George Starostin's Reviews

THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND

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Introduction

Jill Grant <grantidge59@tiscali.co.uk> (24.09.2005)

Hate 'em

Trippy, drippy hippies with reedy, weedy voices. I found their particular brand of whimsy hard to take - songs about ducks, caterpillars (hilarious, that one) and somebody or something called Hiram Pawnitoff...I found Likky McKechnie's contributions especially lame - for example the off-key "Cosmic Boy". I gather she was "rowed in" to the band because she was a girlfriend. The only song I liked was "The First Girl I Loved" which I found genuinely touching; also "Queen of Love" had its moments - but what's a "warm dark swoon" when it's at home?

Perhaps my perceptions are coloured by a former boyfriend who force-fed them to me. I am a huge jazz fan and have been since the age of seven. He thought the only jazz worth hearing was Dave Brubeck and the MJQ - which I don't like! (jazz for people who don't like jazz) and found my love of Fats Waller in particular very declasse; only heard the kidding around I imagine, and not the sparkling playing and composing, not to mention the tight and swinging band.


ALBUMS
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND

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THE HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER

Alberto Moyano <norberto_cacharro@hotmail.com> (09.12.2005)

Hi, George. My name's Alberto Moyano, and I'm a fourteen-years-old boy from Barcelona. I'm sorry if my English isn't very well, I'm doing all I'm able to do. I want to talk about this little masterpiece called The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter. Well, at least I think it is a masterpiece, little, but a masterpiece anyway. The first time I listened to this album I became so surprised: "What a strange psychedelia" was what I thought. But I realised how unique was the sound I was listening. I've never listened to anything like "A Very Cellular Song" (well, maybe some songs from George Harrison sound similar, but I think The Incredible String Band make this sound so funny). The only thing that I don't like is that the sound is a bit monotonous, but it's so funny that I don't mind. The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter is an underrated album, and it has been forgotten too much, but I think that it's excellent.

David Gould <David.Gould@skillsforhealth.org.uk> (25.01.2006)

George, I think thatís my favourite album review Iíve ever read. And for once I cant think of a single point to disagree with you about. Apart from perhaps 'the Minotaurís Song' is my least favourite song on the album. Always wished Mike had played the piano on that instead of Robin. Well I assume its robin, as I think mike would have done a better job.

Think you should get a move on and review their other albums!

John DeMagus <princesitri@gmail.com> (21.02.2006)

I happened on this review by accident and was pleasantly surprised by the way it revived memories of my first few encounters with this album. Long familiarity had made me forget what a shock it delivered on those first listenings, and after nearly 40 years I still regard it as a genuine, if deranged, masterpiece. The question is: did they know what they were doing, and the answer is "undoubtedly" for, influenced though it clearly was by a hefty consumption of LSD, it requires knowledge, skill and control to wreak havoc on this scale.

I thought the comparison with Beefheart was astute and - like Beefheart after 'Trout Mask Replica' - the Incredibles really had nowhere new to go after this and, despite sporadic flashes of brilliance on subsequent albums, this represents a peak from which they had no choice but to decline.


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