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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Five Day Rain

Good Year – The Five Day Rain Anthology

Review by Gary Hill

After hearing this album, and reading the story, I have to wonder what other gems are out there, recorded but never released. Alright, so saying this has never been released before is not entirely correct. Some of it was, although a lot of this is previously unreleased. I should add that this is considered by the label to be psychedelic/progressive, so I've included it under prog, although it's more of a proto-prog a lot of the time. That said, there are some real early prog things here.

So, who are Five Day Rain? Well, it was a conglomerate of power trio Iron Prophet with the addition of Graham Maitland (formerly of Scots of St James/ Fleur de Lys)/ They got an album recorded in 1970, but the record label rejected it. So, they reworked the album, but it was again rejected. They changed the name of the band and moved on, but some of the songs were eventually released as an album in the 1990s. This is the first time much of this has ever seen the light of day beyond demo pressings. Honestly, I'd love to have heard what these guys would have come up with if they had stayed together and kept refining their sound. There was some magic here, even though some of it has a diamond in the rough edge to it. 

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Disc One:
         
Too Much Of Nothing

I dig the psychedelic pop rock vibe of this cut. It's very much a product of its time, but it's also quite cool.

Leave It At That
This gets a bit more edgy, feeling just a little like something from Vanilla Fudge. There are some rather proggy turns here and there. I wouldn't consider this song to be prog, but I would think of it as proto-prog for sure. The guitar solo on this is tasty, and I dig the organ presence.
Good Year
I dig this powerhouse jam. It has a lot of 60s psychedelic rock in the mix, but it's also quite proggy. There is a great contrast between the rocking movements and the sedate ones.
Reason Why
Here is another cool proto-prog number. This works through some great shifts and changes. It's all class. The harmonica is a nice touch.
Fallout
Piano brings this track into being. It turns to a bouncy little romp that is a lot of fun. It works out to an inspired 60s hard rocker. After the cut there is a short blast that feels like a weird tape artifact.
Marie's A Woman
There is a lot of prog magic amidst the psychedelic rock of this cut. The tune has a great groove and pretty solid dynamic range. It's another killer tune.
Don't Be Misled
The rocking dynamic of this is classic and timeless. It's also inspired and passionate. This drives with a lot of style and charm. I love how it drops to mellower movements, but then comes back to more rocking ones. This is another that qualities as both proto-prog and psychedelia.
Sea Song (Lifeline)
There is a lot more 60s pop rock in place here. This has some cool hooks, some folk rock and more in the mix. The psychedelic elements paint some cool over-layers of sound. This is an entertaining number, if not the proggiest thing.
Rough Cut Marmalade
Some cool and so tasty keyboard elements bring this into play. It works upward with some great psychedelia that gives way to a full prog jam. This is a powerhouse piece as it gets underway. There are still elements of 60s psychedelia here, but overall this is full on progressive rock. This eleven-minute-plus epic is a powerhouse instrumental number. It has some great shifts and changes and does cover both prog and psychedelic territory. A section around the three-quarters-mark makes me think of early Pink Floyd. 
Lay Me Down
Piano brings this into being. This is a fun tune with a sea of vocals, piano and little else. It's a short number to close the album proper.
Bonus Tracks:
               
Leave It At That (original 1970 mix)

Organ brings this into being. This has a much more standard 60s vibe than the earlier version did. While this is catchy and fun, I prefer the other take.

Marie's A Woman (original 1970 mix)
I like this version of the tune well enough. It's perhaps not a huge change from the other take.
Too Much Of Nothing (edited version)
With a lot of 60s sound in this mix, this is a solid tune, but not a standout.
Disc Two:
          
Wanna Make Love To You

I dig the fuzz-laden groove on this thing. It has a glam rock meets prog and psychedelia vibe to it.

So Don't Worry
I dig the hard driving psychedelia turned proto-prog groove of this cut. The jam later in the track really brings that prog edge to bear.
Dartboard
A hard rocking jam, this has plenty of early prog elements at play. It's a screaming hot jam with plenty of psychedelic weirdness in the mix, too. This instrumental is quite a powerhouse.
Miss Elizabeth
There is a screaming hot proto-prog introduction to this. It drops to an intermittent musical arrangement for the vocals, which bring a psychedelic edge. Then it fires out into killer early prog jamming from there. This has some hints of things like early Black Sabbath amidst the prog and psychedelic things. The tune is quite a potent one.
Lay Me Down

Piano with lots of vocals is the order of business as this gets underway. I think I prefer this version to the one on the first CD.

Sunny
Jazzy guitar and vocals are the main elements on this cool tune. There is a real soulful edge to it. It drives to harder rocking zones as it continues and intensifies.
Rough Cut Marmalade (edited version)
This comes in with a real Vanilla Fudge kind of vibe. As much as I loved the other version of this, I think this is by far the superior one. It just oozes cool. It's pure early prog goodness and really rocks like crazy. It works out to some great spacey jamming later, too.
Spare The Children
Set in much more of a mainstream pop rock arrangement, this makes me think of something Tommy James and the Shondells might have done.
Floatin'
A driving 1960s rock sound is in control here. There are some proggy elements that dance over the top, though.
Reason Why (1977 version)
Now this cut has some more proggy elements at play, but again is pretty mainstream pop rock tune.
Fall Out (1977 version)
This is a powerhouse rocker with a lot of glam rock in the mix. There are still some proggy things here, too. I dig the hooks and the tone of the piece.
Antonia
Here we get a driving rocker that has a lot of early prog and even some space rock built into it. I'm even reminded a little of Hawkwind on this thing. This is a screaming hot instrumental that is one of my favorites of this whole set.
So Don't Worry (2005 version)
There is a killer psychedelic rock meets prog concept at the core of this. It's hard rocking, but it's also trippy and so classy. I love the piano solo bit, but the whole tune is tasty. This is another highlight for me. There is an odd (but entertaining) twist at the end to some traditional English music.
The Boy
Pounding in heavy and driving, this is a real powerhouse stomper. This has some great twists and turns. It is hard to define, sitting along the lines of something The Yardbirds might have done, but with more pure psychedelia and proto-prog also in the mix. The instrumental section also makes me think of Hawkwind to some degree.
Wanna Make Love To You (2005 version)
This is a pretty straightforward blues rocker in this format. This is a solid version and has some great fuzz distortion, but I prefer the other take on it. It was more interesting and less "by the numbers."
Reason Why (1978 mix)
I dig the folk rock meets proggy angles approach on this number. It gets into more psychedelic, powered up zones further down the road. The harmonica on the track brings something special, too.
Fall Out (1978 mix)
This bouncy romp is perhaps not the proggiest thing here, but it's a lot of fun. It has a lot of style and charm.
Outroduction (Lay Me Down) (1978 mix)
I think this version of the song might be my favorite one here. It has more of a prog arrangement while still maintaining all the charm of the other takes of it.

 

 
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