Locomotive were a sixties-band from Birmingham. At the time they recorded their sole album We Are Everything You See, the band consisted of Norman Haines (lead vocals, organ, Mellotron, harpsichord, piano), Mick Hincks (bass guitar, lead and backing vocals) and Bob Lamb (drums, percussion), supported by their friends Bill Madge (tenor sax), Dick Heckstall-Smith (tenor sax), Chris Mercer, (tenor sax), Lynn Dobson (tenor sax), Mick Taylor (trumpet), Henry Lowhter (trumpet) and not to be forgotten the famous producer Gus Dudgeon of Elton John fame, amongst others.
To describe the music of Locomotive isn't an easy thing to do for a reviewer, because it's typical early progressive rock experimenting with many musical ideas. This means that you can experience all kinds of musical styles in the thirteen songs plus six bonus tracks on this album, but a ll songs have their own typical sixties sound. In Overture influences of The Moody Blues are obvious mainly due to the use of a classic orchestra. On the other hand Mr. Armageddon is a radio-friendly pop rock song with lots of trumpets and organ in the vein of Atomic Rooster and Procol Harum! Now Is The Dead-The Dead Is When is a cheerful up-tempo jazzy tune with interesting saxophone and trumpet passages. Lay Me Down Gently is again a fascinating melting pot of the early music of English icons like David Bowie, The Kinks and The Small Faces. In Nobody Asked You To Come the Hammond-organ and the dramatic falsetto voices are very recognizable for the hippy period, but it also sounds like an early song of the Irish folk rock band The Waterboys! In Rain the organ sound resembles the sound of the American rock band The Doors, but at the end it's a typical nice British ballad.
The music of Locomotive is kind of similar to The Dog That Bit People or Asgard, two other reissues of Esoteric Recordings I recently reviewed for Background Magazine. If you liked these two records than it's interesting to give Locomotive a try as well.
***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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