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Aunt Mary - Loaded CD (album) cover


Aunt Mary


Eclectic Prog

2.95 | 42 ratings

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2 stars I can’t really get into this album as a piece of progressive music, although admittedly there are some trappings of prog in a few of the arrangements, and especially the keyboards. For the most part though, this is just some pretty decent heavy rock that happens to have a keyboardist who appears to have listened to a few ELP albums, although he doesn’t have the talent to pull off a true representation of the style. For one thing he didn’t bother having the two lobes of his brain separated, so he already is at a disadvantage to Keith Emerson.

This was the second of four Aunt Mary albums released by the Norwegian band in the early seventies. Like many of their contemporaries the band featured a blues-based rhythm section, a fairly decent lead guitarist and the aforementioned organ player as well as a pianist who doubled as the band’s bass player. The keyboardist is really the star of the show.

The band reminds me of a few other hard rockers of the same period, most notably Thin Lizzy and to a lesser extent Golden Earring. Tracks like “Joinin' the Crowd” even feature the same kinds of pompous guitar riffs these two and so many other rock bands of the seventies favored.

Elsewhere, such as on “Delight” the band moves into an almost pre-Perry Journey sound but with layered harmonizing background vocals and a really funky keyboard riff that sounds a lot like a Jew’s harp.

The problem with these, and most of the other tracks on the album, is that they are mostly quite short and not developed at all. Except for the straight-ahead rocker “Upside Down”, all the first six tracks are not more than two or three minutes long and quickly fade out before they develop any kind of detail or complexity. If it weren’t for the tastelessly named “Blowin' Tiffany” with its extended keyboard passages this wouldn’t be much more than a sampler.

Of the last two tracks only “G Flat Road” is even remotely memorable, and that one thanks only to the heavy organ once again along with a catchy but mainstream tempo.

This band intrigued me thanks to their relative obscurity and a sampling of their varied and eclectic debut (which has never been reissued on CD except as a 2-for-1 with their third album ‘Janus’). This one isn’t as good though, and I suspect it won’t do much to attract most prog fans. A novelty of Norwegian hard rock maybe, but not much more than a collector’s item for fans of the band. Two stars.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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