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Pavlov's Dog - Echo & Boo CD (album) cover


Pavlov's Dog

Crossover Prog

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Prog Metal Team
1 stars This album release went pretty much unnoticed by the progressive rock community, which is quite a surprise considering the attention and praise that the band's debut album Pampered Menial has received over the years... oh, did I mention that this is the first official Pavlov's Dog record in nearly 20 years?

Somehow I'm glad that Echo & Boo pretty much flew under the radar of most progressive rock fans because this record has almost nothing to do with the band's notable material from the 70's. The new Pavlov's Dog (e.i. David Surkamp, his wife Sara Surkamp, long time percussionist Mike Safron and a backing band) is a completely different band from the one that most of us are familiar with from the 1974 release Pampered Menial. Yes, the do try to sound vintage but it's almost impossible for David Surkamp to hide that fact that he has aged and that his vocal range is not what it once has been. I also miss prominent guitar and keyboard arrangements, which is probably because Bill Franco and Nick Schlueter sound merely as session musicians who have been hired in order to record this album. Rarely do we hear any notable instrumental arrangements as most of the material is explicitly targeted towards enhancing David Surkamp's performance.

The opening track Angeline felt like it was meant to remind me of Julia, but it lacked all the elements that made that classic composition and performance so great. Most of the vocal arrangement lack melodic hooks that were present all throughout the band's 70's material, this includes their bootlegged version of Third. I also didn't appreciate the re-recorded version of I Love You Still which once again reminded me of the fact that David Surkamp has regrettably passed his prime and the new almost acoustic arrangement of the song made it sound like something from a country record.

The album features a weird mini-suite, starting with We Walk Alone Forever, which just never lifts off the ground and I'm also a bit puzzled by the inclusion of the classic song Oh Susanna (here titled Oh Suzanna). Overall Echo & Boo is a forgettable experience that could only be pleasurable to big fans of the band that would purchase anything with Pavlov's Dog name on it. Avoid this record if you still haven't covered all of the band's superior 70's output.

*** star songs: Angeline (4:35) Angel's Twilight Jump (5:17) I Don't Do So Good Without You (5:18) Echo & Boo (4:29) We Walk Alone Forever (2:06) We Walk Alone Forever Again (1:10) Ava Gardner's Bust (3:48) Calling Out For Mine (4:08) We All Die Alone (5:05) Jubilation (5:36) I Don't Need Magic Anymore (5:37)

** star songs: I Love You Still (3:25) Oh Suzanna (1:00)

Report this review (#1150060)
Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars So this is the first studio album by Pavlov's Dog in 20 long years... And it's not what we expected.

They try to play mostly acoustic soft rock with prog elements; or more specifically a prog section. The record could be separated in 3/3, with the first and the last being soft rock and the middle being a prog section which reminds me of Jethro Tull's "A Passion Play", but definitely less quality.

I was about to give it 3 stars, but then I was like "Why 3? What's there that you particularly liked? Any special melodies? Any vocal performance? Anything that stands out?" Not really. It's maybe closer to 2,5 stars, but not 3, so I have to go with 2.

If you are a Pavlov's Dog fan give it a try, otherwise you won't miss anything significant.

Report this review (#1618463)
Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2016 | Review Permalink

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