Late November 3. Song Dance 4. Fast Gun 5. Natchez Trace 6. Theme From Subway Sue 7. Episode 8. Preludin 9. The first doubt I have is in which sub genre of prog rock include Pavlov's Dog, sincerely I don't know exactly, but neither I agree when most of the people qualifies this band and album as neo prog', I believe "Pavlov's Dog" is so special and unique that defies any categorization, they are one of their kind.
It's also important to remember that "Pampered Menial" was released in , when Neo Prog' didn't even existed. The second problem is how to describe David Surkamp's voice? I can only attempt to compare him with Geddy Lee's using extra helium and singing in the trembling style of the magnificent Edith Piaff.
Of course his voice is not naturally gifted but the guy transmits different feelings and moods, something very important for a good vocalist. You may love or hate David, but once you heard him singing you'll never forget the experience. David Hamilton and Doug Rayburn do an almost perfect work with keyboards and mellotron respectively but if you add Sigfried Carver's talent with violin and viola, you've got a special band.
The drums and Guitar by Mick Safron and Steve Scorfina are not spectacular but very much over the average. The album starts with "Julia" a simple ballad that the band manages to make complex and beautiful, with a great piano opening followed by David's unique vocals surrounded by acoustic guitar.
Through all the song each member adds something extra including flute and correct drumming, an excellent way to start a very good album. Not a masterpiece but can be listened. They missed the shot. The next track is "Theme for Subway Sue", an interesting song with full instrumentation and very good piano, the backing vocals create a special effect very pleasant that collisions with the hard guitar, another high point.
Episode starts with heart breaking violin and vocals that match perfectly, anybody will describe it as a simple ballad, which would be accurate, but there's something special, a sad melancholic atmosphere of sad beauty, the piano reminds me a little of Jim Steinman Meat Loaf composer but much more elaborated.
Pavlov's Dog is not for everybody, but neither is progressive rock. I encourage people to try this album, because it's one of the most powerful American bands that I ever listened, if you like it will be for ever. In general, all tracks obey to this paradigm: good melodies with good guitar riffs intercalated with little but beautiful instrumental proger passages fine flutes, complex piano arrangements all over, emotional violin, mellotron, guitars. All tracks are at the same level, it's difficult to figure the highlights but the mellow ballad Julia, Late November where you can see clearly forthcoming bands inspiration like PREFAB SPROUT; Song Dance with its violin solo; Fast Gun for its nice violin and organ arrangement; and the complex Of Once and Future Kings with its crazy jazzy piano arrangements, soft violins and flutes, melody transitions, ending perfectly the album!
Not being as progressive at that as Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson and whatsoever, this album is very nice to listen and as I said, somewhat different, it has a different style from those other pioneer bands. If you like classical hard rock and don't get noised by the singer's voice, you should have this album in your collection! Under "Fast Gun" the band explores the use of orchestration even at the beginning of the track and let it follows the high octave singing. I think the approach taken by the band is excellent as merging the orchestra into the song has accentuated the song.
Under "The Natchez Trace" the composition features the role of piano combined with organ and nice guitar followed with an inclusion of violin and mellotron in rocking style.
It sounds like a straight forward classic rock tune - structure wise. I really enjoy this track especially on high register notes of the lead singer. The music turns gradually loud with a mellotron sounds at background. The violin solo is really nice. The music flows continuously into full music with orchestration, piano touch nice! It turns to a faster tempo with a jazzy piano style - good composition, performed in operatic style with accentuation of violin work and stunning guitar solo.
Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog collection. If you were there during the time this album was released - the glory years of rock music, the seventies, it's very likely you love this album. Or, probably you missed it as this album does not really "rock" musically. But it's an excellent composition. Keep on progging!!! Progressively yours, GW - Indonesia.
If you can get past the "simplicity" of the music, Pampered Menial can be downright infectious. Julia is the relatively well-known acoustic ballad that kicks off the album, but I think it pales in comparison with the memorable Late November.
Surkamp's refrain of "It just goes to show you never know" becomes a thing of power, as the band adds layer after layer of strings and keys to its pulsating chorus. The third track Song Dance is one of only three here that's not written by Surkamp and it is one of the more progressive tracks, featuring some bluesy riffing from lead guitarist Scott Scorfina.
The fourth cut Fast Gun is mostly notable for the marching beat of the chorus and is pleasant enough. I'm not particularly fond of the fifth cut Natchez Trace which is written by Scorfina, even if it does contain one of Carver's best solos. Theme From Subway Sue is another lovely Surkamp song that bears all the group's handmarks Surkamp's tragic vocals as the songs close may be a little too hysterical for some of you but they hit the spot for yours truly.
And then there's Episode, in which Carver practically writes the book on how to accompany a ballad with violin lines, but once again the main song is really not much more than a ballad. The final two pieces segue into each other, and feature the most progressive moments of the album. First we have Carver's sole composition for Pavlov's Dog, the intriguing multi-textural and at seconds, all too-brief instrumental Preludin, before the band launches into yet another trademark Surkamp composition.
Of Once And Future Kinds does benefit from having a number of distinct sections that features some lovely interplay between Carver and his counterparts on piano and guitar, ending in a suitably epic blowout. Overall, Pampered Menial is a cohesive, but far from consistently progressive album that everyone should listen to at least thrice.
Do not expect too much, and you will be rewarded. This is maybe one of the most accomplished songwriting effort as there is so much happening on the different songs that you could not fit one more note without overflowing the bucket - well they are 7 in P'sD - and destroy the fragile beauty of this album. But all is not perfect on the album as I find that the pure RnR number Natchez Trace has a strange but not entirely convincing mellotron overdose except in the middle break.
Frustrating is it not? The following album At The Sound Of The Bell is usually also very appreciated by progheads, but my opinion is that it does not come to the waist-height of this one, and if it was not for the two lengthier tracks both just above the 5 min mark too and Bill Bruford's guest appearance, it would not even reach ankle-height. Back to this album though, I always wondered if this album did not have loads of mellotrons, would it be so much appreciated by us progheads?
Not that sure!!! But there are plenty of shivers on this album. This is one album that you have to hear at least once every three months. I find myself longing to hear that emotionally charged unique voice! Once you hear this album you have to hear it again.. I won't go into deep analysis of the tracks and music itself, it sounds like a blasphemy to do such thing when I already mentioned that the album is very emotional.
Just to let you know, "Julia" is gorgeous love ballad, "Song Dance" is not what tittle suggests, "Natchez Trace" is showing more hard-rocking side of the band, and "Preludin" is a lovely miniature It's quite possible that you won't appreciate this album very much - it's not terribly demanding.
But it's undoubtedly charming, and everyone should definitively try it. I was looking for Gong like material, and particularly interested in the more jazzy stuff. When I posted a request for suggestions on the PA forums, among a lot of responses, there was also someone who pointed me to Pavlov's Dog's At the sound of the bell. That person might have been inspired by my thread title At the sound of the Gong , now that I think of it.
The band and the album did not exactly fit in my quest, but I really did enjoy the album enough to also get their presumably more progressive debut, Pampered Menial. A good idea, given that it went straight to the heart, from the first note of the piano intro of Julia , right through to the fabulous instrumental mid-section of Song Dance and the varying rhythms of Fast Gun.
After full speed Natchez Trace things slow down a bit to visit Subway Sue , after which we may enjoy the piano and mellotron driven Episode. Preludin is a nice intermezzo, showing off the mellotron and other non-standard rock instruments. The closing Of Once and Future Kings could have been an epic, if it wasn't limited to 5 and a half minutes. It consists of multiple parts, each with it's own tempo and main instruments. A better closing could not have been choosen for this album - it invites to replay right away.
In summary, this album contains a collection of very well written rock songs. The solid rock basis is brilliantly extended with layers of piano, mellotron, violin and flute to create pure magic. More pure rock can be found here than with a lot of other bands here in the archives - which is refreshingly beneficial in this case.
And a final note on the vocals: their just another layer on top of the mix. If you don't like it, just get used to it, otherwise you'll miss out on some fabulous music. Fans of Geddy Lee won't have problem with David Surkamp I expect - although they each have very distinctive way of dealing with high pitch. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic.
Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Submit Information. More Info Write your question below:. Try to Hang On 6. Gold Nuggets 7. She Breaks Like a Morning Sky 8. Early Morning On 9. Gold Nuggets live Burg Herzberg Festival The structure is different from the previous album. This is less dependent in Hard Rock's guitar riffs the guitar here is mainly solo work and some acoustic like in the melancholic Standing Here With You or in Valkerie and much more sustained in piano background.
In fact, good piano arrangements are constant on the album. There is also much more blues and jazz inspiration. The first track, Did You See Him Cry, undoubtedly the highest highlight, shows a very progressive introduction with several instrumental arrangements and transitions leading to a memorable melody with a great instrumental bridge. From these two, the last has strange epic organ riff with speedy acoustic guitars and good melody with chorus in the refrain, upgrading the emotional tension.
Gold Nuggets, explores very well the emotional side of the unique voice of David Surkamp's which you can hate or adore and the last song, Early Morning One gives a decent ending to the record! This is a nice album. Comparatively to the first, it has the best song which is the first, Did You See Him Cry, and some as good like Valkerie, or Early Morning On, but mainly the songs, beyond nice, not as catchy or emotional as the first record songs.
There are two major factors that drag this album down. As if that weren't enough, Surkamp's songwriting made a transisition from dramatic minor key ballads to breezy light pop. It's only on the fourth track Valkerie that one remembers that Pavlov's Dog are a progressive rock band, although I have no idea if Surkamp's plea for someone to "bring back the good old days" is meant to be as ironic as it ultimately is.
Certainly the trademark sweeping strings, lush keys and melancholia return with a vengeance, bolstered by some tasty saxophone contributions.
Valkerie is also, if you can believe it, the first time that it hits me that Mr. Bruford is playing the drums! The rockabilly-meets-jazz track Try To Hang On is another filler before Gold Nuggets gives us a tantalising hint of what Pavlov's Dog's strengths really are Lest you think that's a sign of better things to come, She Breaks Like A Morning Sky proves to be the lowest point of all, a singalong farce that is closer to Wham than Wigwam.
Yet another ballad Early Morning Onwards preceeds what is by far the best song on the album But it is far too little, far too late to save this record from being a flop. Overall, it barely qualifies as a progressive album and has to be one of the worst things Bill Bruford put his name to. Most of the songs on here are of non-prog caliber , hovering sometimes between soft rock Bread , America , country rock Eagles and AOR.
True thay this album as well as the first are very radio-friendly , but let's face it, not much on this album is prog bar the last track on each vinyl side.
Valkyrie pales a bit compared to that track but is still progressive albeit with that catchy hook line "Bring Back The Good Old Days", one must be careful not to link it with the rest of the album. Because the rest of the album is simply sub-par and not progressive , although flawlessly played , these could've been on Bread albums. Really even a star-studded guest list can't help this album from sinking Actually, no, they're not. Bot while the debut is coherent and homogeneous, "At The Sound Of The Bell" is generally weaker, but the highlights are much higher However, "Standing Here With You Megan's Song " is another lovely, high-quality ballad cooked with the same recipe like the ballads from the debut.
Don't run away, I'm just trying to make some rough guidelines. But I guess it's impossible. Here's the moment where band really shines: lovely chorus, complex piano passages in irregular time signatures combined with some nice drum works and absolutely mind-blowing Mellotron sound I mean, sound-wise, not composing-wise.
Conclusion: no conclusion. All I can say is: try it, if you don't like it, try the first album, if you don't like it neither, forget it. This album was suggested to me when I asked for jazzy material to explore after enjoying Gong's Camembert Electrique a while ago.
It didn't really fit that purpose, although I can see where the link with Jazz-rock comes from, as amongst others Andy Mackay saxophones and Bill Bruford surprise, on drums The sound of the band proved interesting enough to take a liking of this album. Alas, after also listening to it's predecessor Pampered Menial , my love for this album was reduced significantly.
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Sunday 23 August This is heaven. Learn from this, fans: don't underestimate EPs, you may find gems like this Gold Nuggets - Pavlovs Dog - At The Sound Of The Bell (Vinyl them! Introspection Late Night Partying. But all is not perfect on the album as I find that the pure RnR number Natchez Trace has a strange but not entirely convincing mellotron overdose except in the middle break. Here's the moment where band really shines: lovely chorus, complex piano passages in irregular time signatures combined with some nice drum works and absolutely mind-blowing Mellotron sound It has also a Gold Nuggets - Pavlovs Dog - At The Sound Of The Bell (Vinyl mellotron work. But it is the honesty, the profoundness of Pampered Menial that strikes you the most.
Italian Plastic - Crowded House - Woodface (Vinyl, LP, Album), Going Under = ゴーイング・アンダー - Harem Scarem = ハーレム・スキャーレム* - Human Nature = ヒューマン・ネイチャー (CD, Album), Heaven & Earth - Refuge (CD, Album), I Love Myself - The Wannadies - Yeah (CD, Album)