Sunday, April 15, 2007
This is a very special post: it's from David John Herrera, the original guitarist of the legendary Cheepskates. After the Cheepskates post, David sent to this blog his only solo LP, released back in 1989, along with some really informative notes about it.
A Handout From A Cheepskate LP
I produced the album and it was recorded between Febuary of 1987 and December of 1988 at Dubway Studios in Manhattan. Al Houghton was the engineer.
Since I was the original guitarist of the Cheepskates, the album was titled: A Handout From A Cheepskate.
Orin Portnoy played bass in the Outta’ Place, and the Optic Nerve. Bob Baker was a drummer I met at Dubway studios. Elan Portnoy played guitar in the Fuzztones, the Headless Horsemen, and the Lords of the New Surf. Jon Weiss was the lead singer of the Vipers. Dino Sorbello was the guitarist of the Mad Violets, and the Blacklight Chameleons. Tony Matura played guitar and sang in the Optic Nerve. Bobby Belfiore also played guitar and sang in the Optic Nerve. Christian was a Swedish fellow I met in the summer of 1988. I never did get his last name, but he played a mean blues guitar. Mike Miraconda was the guitarist for the Raunch Hands. Michael Chandler was the singer for the Outta’ Place, and the Raunch Hands. Grec Pekorsky was the guitarist for a garage/psych band from Pittsburgh named Uncle Sydney. Shane Faubert was the singer/organist of the Cheepskates. Steve Marshall was the owner of Libra Studios where the Cheepskates first rehearsed. Sandy Vogel was a blues singer and my girlfriend at the time.
I wrote all of the tunes except the following:
“Mayfair” is an Optic Nerve tune that was written by Tony Matura. It was always my favorite tune of theirs (still is), and once in a while I would drum for their band.
“Credit Card” and “Yesterday’s Night” were written by Jackson Weir III.
“I Don’t Want You To Go” is a Horrible Flowers tune that was written by Jackson Weir III and Paul (Cliff Hanger) Wilkerson. The Horrible Flowers was a band that I was in (as a bass player) before the Cheepskates. We were a post punk psychedelic band out of Hollywood and briefly toured the Midwest in the summer of 1982 before I left the band. Jackson Weir III (the guitarist) played with 391, Seizure, and Rik L Rik. Cliff Hanger was one of the first drummers of the Germs. Both he and Jackson are now deceased and the album is dedicated to the memory of the two of them.
1- One story high
2- Another lie
3- Some folks
4- Frog booth
5- Your chance
7- Hard to find
8- Out that door
9- Credit card
10- The fall
12- I don't want you to go
13- Yesterday night
This is the only review (in english) I could find on this LP - it's on rocknrollradio.org : An anomaly on New York's garage-rock scene: when most of their peers were scouring exurbia for vintage paisleys and vinyl, this low-key quartet was creating some of the most carefully crafted pure pop to escape from those Seed-y halls!
I can't resist to add some notes myself:
This LP came out in 1989 on Midnight Records, and contains 9 originals written by D.Herrera and 4 tunes written by his friends. As you may noticed if you read the names in David's notes, the musicians in this record are the cream of the NYC garage scene: members of the Optic Nerve, the Fuzztones, the Headless Horsemen, the Mad Violets, the Blacklight Chameleons and others. More on the NYC scene you can read here. David John Herrera has a great web site, with much more info about Cheepskates.
I din't want to go in a track-to-track description, but here are a few notes, just to get you curious:
Some Folks - rock'n'roll with odd vocals.
Frog Booth begins with tribal rhythm from the bass of Orin Portnoy and the drums of Bob Baker and a slow surf riff, then Jon Weiss's sax hovers above and a psychedelic guitar takes the lead and lifts the whole track for a short flight.
Hard To Find & I Don't Want You To Go - These come as close as it can get to the first two Cheepskates' LPs, a bit wilder guitar in "Hard To Find" and Shane Faubert's organ in "I Don't Want...".
The Fall - A streight blues with some fine slide guitar from Mr.Herrera (in fact he plays all instruments in this track - and sings too).
As David Herrera wrote, this LP is long out of print and there's no chance for a re-release.
You can visit D.Herrera in myspace.
Thanks David for your offer.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Forever Amber must have worn out the grooves on their copy of the Zombies' Odessey and Oracle. Their rare 1969 LP, The Love Cycle, emulated the late-period Zombies rather well with its classically influenced melodies and careful harmonies
Probably the best private-press $1000+ LP from the UK, a Psychedelic Pop gem.
One of the most highly sought – after artefacts of the British Psychedelic area, having started life as The Country cousins, changed their name to the more evocative Forever Amber in response to shifting musical tide of 1967.Chris Parren – art student and keyboard player – was responsible for designing the sleeve for the band’s sole album, manufactured in a total quantity of 99 copies in order to avoid tax. The love Cycle was the brainchild of undergraduate john M. Hudson, an aspiring Brian Wilson style pop auteur who wrote the entire set, co produced it and also helped out on piano and harpsichord.
Bearing in mind the limitations of the set up – the six piece Forever Amber semi professional status, their extreme youth, the fairly makeshift studio facilities- The Love Cycle was a ludicrously ambitious work. The album featured non less than five lead vocalists over its 16 cuts, which ranged from ornate, Left Banke-leaning harpsichord based pop to full-blown psychedelic freak out.
The overall effects is akin to a low-budget garage band version of Zombies masterpiece Odyssey and Oracle, and would have been a notable achievement for a major label act.
Download Link :
Pittsburgh's Cynics have matured a great deal, musically speaking, in the decade they have been around, and it's a tribute to guitarist Gregg Kostelich and singer Michael Kastelic that the group's '60s garage/punk/folk/psychedelic visions of tender love and hard breakups has endured. Utilizing a revolving lineup of bassists and drummers, Kostelich and Kastelic have released five genre-spanning albums on Kostelich's own indie-wunderkind label, Get Hip
by Matt Carlson AMG
1. You got the love
2. Close to me
4. Took her hand
5. Waste of time
6. No friend of mine
7. Now i'm alone
8. Blue train station
9. On the run
10. Business as usual
11. Brother the man (from screaming apple out-of-print single non-album track)
12. Baby, what's wrong
13. Way it's gonna be
14. Get my way
15. Girl, you're on my mind
18. Blues in d
19. I got you babe (from sonny bono tribute album)
20. What you get
21. Get away girl
22. No way
23. Love me then go away
24. Cry, cry, cry
Each and every CYNICS release is a passage into the depths of simple, heartfelt punk rock. It should be noted that their live perfomances are more effective than their vinyl. A bit harder rock sound began to creep into bands style as the 90s dawned. But with their '94 album Get Our Way they proved they haven't forgotten any of
their influences and once again you hear incursions into Garage, Punk, Folk-Rock and even Psych (with surprising farfisa and theremin parts in a couple songs).....On the LATEST Record "Living is The Best Revenge" , the Title Track speaks for itself and the Live Band is Better than Ever!!!!....
Please check out the video of The Cynics! This video was originally aired for several months on MTV in 1990 / 1991, and now available on The Knights of Fuzz DVD
As an added note, I have known Gregg and Michael for 20 years now, and am glad to have the chance to create this space for them. Gregg, Michael, Steve Magee, and Beki Smith, were the first members I met. From 1987 to today, the nucleus of Gregg Kostelich and Michael Kastelic have maintained the energy, excitement, and impetus behind what continues as The Cynics today. I am very glad to know these guys, and am proud of their history in the
music business. They remain in the forefront of Garage Rock by far.
Mark Jerson 2006
Download It Here :
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Get it HERE.
The album "Vurulduk Ey Halkim Unutma Bizi" is a far more traditionally folky and mellow affair (file under "World")- I think there's only electric instruments on two of the tracks. This album also includes more folk cuts from earlier (1971-1973) singles as bonus tracks. This one just went over 100MB so I had to split it.
Get part 1 HERE and get part 2 HERE.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
A1 Pavan for My Lady 2:45
A2 General Clover Ends a War 2:12
A3 And How Am I to Know 4:45
A4 Album in Your Mind 3:01
A5 Zarathustra 3:30
B1 Fields of People 2:52
B2 Automatic Love 4:06
B3 I Wrapped Her in Ribbons 2:18
B4 Song of the City 2:08
B5 March of the Mad Duke's Circus 3:17
Ars Nova's sole release was intermittently intriguing eclectic psychedelic rock with a slight classical influence, as well as some unusual instrumentation in the bass trombone of lead singer Jon Pierson and the trumpet and string bass of Bill Folwell. The songs — often linked by brief interludes — are a mixed bag, though, that seem to indicate a confusion over direction, or a bit of a psychedelic throw-in-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. There are haunting tunes with a folk-rock base and a faint Renaissance ballad melodic influence, jaunty narratives with a vaudevillian air that bear the mark of then-recent albums such as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and harder-rocking period psychedelic tracks with a bent for unpredictable bittersweet progressions and vocal harmonies. It's unusual, and in some senses attractive. But to be less charitable, there's a sense of listening to a generic psychedelic band that sounds better than many such acts mostly by virtue of benefiting from Elektra's high-class production, here handled by Paul Rothchild of Doors fame. Put another way, the songs themselves aren't as good as their arrangements. "Fields of People," about the best of those songs, might be the most famous one here due to getting covered in an elongated treatment by the Move, who did a better job with it than Ars Nova.
With this LP, I guess it really depends on what you're into. If your looking for a heavy psych/rock masterpiece...don't go here! This is a very unique album by a very unique band formed in New York. It's made up of so many different musical styles ranging from Jefferson Airplane late 60s psych to almost medieval troubadourian dansa's or balada's. The term 'Ars Nova' pertained to a period in French medieval history, in the early 14th century. Translated it means 'new art or technique'. Listening to this LP is like a freaky acid trip back to that time! The band employs such a variety of instruments, you never know what you'll hear next. From psyched out distorted guitars, to banjos and bells, brass and classical instruments... really it's pretty amazing stuff! The music is quite varied throughout. It was originally released on the 'Elektra' records label in 1968, and I feel it's light years ahead of what anyone else was doing at the time, with the exception of maybe 'East of Eden' over in the UK. Paul A. Rothchild produced it, and you may recognize his name from the back covers of LPs by 'The Doors', 'Love' and 'The Stooges'.
Download Link :
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Solo album from one of the two masterminds behind the incredible Incredible String Band. This is a schizophrenic album to be sure, combining good-natured rockers with weird-yet-accessible avant-folk. The album opens with a killer one-two punch: the first cut is the dynamite soul-rocker "Call Me Diamond," which is followed by the wistfully loping "Flowers of the Forest," whose hook (the "deep is the river running through my life" part) is the best little melody Cat Stevens never wrote. After that we drop into "Very Cellular" territory for a couple of tracks, where we can enjoy weird modal melodies and raga excursions before returning to rock with "Warm Heart Pastry," where Heron's backing band is... The Who! It's a great song (with lyrics as questionable as the Stones' "Brown Sugar"), but Heron sounds a little overwhelmed by the musicians playing behind him, though my jury's still out on whether or not he's outclassed by his bandmates or just mixed too low. Then there's "Beautiful Stranger," which melds ISB-style verses with rousing rock choruses. And then... oh heck, just listen to it already!
*** QUALITY ALBUM ***
Get it HERE.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I love how the members of Hawkwind are always so grimy in their photos. It's the sort of grungy look you can only get by rolling around in a field all day because you're tripping--- which is something I suspect Hawkwind did quite a bit of. Someone said "more Hawkwind" at some point recently, so I thought I'd put this little treat in everyone's Easter basket.
Get it HERE.
Friday, April 06, 2007
01- Time will show the wiser
02- I don't know where I stand
03- If [Stomp]
05- Jack O'Diamonds
07- Chelsea morning
08- Sun shade
09- The lobster
10- It's alright Ma, it's only witchcraft
11- One sure thing
12- M1 Breakdown
13- Suzanne (Bonus)
14- If I had a ribbon bow (Bonus)
15- Morning glory (Bonus)
16- Reno, Nevada (Bonus)
Get this here:
02- Daughter Daughter
03- Old John Parker
04- I Am No More
05- Ballad Of Francis Albadalejo
06- Spinning Wheels Of Time
07- Romeo Jack
08- Mid Winter
09- Shades Of Grey
10- Emily Thru The Window Payne
11- Sea & Sand
12- Seven O' Clock Hymn
13- Seven O' Clock Hymn (Live-Bonus)
Get this here:
Thursday, April 05, 2007
2 The Drones - I'm Down Today
3 The Shademen - That's Tuff
4 The Untamed - Someday Baby
5 Peter & The Wolves - Hey Mama
6 Peter & The Wolves - I Can Only Give You Everything
7 Society's Children - Mr. Genie Man
8 The Heathens - The Other Way Around
9 The Legends - Alright
1 The Undertakers - Unchain My Heart
2 The Opposite Six - I'll Be Gone
3 The Purple Underground - Count Back
4 Trees - Don't Miss The Turn
5 Ray Columbus & The Art Collection - Kick Me
6 The E-Types - Put The Clock Back On The Wall
7 The Bad Seeds - All Night Long
8 The Del-Vetts - Last Time Around
9 The Grains Of Sand - She Needs Me
1 M.G. & The Escorts - A Someday Fool
2 The Wrong Numbers - I'm Gonna Go Now
3 The Glas Menagerie - Mod Threads
4 The Cave Men - It's Trash
5 The Treez - You Lied To Me Before
6 The 3rd Evolution - Don't Play With Me
7 Kinetics - I'm Blue
8 The Fallen Angels - Bad Woman
9 Powered By Love - Powered By Love
1 The Liverpool Set - Seventeen Tears To The End
2 The Triumphs - Lovin' Cup
3 The Little Boy Blues - The Great Train Robbery
4 The Little Boy Blues - I'm Ready
5 The Sound Barrier - Hey Hey
6 The Deverons - On The Road Again
7 The Omens - Searching
8 The Deepest Blue - Pretty Little Thing
9 The Decades - I'm Gonna Dance
Download vol1 Download vo2
Self-titled, unofficial compilation disc that steals its cover shot from El Loco - Los Dug Dug's website
01 - La Gente
02 - El Loco
03 - I Got My Emotion
04 - Lost In My World
05 - Eclipse
06 - Felicidad
07 - Ya Te Deje
08 - Cambia Cambia
09 - Al Diablo
10 - Lets Make It Now
11 - Smog
12 - Timido
13 - Brillo De Sol
14 - Donda Esta A.N.
15 - Voy Hacia El Cielo
"Boy do we love this band. An old, old favorite -- in more ways that one, since these guys hail from the '70s. When we first discovered 'em a few years back (via their track on the Love Peace & Poetry: Latin America compilation) and then got their albums on cd, we were like, why aren't they famous? Well, perhaps they are (or were?), in Mexico. Los Dug Dugs are, for us, a perfect blend of rock n' roll things we love: garage rock, psych-pop, power-prog. Lotsa cowbell, fuzz guitar, and flute, yes flute... Part Tull, part Beatles, part Kinks, part Kiss...pretty darn kick ass really." - Aquarius Records
"Long story shorter, the group began making a name for itself as teenagers playing the strip in Tijuana in 1966. They picked up a few gigs across the border in the States, and smuggled the sounds of American and British rock and roll back with them. The influence of outsider music went beyond simply chords and attitude--Los Dug Dug's also adopted the English language, becoming the first of their native brethren to sing in English. After gigging in Mexico City, the band--who was managed at the time by bandleader Armando Nava's father--was spotted and signed by RCA Mexico. Shortly thereafter, an American tourist heard them in Tijuana and offered to finance the band's attempt to break through in America's densely populated rock scene in the late-'60s. They flew to NYC, but ultimately failed to find success...
Back at home in Mexico, the group's music was received well and their fame began to rise... Then, just as Dug Dug's had proven to be trendsetters in switching to English vocals, they sparked an interest among Mexican bands to return to their Spanish roots. By the group's second album, recorded in 1972, the band had shrunk from a quintet to a trio and had switched back to singing in Spanish in the process. They went on to record a total of four albums in the '70s." - getLevitation
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
2 Thunderbirds - Just Let Me Know
3 The Escorts - The Last Time
4 The Tempos - You're Gonna Miss Me
5 The Hermon Knights - Don't Bring Me Down
6 The X-cellents - Walk Slowly Away
7 Thee Muffins - Not Fade Away
1 Oxford 5 - The World I've Planned
2 The Savages - Quiet Town
3 The Ones - Mister You're A Better Man Than I
4 The Foul Dogs - I'm A Man
5 P.J. Orion & The Magnates - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
6 The Fugitives - Said Goodbye
7 The Invictas - Do It
1 The Weekenders - Spring Weekend '65
2 Spiffys - Dreams
3 The Stowaways - Just A Toy
4 The Best - You Meant Nothing To Me
5 Society's Children - I'll Find A Way
6 Hard To Believe - Hard To Believe
7 Bobby J. & The Generations - Lost In Time
1 The Day After - The Graduate
2 Six Pence - Got A Girl
3 I.D.E.C. - Blues Theme
4 Noblemen - Under My Thumb
5 Grandma's Rockers - Talk Talk
6 The Summer Sounds - When Autumn Leaves Turn Brown
7 The Night Riders - Journey To The Stars
Download vol1 Download vol2
"14 us 60's garage-psych rarites "
2 The Avengers - Reflection
3 The Red-Lite District - I Gotta Know
4 The Sweetarts - A Picture Of Me
5 The Storybook People - Afternoon Glare
6 The Sound Effect - Season's Of A Man
7 Butterscotch Caboose - Can I Borrow Some Time
1 Underground Sunshine - 9 To 5 (Ain't My Bag)
2 The King's Horse - Colors
3 The Dirty Shames - Blow Your Mind
4 The Fourth Way - The Far Side Of Your Mind
5 The Omegas - I Can't Believe
6 The Ash - Fly Up Tight
7 The New Chains III - The End
Enjoy here @128
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
(as requested) @320
01 Behold & See (Gilded Lamp of the Cosmos)
02 Visions of Your Reality
03 Jazz Thing
04 Mind Flowers
05 Where You're At
06 Suite: Genesis of Beauty (In Four Parts)
07 Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse
08 Fragmentary March of Green
Richard Nese -Bass
Geoffrey Winthrop -Guitar, Sitar, Vocals
Ian Bruce Douglas -Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Keyboards
Barbara Hudson -Guitar, Vocals
Keith Lahteinen -Drums, Vocals
No need to say a lot about one of my favourite 60's bands.
If you liked the first Ultimate Spinach album, than you'll Love this one !
Mindblowing....or maybe better MindFlowering !
Since the big-traffic blogs I checked that were sharing this in past epochs all seem to have let their links expire, I doubt I'm stealing anyone's thunder by putting this up here and keeping it (deservedly) in circulation. Ahem: This album is a 1968 private pressing in an edition of only 150 copies. Rare as hen's teeth but far more enjoyable. Sweet, naive melodies crash into passionate performances and fuzz guitar solos, and that one microphone being held in position with a beer bottle somehow manages to capture everything necessary. The consensus seems to be that "Tables of Grass Fields" and "Minister to a Mind Diseased" are the best cuts, but I like to play people "My Independence Day." Two interlocking melodies and what-the-hell-is-he-talking-about lyrics. There are a couple of places where the album loses some momentum, but overall, this is seriously high-quality Nuggets-level 60s garage (pop?) (protopunk?) psych for the ages.
Get it HERE.
Sweden acid folk 1973 , srs4620 (silence)
This record is often called the best swedish acid-folk album ever. The music is a perfect mix between acid-folk, protest songs and psychedelic trips in the same vein as TRAD, GRAS OCH STENAR. The album includes all the best parts of acid-folk and psych as a long meditative track, but also funky tracks with tablas, violin, percussion, flute and sitar. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PIECE OF ACID-FOLK/PSYCH!
1. Glädjens blomster (3:07)
2. Kungen (4:11)
3. Att ta och att ge (3:57)
4. Åh pappa....ormarna ringlar (4:00)
5. Kvällen är här (3:29)
1. Min egen väg (5:52)
2. Skeppet (9:26)
3. Christiania (6:08)
Lightning-Rod Man - Lowell George
Lost - Lowell George
Candy Cane Madness - Lowell George
Slow Down - Lowell George
Smile, Let Your Life Begin - Lowell George
The Loved One - Lowell George
Sleep Tonight - Lowell George
No Place I'd Rather Be - Lowell George
Hey Girl! - Lowell George
Changes - Lowell George
Candy Cane Madness (live version) - Lowell George
Crack In Your Door - Lowell George
Teenage Nervous Breakdown - Lowell George
Framed - Lowell George
Juliet - Lowell George
Here's the AMG review: Lightning-Rod Man rescues 15 tunes cut by this unit, including the single and over a dozen outtakes and demos. Almost exclusively original material, most of these tracks were recorded in 1966 and 1967. They show the group pursuing a slightly eccentric folk-rock vision that neither bears much similarity to George's more famous work nor matches the best work done in this genre by their L.A. peers. A few songs cut toward the end of the decade feature a heavier, bluesier sound that show George edging in a different direction. Frank Zappa produced and played on a couple of the demos, and one-time Mothers of Invention members Elliot Ingber and Roy Estrada show up on a few others. An enjoyable vault find, but not a major revelation.
Lime Spiders - 1987 - The Cave Comes Alive
1- My favourite room
2- Are You loving me more
5- Just one solution
6- Blood from a stone
7- Just one solution
8- Action woman
9- Rock star
11- Space cadet
12- Theory of Thira
Mick Blood : Vocals
Tony Bambach : Bass
Gerard Corben : Guitar
Richard Lawson : Drums
Chris Abraham : Harmonical Organ
* Jim Zembis : Bouzouki on 12
* Bill Gibson : Backing vocals on 1 & 5
After a pile of singles the Spiders finally come out with the slab of vinyl that some of us at least have waited for with high expectations. They deliver with a massively accessible album of 60's influenced garage rock. And when I say 60's influenced I'm not talking about Sgt. Pepper or any of that ilk, but of the underground grungers like the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
The first side is the knockout punch...every track on it sounds like a 45 A-side. I'm particularly flipped out over the cover of Cream's "NSU" with its stunning drum parts, but there's no denying the fabulousity of "Just One Solution" or "Ignormy" either. These songs have blasting guitar, pummeling bass, searing vocals and punishing drums, and they hit one right after the other.
Turn it over and there are still some gems. The reprise of "Just One Solution" mellows things a little, but the pace returns with "Action Woman" and "Rock Star", neither of which has a hook of the side one material. "Jessica" is a slower song and not the sort of stuff this band really does well, but the record finishes in a blaze with "Space Cadet" and "Theory Of Thira".
The only complaint anyone could make about this record is that it plays its whole hand at once; the material is a little too accessible and doesn't grow on you at all. If you like it the first time you hear it, you'll keep liking it about as well. If you don't like it first listen, I doubt you'll change your mind. However, the same comment could be made about the Ramones, and they have made god knows how many classic albums now, so don't let this sort of talk scare you too much. - nkvdrecords.com
Lime Spiders - 1985 - Slave Girl (EP)
01- Slave Girl
02- That's How It Will Be
03- 25th Hour
04- Beyond the Fridge
06- Can't Wait Long
Monday, April 02, 2007
Awe-inspiring neopsychedelia from Swedish psych historian and musician Stefan Kery. OOP limited-edition vinyl release on the Xotic Mind label. Fantastic, intelligent jams with a beautiful balance between written-out sections and effortless grooving improvisation. Highly, highly, highly recommended! This is a nice, clean, VBR rip with full cover, label, and booklet photos.
Get it HERE.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Found this at:.
The musicians remained very active, Frost played in Rainbow Band/Midnight Sun and Savage Rose; Gudman in e.g. Culpeper’s Orchard, Mo-I-Rana, Savage Rose. Ingemann played with Skousen in Musikpatruljen also as a duo and guest musician. He played in No Name (album Fødelandssange - 1972), Dream City, as a session musician with folk-rock singer Sebastian.
01. Absolution 3:28
02. Drowning 3:40
03. Jesus Toy 3:31
04. Piece of Sky 3:52
05. So Far Gone 3:11
06. Can't Understand 4:39
07. Swinging Around 3:39
08. Manic Depression 3:41
09. Third Eye Shades 4:01
10. Crack Down 3:33
11. Our Tabs 1:04
Smell the Fragrance is the Dead Flowers' first album released in 1991. The psychedelic cover art is all paisley and solarized photos harkening back to those golden years of flower power. Dead Flowers music is a combination of aggressive punk and psychedelia. Ten of the eleven songs are original Dead Flowers tunes full of monotonous bass ostinatos that probably work well with drug induced trances. The non-Dead Flowers song is an excellent cover version of Jimi Hendrix' "Manic Depression". Smell the Fragrance is a decent debut album but only hints at what the Dead Flowers can do. "Can't Understand" just begins to suggest the Pink Floyd / Hawkwind cosmic jams that appear on Moontan. "Manic Depression" is the quasi-industrial "Third Eye Shades". These Dead Flowers have blossomed over the past two years and Smell the Fragrance is a good bench mark to use to chart their progress. ~by GEPR
Dead Flowers - 1993 - Moontan
01. Chocolate Staircase 5:13
02. Spiral Eye 3:55
03. Filling in Time 4:21
04. Through the World 9:06
05. Gaia's Love Hole 8:54
06. Hammer Rash 3:22
07. Slow Burn 4:00
08. Feed It 4:13
09. Gibberish 1:24
Light your sandalwood incense, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly. The Dead Flowers have released their second CD Moontan. Moontan opens with the powerful instrumental rock of "Chocolate Staircase" inviting comparisons to a hyper version of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun." These guys really cook! They then slow things down a bit with "Spiral Eye", a slow space rock jam in the tradition of Ash Ra and Hawkwind. Just when you begin to float among the pollen grains, Dead Flowers shatters the illusion and brings you crashing into the nineties with "Filling in Time" and its post punk shouting backed by sizzling guitars, bass, and drums. The Dead Flowers then sets their "way back" machine for a nine minute trip through "Thought World," a slow bluesy ballad that caused me to lose touch with time and space. I thought I was back in 1968 sitting in a smoke filled coffee house complete with black lights and strobes. Following on its heels is "Gaia's Love Hole," another slow contemplative trip filled with echoing flutes, guitars, electronics, birds, children at play, and strands of Beethoven. Suddenly, after a young child recites "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," the Dead Flowers make another mid-course correction slamming you back into the nineties with "Hammer Rash," a melding of Killing Joke and psychedelia. While your head is still ringing, "Slowburn" (not to be confused by the Peter Gabriel song) starts to heat things up with its fantastic guitar work and vocals. Somehow it reminds me of The Doors. Closing out the album is "Feed It" sounding as if the Dead Flowers mated Hawkwind's "In Search of Space" with Joy Division's "Closer." A curious and inventive one minute ditty of echoed and layered gibberish chanting follows "Feed It" but does not appear on the liner notes. Moontan is an exceptional and varied release by one fine new band. ~by GEPR
Dead Flowers - 1994 - Altered State Circus
part I ~ part II
01. The Elephants Eye was Eerie 8:49
02. Altered State Circus 5:00
03. Warmth Within (Chemical Binoculars) 10:35
04. Slouch Factor 9 8:19
05. Full Fist 4:17
06. Free the Weed 8:37
07. Vodaphone in Oz 13:14
Sadly now defunct, this wonderful band from the blue collar town of Newcastle in the north of England put out three stellar albums in the early 1990s. Altered State Circus, their finale, is such an awesome recording that I figure they must've called it a day simply because they knew this one couldn't be topped. From beginning to end, this album oozes trippy psychedelia at a level previously never seen. So it's not hard to figure out what they're referring to in tracks like 'Warmth Within (Chemical Binoculars)' and 'Free the Weed.' Guitarist Steev Swayambhunath, who derived his pseudonym from a buddhist temple in Kathmandu, is a master of both heavy, fuzzed-out riffing and light spacey leads and arpeggios. Vocalist Ferank Manseed similarly displays a wide range from whispering to bellowing, and gives the group an extra dimension that the Ozric Tentacles lack. As I like to say, Altered State Circus is the best Ozrics album they never made. ~ by Keith Henderson aural-innovations