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Mainhorse

Mainhorse (original vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

The main claim to fame of this 1971 disc is the fact that it was Patrick Moraz' first band (at least in terms of first band with a release). The thing is, the music holds up really well as early progressive rock by itself. While this is a largely forgotten set, that's really a shame because it stands pretty tall in the field of prog from the time period,

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side One
                 
Introduction

Jazz meets powerhouse prog on the introduction to this. The cut works to something a bit like Flash for the entrance of the vocals. This is fast paced and rocking. It's also dynamic and decidedly progressive rock based. The jam later in the track is really rocking. Parts of that make me think of The Nice and early Deep Purple a bit.

Passing Years
Speaking of Deep Purple, this cut makes me think of "Child in Time" a bit. It comes in mellower and gradually works outward. It has a real psychedelic vibe to it. It's a slower number that has a balladic concept at its heart. While those Deep Purple references are valid, this remains in the mellower zone, never rising to the crazed heights of that other tune.
Such a Beautiful Day
Driving in fast paced and rather Flash-like. This is a dynamic prog rocker with lots of energy and intriguing multi-layer vocal arrangement and more. I love the echoey toned guitar soloing on this number.
Pale Sky
Starting in the mellower zones, this eventually works outward to more of a rocking thing. There is a lot of psychedelia in the mix here. That's particularly true when it drops to the freeform sort of musical exploration. That has some jazz built into it, too. I could even see some comparisons being made to The Doors or Iron Butterfly here. After it works back to the song proper further down the road for another vocal section, the guitar gets a killer slow moving solo. This cut is close to ten-and-a-half minutes long, and they make great use of all that space.
Side Two

                 

Basia

With a great multi-layered vocal arrangement, this is a killer fast paced cut. The number has a real open groove. There is a lot of jazz built into this and some explosive guitar work. This is another that makes me think of Flash quite a bit.

More Tea Vicar

This instrumental starts more psychedelic and trippy via keyboards. It eventually makes its way to more of a rocking groove from there.

God
A progressive rock powerhouse, this is the epic of the album at almost exactly ten-and-a-half minutes. It moves this way and that through some killer shifts and changes. The cut has a bit of a false ending followed by a crack of thunder that ends the set.

 

 
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