tisdag 29 december 2009

Mainhorse - Selftitled (Mycket Bra Album UK 1971)

220:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Rekommenderas varmt.)

Created in 1968 by Swiss keyboard player Patrick Moraz, the progressive rock quartet Mainhorse, which also featured the talents of guitarist/violinist/vocalist Peter Lockett, drummer Bryson Graham, and bassist/cellist/vocalist Jean Ristori, released their eponymous lone record on Polydor in 1970. The album failed to garner much success outside of the art rock scene and the group split up, with Graham joining Spooky Tooth and Gary Wright, and Moraz landing a job with Yes and eventually starting a successful solo career.

The history of MAINHORSE started in '68 but unfortunately, it's not very well documented. The prime mover was Patrick MORAZ, a very talented, Swiss born keyboardplayer. Other members of MAINHORSE were Peter Lockett (lead guitar, violin and vocals), Jean Ristori (bass, cello and vocals) and Bryson Graham (drums and percussion). In 1970 the band signed a contract with Polydor, a year later their eponymous debut-album was released. It remained unnoticed and when success failed MAINHORSE disbanded soon. Drummer Bryson Graham went to play with GARY WRIGHT and SPOOKY TOOTH. In '74 Patrick MORAZ founded REFUGEE and replaced RICK WAKEMAN in YES and in The Eighties he joined THE MOODY BLUES.

The album "Mainhorse" opens with (how original) the song "Introduction": fluent 'heavy progressive' with floods of Hammond organ and fiery electric guitarplay, the sound has echoes from ATOMIC ROOSTER, THE NICE and early DEEP PURPLE. The following "Passing Years" is a slow, bluesy like song with mellow organ and a bit melancholic vocals. Then again 'heavy prog' with swirling organ and biting electric guitar in "Such a beautiful day", the climate evokes THE NICE and QUATERMASS. In "Pale sky" a wailing violin and howling electric guitar colour a bluesy atmosphere, topped by strong Hammond play and dynamic drums. This song features halfway a jam with violin, guitars, electric piano, experimental sounds and a hypnotizing rhythm-section, to end with a sensitive electric guitarsolo and loads of Hammond. Next is "Basia", an up-tempo and catchy song with strong organ - and electric guitarplay, a pumping bass and cheerful vocals, halfway MAINHORSE surprises with a swinging electric pianosolo. 

The track "More tea vicar" contains subtle changes of rhythm, from soft jazzy to fluent heavy prog with a classical sounding organ (like EKSEPTION), assorted percussion like glockenspiel and fiery electric guitar. The final composition "God" (almost 10 minutes) is the most alternating and dynamic one with many changes of climate with Patrick MORAZ on organ and the 'Klavio-synthesizer' and strong electric guitarwork, it sounds like a blend of THE NICE and ATOMIC ROOSTER. In my opinion this album deserves a second change, it's not very original but sounds powerful and exciting with good compositions. And, most important, this album contains the first impressive steps from Patrick MORAZ as a keyboard-wizard.

01. Introduction
02. Passing Years
03. Such a Beautiful Day
04. Pale Sky
05. Basia
06. More Tea Vicar
07. God