Dillinger - s/t. 1974 Canada

Dillinger - s/t. 1974 Daffodil

CD reissue: 2001 Unidisc

We featured Dillinger's second album a couple of years ago. Here's their debut.

Packaging: The original LP comes in a gatefold. Like the second album, it's not terribly expensive or hard to find - but not a common record either. At this point, the CD is probably rarer and more expensive than the LP, having received only one legit pressing (Unidisc owns the Daffodil brand) well over 10 years ago. The CD offers nothing more than a straight reissue with no extras of any kind.

Notes: In some ways, this is darn near the perfect early 70s progressive hard rocker, with grungy organ and loud guitar, fronted by an extra-testosterone-laced lead vocalist. One can easily see this band being label mates of Spirit of Christmas (both were on Daffodil), though Dillinger were certainly not as ethereal. But there are a couple of downers – one is their rancid rendition of a Spirit track ('Nature's Way')  – and, gasp, the obligatory over long drum solo on the side long 'Live and Return'. Still, a great example of the Midwestern progressive sound. I'm one of the few folks who think they improved on their second "Don't Lie to the Band" album.

Lothlorien - Il Sale sulla Coda. 1998 Italy

Lothlorien - Il Sale sulla Coda. 1998 Lizard (CD)

For my tastes, Lothlorien were one of the finest of the late 90's Italian progressive rock bands, of which there were many. The differentiators are the strong keyboard work (in particular the piano), the flute, and the fantastic vocals in Italian. The music is constantly on the move, and the guitarist isn't afraid to take the proceedings into the 90s. Musically, the band's melodic style recalls the pastoral Errata Corrige - except as met up with 1989 period Nuova Era perhaps. This is a really fine effort, with a compositional style similar to the original 70s masters, but there's no mistaking this is from 1998. If I had a complaint, it would be the overly bright 90s production. Otherwise, excellent in every way. I would love to see this band reform for a second effort.

The Word of Life - Dust. 1995 Sweden

The Word of Life return with their sophomore, and ultimately last effort, Dust which is somewhat different from the predecessor. There'...