Big Big Train - Wassail

(CD 2015, 25:41, English Electric Recordings EERCD0015)

The tracks:
  1- Wassail(6:53)
  2- Lost Rivers Of London(6:12)
  3- Mudlarks(6:20)
  4- Master James Of St George(6:18)

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Big Big Train are a band that have been around for quite a while (more than 25 years), yet not many progressive rock fans are aware that this band exists, or think that they are a young new band that just started. I have to admit that I was wrong as well, I thought that Big Big Train are a band that just started making incredible music, but they are actually too 'experienced' to be a new band. This band deserves a bigger audience than they have now, in my opinion.

The Wassail EP could be seen as a small album containing 4 tracks, but it's an album with a huge impact thanks to the title track Wassail. It even has a much bigger impact than most regular albums I listened to lately.

Wow, just wow. Wassail is one of the best tracks I have ever heard in a long time. It's big... Big big! You need to turn your volume up to 11 and scream your lungs inside out with the chorus! David Longdon (who also wrote the music and the lyrics of this track) has such a powerful voice, the instruments (especially the organs) are hallow and pompous at times. The track is almost seven minutes long, but I can't find any dull moment. I found out some fans don't know what to think about this track, some are even not sure they will ever like this track, but I'm sure this track will end up in one of my all-time favourite tracks. I actually need more tracks which such a big impact like Wassail, tracks like these show that 'Prog' isn't just a lousy music genre only old fashioned hippies listen to.
After Wassail the album gets calmer. I'm actually glad about that, another track with the same impact as Wassail is not good for my lungs and uncontrollable energy outbursts. The track Lost Rivers Of London starts quietly and turns into a beautiful track with lovely musical twists, but those twists are not as bombastic as those in Wassail.
The third track, Mudlarks, is almost instrumental. Just like Lost Rivers Of London the track contains lovely musical twists. After two minutes the track reminds me of something the band Transatlantic or The Flower Kings could have written, probably because of the very present bass guitar sound along with the semi-soloing organ.
Last track, Master James Of St. George, is recorded live in Real World Studios. I didn't notice it was a live track until I read the booklet. I see that as a big plus, and makes me curious about how they will sound live in a venue. I'm sure they will be a fantastic live band that's worth to watch.

The album sounds very good, although the production of the album is good, but could have been better because the mix contains a bit too much treble. This EP is a good 'introduction' album for progressive rock fans who don't know Big Big Train, it contains enough music that it qualifies as a good summary. This EP is seriously entering my top 10 list of best albums of 2015.

****+ Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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