Big Big Train
The Underfall Yard


4.0
excellent

Review

by NightmareCinema16 USER (36 Reviews)
July 21st, 2013 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you're a fan of Genesis, then you'll probably like this.

There are few bands that can do what Genesis did in their early days. They gave the 1970s a masterful piece of crafty songwriting and witty musicality in the form of incredible works art such as Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound, and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. They had very worthy solo artists like Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. And, they were served as a valuable piece of progressive rock. Now, to move ahead 30 to 40 years later, and modern progressive rock is back underground. However, that doesn't mean anything. A new prog rock group was planting its roots to the ground in preparation to continue the lyrical expertice and other similar characteristics sprouting from Genesis. Come the year 2009, and after building up experience from their last few albums, Big Big Train has finally struck a rich sounding album that has worthy Genesis influences, The Underfall Yard, a new exciting entry for prog rock.

What makes The Underfall Yard so brilliant? Well, for one part, it is the way Big Big Train captures songwriting and musicality in a way almost mirrored to that of Genesis. Like them, Big Big Train and their vocalist, Dave Longdon, don't seem to connect very well with the sexual energy contained in most mainstream albums. Instead, they also rely upon 19th and 20th century tales of England to decorate their music. From train conductors, flooding foundations, to Victorian engineers, the lyrics are epic, interesting, exciting, and act in similar methods to Peter Gabriel's songwriting style in a positive, modern reinforcement. Not only are the lyrics ace, so are Longdon's Gabriel-esque vocals. They represent an incredible resurrection of the original Genesis frontman. This is very difficult to beat. Finally, something else that is Genesis-inspired in The Underfall Yard is the musical structures. Take for example, songs like The Underfall Yard, Victorian Brickwork, and Evening Star sound very similar to famous early Genesis works such as Supper's Ready, Watcher of the Skies, The Cinema Show, The Fountain of Salmacis, and Time Table. But that isn't all of the pie to The Underfall Yard.

Big Big Train also tries to make themselves sound unique at the same time. The result is a profound, modern rendition of a prog rock journey that stretches well over an hour. By the way, it is a good hour. Examples include the classically-fused instrumental motifs expressed my guest musicians, such as Rich Evans, Dave Desmond, Jon Foyle, Nick Stones, and Jon Fruscott. At the same time, The Underfall Yard hasn't lost a necessary rock attitude that still gives the band credibility towards their own music. In fact, the balance between these two impression is controlled mostly in a positive manner. This is cheers to ex-Spock's Beard Nick D'Virgilio, Andy Poole, and Gregory Spawton, who have began to figure out the good way to creatively hold and express progressive rock. In a way, this also represents how unique Big Big Train is.

All in all, The Underfall Yard was a mostly positive result of past prog rock influences, daring modern pursuits, plethoras of musical talent, and the creative songwriting prowess. They built upon themselves in their previous albums, gained inspiration from a former prog rock titan, and executed a truly complex album as a result. Not just complex, but also noteworthy. Perhaps, the members of Genesis might be proud of these guys.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
NightmareCinema16
July 21st 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm back...AGAIN.

NightmareCinema16
July 21st 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ugh, double post.

Dimor
July 21st 2013


1779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, This album is pretty good. Maaaaster Jaaames

NightmareCinema16
July 21st 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Indeed.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2013


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good job reviewing this, i must try it again as their english electric album grew on me a lot

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

NightmareCinema16
July 21st 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So, their new albums get better?

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2013


16056 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

According to reviews ive read the 2 after this (english electric part one and part two) are the best things they've done so if you like this there's a good chance you will like those, i think they are both streamable on bandcamp

NightmareCinema16
July 21st 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome, will take a look.

JS19
July 22nd 2013


4326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This definitely needed a review

Digging: Jakob - Sines

NightmareCinema16
July 22nd 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definately. and a bit more attention.

aggelosm
July 24th 2013


471 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

you beat me 2 it...argh..
this is probably my favorite album by them. The title track is THE prog epic.
English Electric Pt2 is great too , but this one is another level.

Underflow
July 24th 2013


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd rate this higher if it was called The Underflow Yard.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

NightmareCinema16
July 24th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@aggelosm, I definitely would agree with you.
@Underflow, I see what you did there. xD

NightmareCinema16
July 24th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

xD

Underflow
July 24th 2013


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a pretty good album

NightmareCinema16
July 25th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you've heard English electric (either parts) yet?

Underflow
July 25th 2013


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I heard part 1.

NightmareCinema16
July 25th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How good is it?

Underflow
July 25th 2013


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I gave it a 3 iirc.

NightmareCinema16
July 25th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so, not as good. I talked to a few other people, and most said they liked it a lot. I'll be the judge of myself.



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