Wednesday, 21 March 2012

WALLY: The Belgians like 'em (and so do I)

Another great review from Belgiuum. This time it is the fabbo new album from Wally which has become another fixture on the office hi-fi. The big question that remains unanswered is why weren't these guys huge first time around? And why did I have to start working fopr the record company before I heard of them. I am making it one of my great purposes in life to make sure that Harrogate's best kept secret, remains a secret no longer.

Few of you will perhaps know of this band? The spores of this outfit, we find already back in the early seventies. They then took part in a contest organized by Melody Maker. They were among the finalists but were overtaken by another band. This contest took place at the famous Roundhouse in London. But luckily there was one DJ "Whispering" Bob Harris present and when I say that he also was the producer of the renowned BBC program "The Old Grey Whistle Test" I have said enough, right? Soon there will be a debut album and that was with Rick Wakeman geproducet. He was impressed with their music when he attended the final in the Roundhouse. Where can we find Wally among cataloging? Precisely, under the label hardrock like their striker brothers Uriah Heep and Deep Purple dominated the keyboards and the guitar of their oeuvre.
The musicians we have here on the CD heard Roy Webber (the original singer and co-founder), Paul Middleton (also a founding member and bass player), Pete Sage (violin, mandolin, guitar), Roger Narraway (drums), Will Jackson (guitar, piano), Nick Glennie-Smith (keys) and many other names. It was 36 years ago that they were all together in a studio while they were working towards the sound of Wally during their early period. With the numbers we can find some tracks which were originally designed for their third album for Atlantic Records, but that was unfortunately not.
These eight numbers are as good as indeed the perfect sound of Wally roughly 40 years ago. Melodic rock we find in each issue as well listen to 'Sailor' is a bit early on Procol Harum's "A Salty Dog 'but ultimately seems much stronger than' Dog '. Very long lead of a song that you immediately put on the wrong leg. "Sister Moon" is also very slow on stream and the guitars play an important role.Handsome riffs set the right tone and Neil Young is here now and then looming around the corner.
Is this symphonic rock? Yes and no, portions of their songs jump right out of the symphonic packaging while including longer be able to rock meets progs with influences of country and westcoast rock. Listen especially to 'In The Night', that says more than enough about the quality of these guys. Rock meets progr rock flavored with a touch of country rock and rock west cost. Alfons Maes (3)

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