Leer.The two formed Focus and Akkerman brought van der Linden along.Conflicts with the manager and several line-up changes led to a complete lifting around 1971, when Lux and Reynen left Brainbox, dissapointed by the situation.The new formation now was Robert Verwey on bass, organ, piano, ex-Ekseption Michel Van Dijk on vocals, flute, Ron Meyjes on guitar, harmonica and Frans Smit on drums.Second Brainbox album comes in 1972 on Harvest under the name ''Parts''.

Some sort of early Renaissance case with no original members found in the line-up, the new-born Brainbox recorded the most progressive of the two Brainbox releases, not because of its complexity or groundbreaking sound, but mainly due to the mass of diverse paths explored by the new musicians.But here come also the first clouds with the sound leading actually to nowhere despite the decent compositions, too many flexible twists are present here and the several line-up shakes led eventually to a confusing sound.The opening side sounds a bit more consistent, having always a Psychedelic Rock basis and breaking occasionally into the territories of Blues, Folk and Pop, reminding a bit of premature YES with all these electroacoustic lines, light organ and multiple vocal moments, the songwriting is cool, but the material is far from compelling.Then comes the chaos of the flipside, which is a bit more intricate progressively speaking, but fails to deliver a trully adventurous sound.Opening with Verwey's interesting piano work with jazzy and Classical leanings, passing through a monstrous Heavy/Psych Rock style with Proto-Metal touches and a combination of furious guitars with harmonica and then giving space to an organ-driven Psych Rock, fading in the sake of Frans Smit's long and needless drum solo.''When I was poor'' is a lovely closing effort with again some early YES vibes in the guitar parts and excellent, melodic vocals and solos, fine piece, but not great enough to save the day.

Brainbox disbanded not long enough after the album was released with Michel van Dijk joining Alquin.Lux followed a personal career from 1971 and on and teamed up again with Akkerman for a couple of albums from mid- to late-70's.Brainbox reunited in early-80s with Lux, Reynen and van der Linden all on board for some lives and folded again in 1984.Another attempt was launched in 2003 by Lux and van Der Linden, releasing a live work, and this formation lasted for a couple of years as well.

''Parts'' should be seen as a document of a historical band, which comprised of some of the best Dutch Prog Rock musicians at its early days, but fails to be awarded as a serious attempt on Prog Rock.This is flat, melodic Psych Rock with proggy and heavy springles, well-played, but far from extraordinary...2.5 stars.

apps79 | 2/5 |


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