Where the former public school boys of early-career Genesis employed their inherent sensibilities of an absurdist upper-class England with its crumbling country houses, bonkers chaps in blazers etc to spectacular effect, this West Country act mined a broader social middle ground with an earthier yet equally accomplished musical mind-set.
This 1971 pastoral progressive folk rock debut excels in the quirky song-writing of Andy Davis and James Warren (later to chart as The Korgis) and helped win fans fast for an engaging live act, replete with rhubarb and dustbin lids, that was quintessentially and barkingly British in a Bonzo Dog Doo Dah thingie kind of way.
There's an easy going innocence that's of its time: herein lie songs of love-lorn penguins, of dragons, and Dora, the female explorer, replete with flute and violin to the fore. What lifts this above the album's contemporary everyday is the quality of musicianship and gift for melody that pervades the proceedings.
That Beatles producer George Martin was on the case by the third album measures the store in which the band was kept. This reissue benefits from bonus tracks in 'Let There be Lids' (a live staple) and the single version of the epic 'Slark'.
A breezy, confident opener to some fine albums to follow.