quinta-feira, 20 de fevereiro de 2014

TRAGICIAN (UK) - The Wild, The Scared, The Timid (7'', Look Records, 1979)


Released by the tiny Look Records (a label that used to print small vinyl runs for cabaret outfits to sell at gigs) in 1979, Tragician's "The Wild, The Scared, The Timid" single is something of a late discovery for NWOBHM enthusiasts, although it's unlikely to become a much sought-after item in the foreseeable future, even among most dedicated collectors. Actually, it's not a Heavy Metal record at all, let alone an undiscovered NWOBHM gem - we're pretty much in Progressive Rock territory here, so it's not like you'll get some insanely heavy assault if you ever get hold of a copy. And they don't look like headbangers with that bell-bottomed pants too! That said, I still think this humble 7'' has enough on musical grounds to warrant a quick review around here (not that this is much of an achievement, mind you).

The quintet was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire (UK), and the first hints of their existence date back from 1976, perfoming a handful of small gigs around this geographical area. Not much about them is known at present, but their one and only 7'' presents two pretty respectable numbers in a very proggy way, with some elements of 70s New Age (mostly on B-side "Traces of Impact") and a few pinches of Hard Rock to flavor the whole thing. The songs are carefully crafted and with some nice ideas too, the listening experience being fairly enjoyable as a result. "The WIld, The Scared, The Timid" is the better of the pair IMO, with a smooth instrumental opening leisurely developing as the vocals come in, turning into a intense, festive rocker towards the end. Keyboards and synths actually enhance the whole song rather than ruining it, which is always a thing to be admired, you know. Nice song indeed.

"Traces of Impact" is a more direct, upbeat number that swiflty metamorphoses into an atmospheric instrumental section with a lot of guitar solos. Not as interesting as the A-side, but it works well enough (although the hi-hat is very irritating, to be honest). The singer Sean Mannion does a good job all over here, and the instrumental side of things also can't be faulted, so I'm sure it's a single the most broad-minded among you could take a gamble with, if on sale for a reasonable price (or if a few mp3 files come your way, of course). The front cover is kinda ugly, but the single comes in a wrap-around picture sleeve with photos and lyrics, so there's not much reason for complaints.

It seems Tragician decided to call it a day more or less when the NWOBHM explosion really started taking shape, so perhaps the timing was somewhat unfortunate for them. Not that they could fit like a glove in the denim-and-leather mood of that times, but perhaps toughening their act a bit they could have found a wider audience and last for a while longer. None of the musicians seems to have resurfaced in any recording acts of note, and now we have only this humble piece of vinyl (limited to 500 copies, or so it seems) as a musical legacy. If you happen to find it cheaply enough, give it a safe place to call home, will you? And if you know more than myself about the band, please kindly get in touch, as I would love to learn more.

Sean Mannion (V), Robert Bashforth (G), Ian Walker (B), Neil Whyte (D), Geoff Townsend (K/Synthetizer).

01. The Wild, The Scared, The Timid
02. Traces of Impact

Million thanks to Vinyliciously for picture sleeve and label scans!

Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me at drequon@gmail.com and let me know!

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