TRACTOR "Before, During And After The Dandelion Years... Through To Deeply Vale And Beyond" OZIT Ozit CD 0024 (73:28)

They don't smoke titles like that any more, except in Rochdale. And this 14-track odyssey through the 70s and beyond is wryly explained in a lavish 16-page colour booklet. The music on offer ranges from early BJH-style pastorally-tinged prog, such as "Watching White Stars" and "Bravado", which also has Mott-like sax gyration accompanying phased guitars and pumping bass, to happy-clappy acoustic campfire singalongs such as "Revolution Man". There is a couple of 'out there' space rock oddities and somebody evidently thought it clever to paste conversational snippets over strange Holdsworthey bass widdling. But there's a good deal of able and catchy rockin', "Jester" bringing to mind a jam between Hawkwind and Rush. Even eccentric attempts at Tangerine Dream and a peasouper foghorn-in-the-distance with tabla backing number are snuggly done. Add in "About Yourself", an unvaunted gem of groovin' on down funkiness, with washed guitar and tambourine, and there's more than enough to warrant a dip.

Seb Pilakaes
Record Collector, No.241, September 1999