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Living Wreck (UK) - 1999 - "Lost In Space"
(70 min, "Hi-Note Music")


*****

Tracklist:

1. Floating Seaweed 5:17

   (Middleton, Bell, London, Williams)

2. Desert Lands 4:29

   (Middleton, Bell, Haslam, Williams, Pusey)

3. Can We Change These Ways 4:12

   (Middleton, Freeman, London, Williams, Bell)

4. Swirling Traces 3:24 (same as on track 2)

5. Live This Lie 7:06 (same as on track 1)

6. Seasons of Change 5:50 (same as on track 2)

7. Soul On Fire 4:25 (=)

8. Let Nature Have Its Say 2:54 (same as on track 1)

9. Strychnine Smile 8:31

   (Middleton, Bell, London, Williams, Pusey)

10. Circles That Keep Repeating 6:36

   (Middleton, Bell, Williams, Hollis)

11. Misguided Landslide 4:55 (=)

12. 3D With Four E's 11:48 (=)





Line-up: 

'Wagon Wheel' (Neil Middleton) - bass, lead vocals

Nobby Bell - lead guitar

Vic Hollis - lead guitar, harp

'Dumpy' Williams - drums, vocals



With:



Pod Holsten - bass (tracks 1-9)

'Acid Saunders' - guitar (same)



Tracks 1-9 recorded by Rob Sas

at "Fairdeal" Studios, Hayes.

Produced by Chris Pusey, Rob Sas, & Neil Middleton.

Tracks 10-12 recorded by Lee Limerick (*CBS's keyboardist)

at "Reel To Real" studios, London.

Produced by John Simms (*Clear Blue Sky's band-leader)

& Living Wreck.

Mastered by Denis Blackham (of Hi-Note)

at "Country Masters", Surrey.

Hi-Note Music online: http://www.hinotemusic.com/

Prologue. It jumped at me immediately that Living Wreck's debut album, titled so specifically, was produced by the regnant Space Rock King Johannes I (even if you still regard Hawkwind's Dave Brock as the first King of the Space Rock Kingdom, formed by the Clear Blue Sky dynasty far back in 1968, anyway, you can't name him other than just David I), so I've been in many ways prepared to hear something close to the mentioned Progressive's sub-genre already before listening to the "Lost In Space" album.

The Album. Could you run over a rocky cross-country in a furious pace for one whole hour plus another 10 minutes nonstop? I couldn't. But the guys from Living Wreck no doubt run somewhere: they just propose that we meditate on our own dilution in space to the accompaniment of their 70-minute album, full of high-energy music, created with the help of guitar's hard and heavy hypnotic riffs, fast, long and quirky solos, often wrapped up in spacey effects, rough and severe vocals, and a positively maniacal work of the rhythm-section, all performed if not precisely in a furious pace, but almost exclusively up-tempo. On the whole, all the twenty songs that feature "Lost In Space" comply to a united stylistics, which I would describe like that: extremely heavy positively- psychedelic manifestation of Progressive Space Rock (whose principal motto would most likely be " More energy and no keyboards!"). I'm not a lover of comparisons, you know, and now I don't search for them. Just to evoke your old impressions I ask you to recall such killer songs as Hawkwind's Levitation from their self-titled album of 1980, Clear Blue Sky's Destiny from their third (also) self-titled album, Black Sabbath's Symptom of the Universe from "Sabotage" of 1975... So, if you like your progressive extremely energetic, hypnotic and in many ways heavy music, this album delivers the goods. At that, there are a few real gems among these twenty Heavy Space Rock apostles. Unlike others, Swirling Traces, Circles That Keep Repeating, and Misguided Landslide are not only among the five of the most diverse songs on the album, they also feature some really unexpected changes of themes (not of tempos, though, as these full of living energy Living Wrecks don't love to change it, as it would be to the detriment of said hypnotism), along with not too noticeable yet wonderful Eastern nuances. Apart from said Eastern Three, two other songs also stand out with quite variegated arrangements: Soul On Fire and, of course, the last'n'longest track 3D With Four E's, - the only track on the album with an 'additional' instrument: there appears someone harmonica's long and virtuosic solo by the end of it.

Summary. To me, there's no need to hide that the music on the "Lost In Space" album is obviously influenced by the creation of Hawkwind, Clear Blue Sky, and Black Sabbath, because, unlike lots of wannabe bands (especially wretched look the legions of the Marillion wannabees), Living Wreck are actually worthy followers of the Legacy of the Progressive Space Rock and Prog-Metal Founders. Despite the fact that "Lost In Space" sounds on the whole not too original, no one can dispute the presence of few yet the Living Wreck guys' all own, original ideas on the album. What is more, I find their music a real quintessence of the contemporary Progressive Hard Rock movement, and "Lost In Space" - one of the three best albums of this sub-genre (that by the way enjoys currently a rise in popularity) in the last five years, at least. Excellent stuff...

VM. September 7, 2001


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