30 November 2013
Sea Train - 1969 - Sea Train
Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out 5
Word up is that this is the next iteration of the Blues Project, which went through a kaleidoscope of line-ups in its proper history. We hear a tinge of jazz rhythms and country music bending through the prism of psychedelic styles. I imagine that this is the music that the bikers in 'Easy Rider' would have heard in the desert compound if those folks at a touch of electricity - it would certainly do better than "Do Your Ears Hang Low."
Really, the band blows most of their wad on the opening, band-naming, title track. It glides on some fine perlocating bass, mild funky percussion, and a well-controlled variant of the city horn blast that Blood, Sweat, and Tears or Chicago were aiming for. I dig the harpsichord baroque go-go dance of "Portrait of the Lady as a Young Artist." Hell, they even manage to fit in a reasonable fiddle, which I typically consider a no-no in rock or jazz. I used to play cello in the orchestra, so I always felt the violins were a little screechy. I was down with the violas, though. Rondo strips down the vibe to acoustic guitar and comes out as a winning, folky track. Some of the other stuff is probably a touch over arranged.
This slots in with a lot of the other albums that sit on that unstable precipice between psychedelic chamber pop and 70's singer-songwriting. With the proper professionalism in place, a band vibe, and the vapors of the Blues Project wafting through, this is a pretty respectable effort. It's not quite firing on all cylinder, but the ones that are functioning are pretty colourful.