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Far Canal

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Album Review

Jody Grind's personnel changed substantially between the recording of their first album, 1969's One Step On, and their second and final one, 1970s Far Canal. Tim Hinkley was still on keyboards, but there was a new guitarist, Bernie Holland (who also did some singing), as well as a new drummer to complete the trio, Pete Gavin. As expected, the sound of the group, while still in the early British serious progressive rock bag, changed as well — sometimes for the good, sometimes for the worse. The jazzy inclinations of the debut were mostly gone, save the atypically tasteful instrumental "Ballad for Bridget." On "We've Had It" and parts of "Vegetable Oblivion," there was a classical melodic influence that was more accessible than anything on the first album, as well as somewhat more in line with what groups such as Yes were doing, though Jody Grind were far less cheerful. "Bath Sister," however, could have been the work of an entirely different band, sounding as if they were trying to imitate Cream with an organ-guitar-drums lineup — and not doing so very well. And so it went for the rest of this very erratic record, where the quite accomplished chops of the players were totally overwhelmed by the mediocrity of the material, as well as their willingness to spin off into overlong instrumental sections with tedious riffs. They really didn't have enough in the way of songs to justify an LP, but that didn't keep them from filling up space with heavy, somber organ-guitar interplay. And while the presence of three consecutive tracks titled "Plastic S**t," "Vegetable Oblivion," and "Red Worms and Lice" might lead you to expect something Frank Zappaesque, in fact these in the main are pretty boring, insubstantial period progressive hard rock pieces, "Plastic S**t" descending into some shameless (deliberately ironic, one can only hope?) sub-Robert Plant vocalizing.

Customer Reviews

Far canal by Jody grind

I recall that I bought this at a London street market based on the visual qualities of the cover design; I think I appreciated the pun in the album name later on... The rude titles of the tracks probably appealed to my juvenile tastes, even though I was getting on for 22 by then, and the jazzy content seemed mature against the basic heaviness of the rock. I've still got the vinyl but haven't really set up an efficient digital ripping process even though I've got the Analogue Ripper on my old Powerbook and it is so much simpler to download an mp3 even if I'm still too mean to spend more than 4quid - what kind of old fogey am I turning into?

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

British progressive rock band Jody Grind issued two obscure albums combining hard rock, jazz, blues, and classical influences with lineups emphasizing Hammond organ, guitar, and drums. Prone to long instrumental riffing and rather ponderous, stern original material, they were similar to other very early organ-oriented U.K. progressive rock acts. But they did not possess the originality, or songwriting or vocal talent, to...
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Far Canal, Jody Grind
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