STRAWBS – Prognostic (Witchwood WMCD 2056)

PrognosticWelcome to the Strawbs with attitude! This is not the stripped down acoustic folk that some may be familiar with. This is a powerhouse of progressive rock. The album consists of a re-release of five tracks from the albums Heartbreak Hill and The Broken Hearted Bride; lovingly remounted and remixed. In addition are four tracks previously unreleased.

The album opens with the back-catalogue tracks, starting with ‘Heartbreak Hill’. Hints of early Genesis and Yes throughout, but with the distinctive Strawbs’ stamp. David Cousin’s unique vocals weave intricate stories through the multi layered music. Each song is a mini epic; the only track under six minutes is ‘Tomorrow’, coming in at 4.29. The various sections through each song are carefully structured to provide a rich tapestry of sounds.

The musicianship is of the highest quality, which is only to be expected. There are even guest appearances by Conny Conrad and the legendary Rick Wakeman. Each song rivets your attention and leaves you in eager anticipation of the next track and the newer tracks are written and performed in exactly the same style as the older songs, so that the change from old to new is seamless

This album is a marvelous example of the Strawbs as a real prog rock force. Turn the volume up to 11, sit back, and immerse yourself in this glorious album.

Ron D Bowes

Artists’ website:

‘The River/Down By The Sea’ live in 2013. Different line-up but close:

And the original version of ‘Heartbreak Hill’: