Sound — 9
Steamhammer were founded in 1967 in the English seaside resort of Worthing near Brighton. The band around the gifted and immensely soulful and bright guitarist Martin Pugh was influenced by chart toppers such as Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Jethro Tull. They in turn influenced legendary bands like Wishbone Ash and Golden Earring. Those of a certain Michael Vestey unique floating and easily produced disc was marked by musical wealth of variety between pure blues, blues rock, hard rock and psychedelic rock, and contained not a single weak or even mediocre number. Especially in the remastered version, it sounds wonderfully nostalgic at the same time as well as tremendously fresh and the group never really got the recognition they deserved.
Lyrics — 9
Somewhat difficult to explain this because, in my opinion of this album, "Steamhammer" is one of my favorites, this is a good start for those wanting to venture into the band. What is important to me in cases like Steamhammer, which is the band that I love, is able to feel more of what makes me like the band. The consistency of the material embedded in the pressing, becomes abstract and impossible to define. Seems like far more prog ongoing in the consistency of the band.
The album is among the best of the English blues rock, in the period when this style appeared and was the heights, in a new context, different, authentic and exclusive. A natural right of being and living. We have statements of impressive guitar techniques - Martin Pugh, vocalist crushes on harmonica and vocals not stereotypical - Kieran White, excellent monitoring and progress of bass and drums. The compositions are excellent for those who want to quit repetitive material, sometimes cloying and massante. In "Steamhammer" everything is new. We're talking about a band that lived its period without pragmatic constraints in their songs. If it worked or not as a career, only time could answer.
"Steamhammer" is an extraordinary overlooked blues-rock band oriented. Of course there is an early Jethro Tull influence but they are not aping them at all. The guitar playing is outstanding and the atmosphere of the whole album is a pure magic. Most of the material here is written by the band except "You'll Never Know" covered from B.B. King and "Twenty-Four Hours" covered from Eddie Boyd. In 1969, the blues hero Freddie King ordered Steamhammer as his backing band to tour UK during the spring. It says all! When a white guys band got such a recognition from one of the top black bluesmen, what more can you expect? Last but not least, just listen to the guitar playing in "Warter Part II," the closing 1'45" track and you will understand how Scorpions found inspiration for the "Still Loving You" intro.
Overall Impression — 9
This album surely is pretty amazing. "Reflection" offers some of the best blues rock moments I've ever heard. There are some psychedelic and progressive rock moves also and those make this album a more diverse totality. Here Steamhammer offers blues rock just the way I really like. Those echoing, distant sounding guitars and these slow blues tracks are just perfect. The rockers like "Junior's Wailing" are just as fantastic too, so overall this is truly an perfect album.
"Reflection" was the most basic blues rock oriented record Steamhammer ever made. Their later albums have much more progressive and psychedelic rock elements than this one. Of course this has elements from both of those genres too but overall this is mainly a blues rock album. The guitarwork is superb in here like it is in Steamhammer's other albums too. That Eddie Boyd cover song "Twenty-Four Hours" is just unbelievable slow blues track with harmonica and moaning guitars and everything. All in all the material in this record is very strong. I'm gonna go with four stars out of five here.