CD review by Greg Barnett
An unusual 20-sec fade-in finally reveals a single eastern-inflected flute over an acoustic stringed drone.
Track 2 starts with a raucous distorted rock guitar riff, followed by an acoustic-bouzouki plus vocal, these two phases then alternating throughout the song.
Track 3 features a Deep Purple-ish electric guitar.
Track 4 is eastern ‘guitar’ and percussion.
Track 5 alternates soft acoustic with banging prog-rock.
The repeated juxtaposition of soft acoustic with full electric band is very reminiscent of Jethro Tull, with Track 12 even featuring dexterous flute and many of Ian Anderson’s signature embellishments, plus mixed meters and tempo.
Anyone would be hard-pressed to emulate Jethro Tull’s playing prowess, vocal strength, and brilliant folk poetry.
The final track, a cover of “It’s Because I Love You” (1971, by The Master’s Apprentices) is a good yardstick for the whole album.
Its quiet acoustic passages (underscored by a fine new blend of Eastern instruments) transition to the ‘rock’ passages with far more heavy/distorted guitar than the original.
The constant and regular sudden switches between soft/loud seemed unnecessarily formulaic when compared to the more subtle story-based ebb and flow of Jethro Tull.
But one can’t deny the creative spirit and playing chops, and there will be an appreciative audience for it.
Also available by Rendall Wager is Aum – TN550-48
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