Global Village Trucking Company

Global Village Trucking Company

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Undisputed legends of the early- to mid-'70s British free festival circuit, Global Village Trucking Company already had a few years under their belt when they made their first album -- a few years, and enough experience to know that distended free-form jams simply didn't cut it in the studio any longer. The result is a powerful piece of pubby prog rock somewhere between Kevin Ayers, 10cc, and Brinsley Schwarz, with mock-reggae rhythms slipping in among the anthems and only one track -- the closing 12 minutes of "Watch out, There's a Mind About," recorded live at an Oxford college -- even glancing in the direction of a muddy field full of mushrooms. Another key cut is a BBC session take of "Love Will Find a Way," itself one of the most unexpectedly poppy songs in the band's entire repertoire; the rest of the album, recorded with first-album Motörhead producer Fritz Fryer, is open and ambitious, happy and warm -- the tinkling piano of "Love Your Neighbour," the honky tonk vibe of "Smiling Revolution," the tropical excursions which warm up every other instrumental break.

The craziness quota undoubtedly increases as the album moves on ("The Inevitable Fate of Ms Danya Sox" is exactly what its title portends). But even when the virtuosity freakout finally breaks, it doesn't disturb the long summer night that has built up over the rest of the record.

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