02. Hendre Mews 4.36
03. A painted ship 4.07
04. High horse 5.48
05. Fernley Avenue 3.59
06. Helping the helpless 4.18
07. A word full of whispers 3.51
08. Losers 3.57
09. Get my share 3.36
10. Hendre Mews 7.15
11. A world full of whispers 3.59
12. Fools Gold 6.28
-Pat Moran/ vocals/mellotron
-Ray Martinez/lead guitar, mellotron, guitar
-Adrian Maloney/ bass
I approached this album not expecting very much. An unreleased second album can invariably be a sub-standard effort but it's by no means inevitable. What was a surprise was the fact that this one had a lot of Hammond in it, so that's already a huge plus point. There is some Mellotron but nowhere near as much as on the début. I always thought that the first album had attained its vaulted position in the metaphorical pantheon of Progressive rock almost entirely due to the proliferation of the 'tron. For me, the standard of the music on that first album was uneven, the Mellotron masking the deficiencies of, what was at times, rather dull writing.
This album has a greater variety; without the swathes of Mellotron over everything the other aspects of the music can breathe a little more. To my ears, the Hammond can impart far more of an emotive quality to the music, it being more like a living organ (pun partially intended) and can be used to inject drive and inertia; the Mellotron always reminds me of a person with breathing difficulties. Now don't get me wrong, I love it the 'tron but variety is the spice of life! In an ideal world they both feature in the music I love. They also use piano; acoustic guitars feature extensively and the electric guitar gets more of a look in here. A couple of tracks have some brass backing and that gives a little more depth of variety.
The vocalist have, to say the least, a very idiosyncratic voice, the guy in Castanarc has a very similar tonal quality. It's not awful but then it's not particularly nice either and was was of the sticking points with me on the début album. It imbues a wimpy quality to the overall proceedings and as a result I think does the music a slight disservice. But, I can't change that and besides, I have heard a lot worse.
Some tracks have a very slight sense of the unfinished about them, not in the ideas but some tracks sound like rough, test pieces. The recording quality is uneven and tends to be more on the poor side of audio quality, with some distortion. If this has, as reported by this issue, been "remastered" it must have been quite ropey beforehand!