Pegasus 1972 / Esoteric 2013
Ancient inebriation and today’s sobriety meet on the ledge for Canterburians’ sophomore outing where a timelessness vein is mined.
It might have been a locale strain which set this band apart from their contemporaries and led them astray from folk rock to the prog vistas. The parochial delicacy of “A Canterbury Tale” which ends “Old Boot Wine” is nothing more than a "St. Radigunds" aftertaste, then, or a soft comedown to the album that breaks away from the past so inherent to its harmonic DNA to set it in the here and now. And while others sang of Gypsy Davey, Martin Cockerham and Barbara Gaskin’s second LP begins with “Dangerous Dave,” an acoustically cushioned and electrically shot-through story of a soldier who fought abroad in the times of economic crisis, the root of many a war: the drift can’t get any more modern than that, but the majestic sway in “World’s Eyes” sees the vocals twine for the cosmic ire and instruments run wild.
The days of yore get a glance in the violins-elevated nostalgic glow of “Grandad” before “Wings Of Thunder” offers rather intense rocking under the superficial melody. Yet there’s a spaced-out wonder in the soothing, and hymnal, piano line of “Van Allen’s Belt” providing an escape route from the everyday toils and troubles, although the first part of “Runaway,” which follows suit, adds a hectic ripple to the piece’s anxious serenity, wherein female part reveal hopefulness after the male voice’s dry drama. This spills into the four album outtakes, especially into the sweet melancholy of “Counting The Cars” and “Window” which, with a slight boogie, bemoans the demise of our morality, while it’s “Turn Again Lane” that lays bare the band’s theatrical dexterity. The bonuses make the album a truly whole experience, in other words, it’s an intoxicating classic now.