The Web
i spider


4.0
excellent

Review

by JP Patino Izquierdo USER (17 Reviews)
October 13th, 2015 | 39 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You can tell by that artwork that this will be good.

The Web was a british rock band that started on a psychedelic-rock vein with their first two albums Fully Interlocking and Theraphosa Blondi. While these two albums were, as said before, psychedelic records, both of them were filled with an interesting proto-prog energy that would later turn into some frenetic jazz-prog on 1970's i spider.

The members of the band were aware of their hidden prog talent and wanted to expand it for their next release, so they set let John Watson, the vocalist of the band, to pursue a solo career and replaced him with keyboardist Dave Lawson, whose voice was a better fit for the group's new desired sound.

"Madness" is probably the first word that will come to your mind when you listen to i spider's initial notes; the chaotic riff in Concerto for Bedsprings joined by Lawson's absolutely detuned voice are certainly unsettling at first but just when you start to think that there's nothing else to offer in here besides some weird cacophony a beautiful jazzy piano gets in the middle of the song turning euphoria into a calmed, ethereal atmosphere. This "interesting" structure on the LP's opening track is probably the one that defines the best the album as a whole, frenetic instrumentation, a powerfull sax and wild vocals clashing with jazzy passages that would relax even the wildest soul.

Released in 1970, i spider is certainly ahead of its time, by that year Van der Graaf Generator wasn't a much bigger band than Web so it is difficult to know which band influenced the other. The truth is however, that this release is probably the only album ever to reach the quality of Hammill's unique style.

In here we can see many emotions presented in the form of progressive rock: anger, love, desperation, happiness, depression, all of this is what makes of the record such an interesting listen. Each member of the band has a way to deliver these feelings, Tom Harris's sax is certainly one of the band's most notorious points, driving from ferocious to appeased he is like a chameleon playing the sax; Edwards's guitar is wild and raw and will lead some of the album's most energetic moments. Even though all of the integrants shine on their own probably the most legendary aspect of i spider is Lawson, he provides some of the most beautiful aspects of the album with his work in the keys but will grab the listener's total attention with his gorgeously ugly voice too and the thing is that a detuned voice might be just what you need when you want such emotions to feel real, the moment that serves as the prove of this is the title track in which Lawton's voice gets as crude as possible in which might be the best moment in the whole LP.

Even though comparisons aren't good there's a need to talk again about Peter Hammill, not only because Van der Graaf Generator might be the only band with a sound similar to the one found in here but also because it shows us the record's weaker points: i spider feels like a teenage version of Van der Graaf, at some points reaching wonderful harmonies that only a younger soul could think of but at others it just feels like too much, this is an album with a slightly immature sound, one that's certainly full of potential but that requires more experience; the band's experimentation goes off limits at moments and the pleasing chaos turns into pure nonsense.

Despite all of this i spider is still an essential and unique album, here we can see a band with a gigantic amount of potential that could've been one of the biggest names in progressive rock music but that sadly never reached that goal. In 1971 the sax player Tom Harris left the band and the group changed its name to Samurai and released one album that, without one of the essential members of the band, just couldn't reach the quality of its predecessor. After that, an underserved lack of recognition plus many financial struggles would lead the band's central star, Dave Lawson, to leave and join Greenslade leading to a sad end for The Web, a band that could've been as big as the biggest names in the genre but that could never reach its true potential thanks to the same reasons that destroyed many unknown prog bands. A tragic fate and certainly a waste of talent.

In 1970 Web were:

Dave Lawson - Vocals, Keys
Tony Edwards - Guitar
Tom Harris - Sax
John Eaton - Bass
Lennie Wright - Drums
Kenny Beveridge - Drums



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user ratings (19)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MrSirLordGentleman
October 13th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As always I'd appreciate if you guys could find any typos since english isn't my first language



The Web certainly were an interesting band



Concerto for Bedsprings - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UljOsAsLSKM



I Spider - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RjRbFRU8FE

AnimalsAsSummit
October 13th 2015


4743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

downloaded this a few weeks ago and i love it. super moody prog with jazz flavors. mystical sounding almost. really glad to see this review for it

Digging: Polykroma - Radiaphane

MrSirLordGentleman
October 13th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn man, you like Los Jaivas and this too? it seems we have a pretty similar taste, glad you enjoyed the album!

AnimalsAsSummit
October 13th 2015


4743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

heck yes man, los jaivas rule hard

LotusFlower
October 13th 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

ur score is too low m8



but yeah, this album is basically the best thing ever.

LotusFlower
October 13th 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

this is an album with an slightly immature sound,



with a*

MrSirLordGentleman
October 13th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh thanks, fixed!







P.S: Check the stuff I rec'd u!

Onirium
October 14th 2015


3037 Comments


Excellent review as always! I must say this is a brilliant record to which I probably need to give a fresh listen. From what I can remember, the album indeed has its share of immature experimentation, but the chaos it generates is more of a charming asset to me. It's actually part of what I look forward to when discovering relatively obscure prog records, because those bands broke boundaries most major prog bands wouldn't dare exploring. But yeah of course it can end up being detrimental to the music as well

MrSirLordGentleman
October 14th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it's just too dense sometimes. t/t is a stone cold classic though

LotusFlower
October 14th 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

t/t is downright incredible, the ending is so insane.



also, if you're referring to the recs in my 70s list, i'll make sure to check them out. I've fallen a little behind on checking out the albums from that list.

MrSirLordGentleman
October 14th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

IT WON'T BE LONG, TILL I SEE RED, RED, RED

TILL I SEE REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED





that shit gives me the chills

Titan
October 14th 2015


20209 Comments


i will read and check this tomorrow sirlord dude

MrSirLordGentleman
October 14th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you like Van der Graaf you will love this





but oh, wait!, you haven't checked Van der Graaf!





Check Godbluff asap m8, it is essential

LotusFlower
October 14th 2015


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

never heard of can der graaf because i'm a pleb, so I'll have to go check that out now. if it's anything like this album then it will probs be a 5/5

MrSirLordGentleman
October 14th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it was on the list of albums I rec'd you, yeah, if you like this you should love Godbluff since is this but way, way cooler

KILL
October 14th 2015


81233 Comments


i have this did u rec me or coincidence omg!

bnelso55
October 14th 2015


1340 Comments


Pos'd. This needed a review so bad. Well done. Few bands have been able to capture the sort of atmosphere The Web did with this album.

MrSirLordGentleman
October 14th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't know, maybe I rec'd it to you since literally no one knew the band when I added it to the database. Do you dig it?





Damn bnelso, you love everything I review but you never rate the albums =[

Jethro42
October 14th 2015


16011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, Gentleman.

If you're looking for other bands sounding like Van Der Graaf Generator, check out Gargamel - Descending (found in Spotify), a modern band using vintage sounding instrumentation. The vocals are similar to those of Peter Hammill, and they have close relationship musically with VDGG. There is also Bubu, an eclectic band from Argentina which is an intricate blend of King Crimson and Anglagard with a little something that would appeal to fans of VDGG.

MrSirLordGentleman
October 14th 2015


13196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've checked Bubu, didn't impressed me that much tbh but I might check Gargamel, thanks dude!



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