Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spring - 1973 - Second Harvest

Second Harvest

01. Jack & Jim 5.21
02. Hendre Mews 4.36
03. A painted ship 4.07
04. High horse 5.48
05. Fernley Avenue 3.59
06. Helping the helpless 4.18
07. A word full of whispers 3.51
08. Losers 3.57
09. Get my share 3.36
10. Hendre Mews 7.15
11. A world full of whispers 3.59
12. Fools Gold 6.28

-Pat Moran/ vocals/mellotron
-Ray Martinez/lead guitar, mellotron, guitar
-Adrian Maloney/ bass
-Pique withers/drums
-Kips Brown/organ

I approached this album not expecting very much. An unreleased second album can invariably be a sub-standard effort but it's by no means inevitable. What was a surprise was the fact that this one had a lot of Hammond in it, so that's already a huge plus point. There is some Mellotron but nowhere near as much as on the début. I always thought that the first album had attained its vaulted position in the metaphorical pantheon of Progressive rock almost entirely due to the proliferation of the 'tron. For me, the standard of the music on that first album was uneven, the Mellotron masking the deficiencies of, what was at times, rather dull writing.

This album has a greater variety; without the swathes of Mellotron over everything the other aspects of the music can breathe a little more. To my ears, the Hammond can impart far more of an emotive quality to the music, it being more like a living organ (pun partially intended) and can be used to inject drive and inertia; the Mellotron always reminds me of a person with breathing difficulties. Now don't get me wrong, I love it the 'tron but variety is the spice of life! In an ideal world they both feature in the music I love. They also use piano; acoustic guitars feature extensively and the electric guitar gets more of a look in here. A couple of tracks have some brass backing and that gives a little more depth of variety.

The vocalist have, to say the least, a very idiosyncratic voice, the guy in Castanarc has a very similar tonal quality. It's not awful but then it's not particularly nice either and was was of the sticking points with me on the début album. It imbues a wimpy quality to the overall proceedings and as a result I think does the music a slight disservice. But, I can't change that and besides, I have heard a lot worse.

Some tracks have a very slight sense of the unfinished about them, not in the ideas but some tracks sound like rough, test pieces. The recording quality is uneven and tends to be more on the poor side of audio quality, with some distortion. If this has, as reported by this issue, been "remastered" it must have been quite ropey beforehand!



  2. Hi there, commented a couple of times recently in the post of Joel Dugrenot's Boomerang asking for a possible re-post (link is dead) but the comments never showed up. Thought might work if I try to comment under a more recent post. Also hoping you still plan to post that Boxer album I asked about a little while back? Many thanks!

    1. When somenone sends me a message that a link is not working anymore, I never publish them, so that I can go back to the list of unpublished comments and use it as a list of what needs to be reuploaded, I just reuploaded 50 of the 170 links that were down... and published the original comments, so they are off my "to do" list... the one you mentioned will also be reuploaded in due time... PLease refresh my memory about the Boxer album.

    2. Thanks for the reply man, looks like you've been bust doing that and uploading all those Ange albums ;-)
      Re: Boxer - I asked about Below The Belt back when I also asked about Grits, and you said you had that one. No hurry, just didn't want it to be forgotten.

    3. thanks for refreshing my memory! (Ihave both boxer albums on cd so they will come)

    4. The other thing we both forgot for a moment from that old post request was the first Nuova Idea album. So all up my current humble requests were Boxer - Below The Belt, Nuova Idea - In The Beginning, and a re-post of Dugrenot's Boomerang album. Many thanks in advance :-)