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Pavlovs Dog - 1990 Lost In America

ARTIST: Pavlovs Dog
ALBUM: Lost In America
LABEL: Telectro Records
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2007, Rockville Records, 21259


LINEUP: David Surkamp - lead vocals, 6 & 12 string guitars * Doug Rayburn - keyboards * Michele Isam - vocals, alto & soprano sax * Robert Lloyd - bass * Frank Kriege - drums

Additional Musicians: Steve Scorfina, Lesslie Martin - guitar * Kirk Sarkisan - drum treatments, percussion * Merry Adams - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lost In America * 02 A Hardly Innocent Mind * 03 Don't Rain On Me * 04 Not By My Side * 05 Pantomime * 06 Breaking Ice * 07 You & I * 08 All Night * 09 As Lovers Do * 10 Brown Eyes

Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie and that's especially true with this CD from Pavlov's Dog, the St. Louis, Missouri based group that released two excellent progressive LP's on CBS in the mid-70s. Not the original band but leather-lunged David Surkamp and Doug Rayburn emerging with a brace of local musicians as well as a guest appearance from former Dog and one-time REO Speedwagon guitarist Steve Scorfina. The album was originally pressed on a small St Louis indie label and sold-out very quickly. It was later bootlegged on the German TRC label and has since been reissued officially once again from Rockville-Music with several bonus tracks.

The Songs
Not so much lost in America but trapped in a '80s time-warp; musically this disc has little if any personality. Surkamp is still distinctive as ever, singing in a lower register which is easier on the ears but the material suffers from dated synths, sleazy soundtrack sax and murky production. Fans of the original Pavlov's Dog will find nothing here overtly prog and plenty of disappointment. Cards on the table, there are some catchy moments including the title track and in particular 'Pantomime' which sounds like one of those faceless songs tacked to the closing credits of an awful and blessedly forgotten movie from the previous decade. The rest of the album languishes in the same anonymity although for what it's worth the last cut 'Brown Eyes' is the sets best with impassioned vocals from Surkamp and swirling, nearly whimsical guitar and keyboard arrangements.

In Summary
There's been a flurry of recent Pavlov's Dog activity including the 2010 studio project 'The Adventures of Echo & Boo and Assorted Small Tails' which was more in line with past glories and 'Live and Unleashed' recorded in Europe in 2009. Both are worth hearing as opposed to the above which should be kicked to the curb and forgotten.

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#1 | Nick C on May 12 2012 20:38:47
I couldn't agree more...some of the bland cheesy keyboards sound like they've been lifted from some Phil Collins album. But then this album confuses the hell out of me, there are bits that are okay and I think some of the songs could have been excellent had they had a different treatment studio wise. Lost in America is easily the best track though. Breaking Ice is just a straight ahead rock song,flirting with a metal edge almost and just not so good. Pantomime ....drags and drags. Although they have a drummer listed it's hard to see why as most of the drumming sounds like a machine and in fact on the sleeve it mentions 'drum treatments' done by Kirk Sarkisan. This coupled with the lifeless and twee keyboards contributes to a very dated sound. Definitely one for completists only.

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