Another member of Music Obscurica posted a bit about this, and was primarily glad because he could share this fine version of the magnum opus, A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers.

Pawn Hearts is a proper entry in the prog rock canon, with a track that takes up all of one side, (viz. Yes’ Relayer and Close To The Edge; Genesis’ Foxtrot – yeah, the 99-second Horizons doesn’t count).

With this album they venture into serious free jazz territory. Not that Jaxon’s saxophones weren’t already doing that work on the previous two albums. What VDGG do really well is to rope that improvisation into the service of Hammill’s intense lyrics.

Side 1 comprises two tracks, Lemmings and Man-Erg. While Hammill’s themes often include internal battles writ large, Lemmings takes on the state of humankind in the face of expanding war: Death offers no hope, we must grope for the unknown answer / Unite our blood, abate the flood, avert the disaster .

Man-Erg opens with contrasting verses that open ‘The killer lives inside of me’ and ‘Angels live inside me’ and he works from there with music of appropriate fierceness.

vdgg-phAnd then there’s side 2. A ten-part medley that on a certain level brings Genesis’ Supper’s Ready to mind, but possibly a little more scattershot. The lyrics still speak to the human position in the face of the disasters of modernity:I can see the lemmings coming, but I know I’m just a man / Do I join or do I founder? Which can is the best I may?