RABBITT (Trevor Rabin) – A Croak and A Grunt in the Night [Air Mail Archive Japan miniLP remastered]
Alongside TREVOR RABIN solo albums, there were requested here as well his previous recordings with South African band RABBITT. These rare Japanese releases in a miniLP replica – done by Air Mail Archive Records – are the only remastered reissues of RABBITT’s two, different albums.
The band’s second album “A Croak and A Grunt in the Night“ was pretty different, where Rabin started to show his elaborated progressive side still retaining the accessible melodies.
Taking a look at the track list, there’s 17 songs. In fact nine are over the 3 minute mark, the others are shorter interludes with the light progressive touch Rabin became known for later. Just check out the wonderful, atmospheric track 2 ‘I Sleep Alone’: it’s pure Rabin at his best.
However, while having a ‘prog rock format’, the LP is pretty accessible still including a bunch of sweet rock&pop tunes typical from the era (at places recalling ELO), and typical Rabbitt of the first LP.
Rabin feel more ‘loose’ on this album, delivering some awesome guitar solos pristine as a morning in Iceland, with am amp / effects set up quite revolutionary for the time.
Among my favorites there’s ‘Everybody’s Cheating’ rich in lovely harmonies, the rocking yet elaborated ‘Sugar Pie’ (some Rush here), while ‘Searching’ reminds me of Yes, but ’80s Rabin-Yes.
There’s no doubt of a Queen influence in ‘Pollyman’, the semi-ballad ‘Hold On To Love’ is pretty pompous, while ‘Take It Easy’ is a fest for Rabin’s guitar playing, a great instrumental where you can hear his skills.
Also to mention is ‘Tribal Fence’, a cover of a South African rock band called Freedoms Children. It’s done by Rabbitt with a proggy, sizzling arrangement. It features the incredible vocal talents of Margaret Singana, who was the lead singer of jazz rock band Ipi ‘N Tombia. Trevor has worked with Margaret on a number of her albums.
A quite unknown album, “A Croak and A Grunt in the Night” display Trevor Rabin’s future progressive, expansive melodic songwriting, playing and arrangements not neglecting a knack for a rock&pop tune, all wrapped by a multi-layered production.
A rare, collectible CD, and Highly Recommended
Air Mail Recordings / Archive ～ 『 AIRAC-1288 』
01 – T.C. Rabin In D-Minor
02 – I Sleep Alone
03 – A Croak & A Grunt In The Night
04 – Everybody’s Cheating
05 – Sugar Pie
06 – Searching
07 – Working For The People
08 – Pollyman
09 – Schumann
10 – Hold On To Love
11 – Dingleys Bookshop
12 – Never Gonna Ruin My Life
13 – Tribal Fence
14 – Gift Of Love
15 – Lonely Loner Two
16 – Take It Easy
17 – A Love You Song
Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Tubular Bells – Trevor Rabin
Bass – Ronnie Robot
Drums, Percussion – Neil Cloud
Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals – Duncan Faure
Guest vocals on ‘Tribal Fence’ – Margaret Singana