Although Fresh Maggots
' sole album has a greater range of arrangements with a folk-rock base than many U.K. folk-rock albums of the time do, the songs aren't special enough to move this out of the desirable-mostly-for-the-sake-of-its-rarity category. While much of the material is acoustic and folky at the core, it's embellished by a good deal of instrumentation by Mick Burgoyne
, who plays tin whistles, violin, and glockenspiel, in addition to some surprisingly burning distorted electric guitar. The tunes are pleasant but not brilliant, and kind of repetitive. If "Dole Song" takes an unusual subject as its focus (signing on to "the dole," or welfare, in Britain), other compositions can be simplistic to the point of awkwardness. "And When She Laughs," for instance, sounds a bit like Donovan
at his lightest, but even more dainty and lovey-dovey. There's some fine acoustic guitar picking and a bit of tasteful orchestration. Yet only "Rosemary Hill" has a bittersweet tune strong enough to merit a place on U.K. '70s folk-rock rarities, should a definitive series of those ever be assembled.