I've spent the past few minutes trying to come up with some suitable pun involving smurfs with which to open this review, but nothing is coming to me. So, instead of wasting your time with self-indulgent humour that no one else will probably find the least bit funny, I'll just tell you about GARGAMEL, a Norwegian Progressive Rock band on Transubstans Records and their debut album "Watch For The Umbles."
Heavily influenced by VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and the various legions of the world's Krautrock, GARGAMEL throws out a good blend of jazz and the late 60's/early 70's style of Progressive Rock. This album is adorned with glockenspiels, hammond organs, mellotrons, el-piano, cello, flute, saxophone and of course the staple guitar, bass and drums. The music is mostly instrumental and what vocals there are aren't pretty, but they do a nice job fitting well over the frenetic and sublime soundscapes.
For a band formed in 2001, GARGAMEL do a good job capturing the feel of an era long past. Anyone wishing that those times had never ended and that the mellotron would reign supreme over today's music would do well to watch for "Watch For The Umbles." (Online April 2, 2006)