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Jan Dukes De Grey - Mice And Rats In The Loft CD (album) cover


Jan Dukes De Grey


Prog Folk

4.22 | 213 ratings

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5 stars Not Tull, not Comus, but just as spectacular as them both: 9/10

The late 60s was a blossoming age for experimental bands. It was, too, the epoch of JAN DUKES DE GREY's conception, consisting of ex-soul musician Derek Ney and guitarist Michael Bairstow. Despite their debut, SORCERESS, obtaining poor sales and not demonstrating the duo's utmost capabilities, the band proceeded with its musical adventures and, along with a new member, recorded a much more accomplished follow-up, MICE AND RATS IN THE LOFT.

While the pastoral cover might evoke images of subtleness and tranquility, the album is, in fact, dynamically explosive and remote from the concept of just a folksy lovely album. Simplifying MICE's style to acid folk is also a misconception and a gross oversimplification, as it would diminish the album's chronic eclectism and compositional maturity. The album's utmost greatest quality lies in the mature songwriting and masterful blend of folk with several other elements and genres, disparate and apparently immiscible. Many other bands who attempted to put together discrepant styles more often than not sound like strange mumble-jumble, yet JAN DUKES' numerous influences sound seamlessly stitched in a natural amalgam. All of this without abandoning musicality or approachability, regardless of how eerie their experiment might result.

JAN DUKES is in many ways an overlooked mammoth, just as accomplished as other important folk bands such as JETHRO TULL or COMUS. The first infuses progressiveness into a genuinely folksy ambiance whereas the second applies their depraved nature to uncommon sonorities and compositions, but through their own methods both bands created unique styles and pushed their genre's musical boundaries. JAN DUKES DE GREY did no less than that, albeit they obtained little recognition for their work. Nonetheless, MICE AND RATS IN THE LOFT's capability of creating simultaneously enjoyable and inventive music without sounding poor or bland is pivotal to consolidate its status as a prog folk masterpiece and nothing shorter of it.

Luqueasaur | 5/5 |


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