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Fresh Maggots

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Album Review

Fresh Maggots....Hatched is a reissue of Fresh Maggots' eponymous sole album, with the addition of two songs from a non-LP single and five from a 1971 radio session, as well as historical liner notes. Although Fresh Maggots has a greater range of arrangements with a folk-rock base than many U.K. folk-rock albums of the time do, the songs aren't special enough to move this out of the desirable-mostly-for-the-sake-of-its-rarity category. While much of the material is acoustic and folky at the core, it's embellished by a good deal of instrumentation from Mick Burgoyne, who plays tin whistles, violin, and glockenspiel in addition to some surprisingly burning distorted electric guitar. The tunes are pleasant but not brilliant, and kind of repetitive. If "Dole Song" takes an unusual subject as its focus (signing on to "the dole," or welfare, in Britain), other compositions can be simplistic to the point of awkwardness. "And When She Laughs," for instance, sounds a bit like Donovan at his lightest, but even more dainty and lovey-dovey. There's some fine acoustic guitar picking and a bit of tasteful orchestration. Yet only "Rosemary Hill" has a bittersweet tune strong enough to merit a place on U.K. '70s folk-rock rarities, should a definitive series of those ever be assembled. Among the bonus cuts, the non-LP single "Car Song"/"What Would You Do?" has a similar but slightly more laid-back, jaunty feel than most of the material on the album, minus the fuzz guitar heard on many of their other songs. The bonus tracks from the radio session, in patchy but fairly clear fidelity, offer versions of five songs from the Fresh Maggots, Rovi


Formed: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '70s

Fresh Maggots were the British folk-rock duo of Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin, who were just 19 years of age when their sole, self-titled album came out on RCA in 1971. Comprised entirely of original material, the LP had an admirable array of textures, adding some heavily distorted electric guitar and orchestration around an acoustic...
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