Friday, April 18, 2008

September 2006 pt.2

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Ripped by @rcadium from cd at 320kbps
Blonde On Blonde
Personnel: RALPH DENYER gtr, vcls A LES HICKS perc, drms A B C RICHARD HOPKINS bs, keyb'ds A GARETH JOHNSON gtr A B C RICHARD JOHN bs B DAVE THOMAS hrmnca, bs, vcls, gtr B C GRAHAM DAVIES banjo, vcls, gtr, bs C KIP mellotron C
ALBUMS: 1(A) CONTRASTS (Pye NSPL 18288) 1969 R1 2(B) REBIRTH (Ember NR 5049) 1970 R1 3(C) REFLECTIONS ON A LIFE (Ember NR 5058) 1971 R1
NB: (1) was released on Janus (3003) in the US (3) reissued on CD (Repertoire REP 4308-WP) 1993. (1) reissued on CD as Contrasts... Plus (See For Miles SEECD 406) 1994 and (Repertoire REP 4521-WP) 1995, with the addition of the band's debut 45 on Pye.
45s: 1 All Day All Night/Country Life (Pye 7N 17637) 1968 2 Castles In The Sky/Circles (PS) (Ember EMB 279) 1970
Named after the title of Bob Dylan's 1965 album, this short-lived and little known Welsh outfit stands as one of the better 'unknown' bands. Even though they enjoyed strong reviews from music critics and achieved massive exposure playing before gigantic crowds at the 1969 Isle of Wight festival (coincidently headlined by Dylan), they never managed to generate much in the way of sales. Best of all - their three albums sported a tremendously talented guitarist in Gareth Johnson.
Formed in Newport, South Wales in 1967, the initial Blonde On Blonde line-up featured the talents of singer/guitarist Ralph Denyer, drummer Les Hicks, bassist/keyboard player Richard Hopkins and guitarist Johnson. Convinced they could make it in the big leagues, in 1968 the quartet packed up their gear, leaving Wales for London. Playing clubs such as London's Middle Earth generated a groundswell of publicity, with Pye Records eventually signing the band.
Contrasts, released in 1969 and produced by Barry Murray, has been described as progressive. To some degree, that's a major misnomer and disservice to the band. While there are some true progressive leanings, the majority of the set is simply too diverse to be dumped under such a broad and meaningless genre. These guys rather effortlessly manage to cover a wide range of genres, including hard rock (the leadoff jam Ride With Captain Max), folk (Island On An Island), psych (Johnson's Spinning Wheel sports a great sitar solo), and conventional pop (Jeanette Isabella and Goodbye - the latter featuring a beautiful harpsichord-propelled melody which would have made for a wonderful radio hit). Elsewhere, the album included a pair of the Robin Williamson covers No Sleep Blues and a blazing, feedback propelled I Need My Friend. A personal favorite was Denyer's hysterical Conversationally Making The Grade. Among the few blatant missteps was a needless horn enhanced cover of The Beatles Eleanore Rigby.
1970's Rebirth was released in the wake of a heavy touring schedule and a massive personal upheaval that saw singer/guitarist Ralph Denyer replaced by school friend David Thomas. (For some reason bassist Hopkins was also credited as 'Richard John'.) In the role of lead vocalist, Thomas was considerably more talented than his predecessor. The extra firepower provided by Thomas' versatile chops was apparent in the form of a tougher, rock oriented sound. That said, like the debut, their sophomore set was fairly varied, including stabs at Moody Blues-styled ballads (Castles In The Sky), progressive romps (You'll Never Know Me/Release) and fuzz-propelled rockers (November). As before, Johnson's versatile guitar provided many of the highlights - check out his scorching solos on Circle and Colour Question.
Compilation appearances include: All Day And All Night on Justafixation II (LP); Ride With Captain Max and Conversationally Making The Grade on Progressive Music (CD); Castles In The Sky and Circles on Circus Days Vol. 1 & 2 (CD) and Circus Days, Vol. 2 (LP); Spinning Wheel on Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers, Vol. 1 (CD). Castles In The Sky was also earlier included on an Ember compilation.
The group were the houseband on the TV programme 'How Late It Is'. Ralph Denyer later went on to Aquila.
(Scott Blackerby/Vernon Joynson)

SAD LOVERS AND GIANTS - feeding the flame

Watford, England's Sad Lovers & Giants made few headlines but some strong LPs, arguably the best of which, and certainly the most somber, is this collection. Its deftly played and arresting new wave/post-punk songs are built around Tristan Garel-Funk and David Woods' subtle evocations of mood. Singer Garce Allard's voice is at once brittle-sounding but self-assured. Both factors complement the sophisticated musical structures of songs such as "Imagination" and "Sleep (Is for Everyone)." They should be one of their generation's more celebrated discoveries, but sat out time on a label much less fashionable than, say, Factory. The intricacy of Garel-Funk's guitar on "Big Tracks Little Tracks" certainly puts them on a par with the Durutti Column. "Your Skin and Mine" has an innate grandeur that, keeping indulgence at arm's length, conveys a sense of pain and isolation that echoes Joy Division. It's an album that argues for a reappraisal of one of the '80s' best-kept secrets.

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posted by : innocent76

DEAD MOON - strange pray tell

Dead Moon, a three-piece from Clackamas, OR, is known for their own particular brand of rootsy garage punk. Their music conjures images of hard-luck easy riders and lovers against the world. While their sound alternates between moody and aggressive, it is always remarkably genuine and energetic. The band is fronted by the husband-wife team of Fred and Toody Cole. Fre began his enduring musical career at the very young age of 15. Many years and many bands later (after living through experiences as varied as homesteading in Alaska, dodging the Vietnam War draft, and hunting bears), the two formed a punk band called the Rats. Later, after adding Andrew Loomis on drums, Dead Moon was formed in 1987. Frequently on the road in Europe, where they have a huge and devoted following, widespread popularity in the U.S. has continued to elude them. For almost a decade, Dead Moon released LPs on their own Tombstone label. All of those releases are vinyl-only and were cut on the same lathe that the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie" was cut on back in 1963. In 1991, they began to re-release the vinyl-only albums onto CD through Music Maniac in Europe and eMpTy in the United States, an effort that continued into the new millennium.

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posted by : innocent76

THE PAUPERS - dig deep ( 1966- 1968 )

The Paupers were originally formed as the Spats in 1965 by lead guitarist Chuck Beale, bassist Denny Gerrard, guitarist Bill Misener and vocalist Skip Prokop. In 1966, Adam Mitchell replaced Misener and in 1968 bassist Brad Cambell joined the band after Gerrard departed. After two albums recorded in the late '60s, Magic People and Ellis Island, the Paupers broke up in 1969. Adam Mitchell went on to release a solo record in 1979, Redhead in Trouble, for Warner Bros..
This Dig Deep CD features very unique melodies and harmonies and songwriting. The Paupers utilized synchronized drumming patterns where 3 out of the 4 members of the band played percussion behind melodic, psychedelic guitar lines.

This cd is a collection of their two albums plus some unreleased tracks. The arrangements and songs are often breathtaking in their simplicity and breadth of influences: folk, folk-rock,psychedelia, three drum set percussion episodes and even koto! Like Buffalo Springfield, they just didnt stick around long enough for the masses to know they existed.This is one great document of much that was vibrant in popular music during 1967-68.

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part 2 had been i re-compressed the previous rar file...
so you have to extract part 2 first....and then both parts as one...

posted by innocent76

(4 Track EP)

Personnel incl:
A DEL DWYER ld gtr A
ERIC FRANCIS vcls, organ

1 Georgie Brown/Dawn Breaks Through (Some PS) (Eyemark EMS 1013) 1968
2 The Tide Is Turning/Place In Your Heart (Philips BF 1692) 1968
3 Spot The Lights/Uh (Philips BF 1731) 1968

Fulham in South London was this band's home turf and their debut 45 was released on a small blues label. The flip side, which was also recorded by The Purple Barrier for the same label suggesting that the two bands may have been the same, was good psychedelic pop but untypical of their style. They were then signed to Philips producing two lively pop 45s with Howard and Blaikley producing.

Spot The Lights eith its great discordant intro gives way to a pretty upbeat pop 45 with some good fuzz guitar and drumming which would have benefited from stronger vocals.Incredible Sound Show Stories, Vol. 1 also includes a harpsichord-dominated acetate, Shapes And Sounds, by this band. The sleevenotes reveal that they also recorded four songs for a Stuart Henry Radio One show in 1967, which have yet to be tracked down.
Alan Brooks was later in Punchin' Judy.

Compilation appearances include:
Dawn Breaks Through on Psychedelia, Vol. 3 (LP), Hen's Teeth, Vol. 3 (CD), Rubble, Vol. 11 (CD) and The Best Of Rubble Collection, Vol. 3 (CD)
Spot The Lights on Rubble, Vol. 17 - A Trip In A Painted World (LP), Rubble, Vol. 10 (CD), The Best Of Rubble Collection, Vol. 5 (CD) and English Freakbeat, Vol. 3 (LP)
Spot The Lights and Uh! on Rare 60's Beat Treasures, Vol. 4 (CD)
Shapes And Sounds and Dawn Breaks Through on Incredible Sound Show Stories, Vol. 1 (LP).

PS: It's a 10" EP / Nothing else seems to exist from this band in the reissue department.


Ripped by @rcadium from cd at 320kbps

Serpent Power
ALBUM: 1(A) SERPENT POWER (Vanguard VSD 79252) 1967
NB: (1) has had a limited repressing in the eighties and again (Akarma AK 053) 2000. (1) reissued on CD by (Vanguard VMD 79252) 198?. (1) also issued on CD together with David and Tina Meltzer's Poet Song (Akarma AK 053/054). A second album was also recorded but not released until 1998 Green Morning ( ).
A San Francisco band led by poet David Meltzer. He formed the band with his wife Tina in 1966. Ed Denton (then manager of Country Joe And The Fish) recommended them to Vanguard after hearing their first gig, a benefit for the Telegraph Group Neighborhood Centre on 27th November 1966. Stenson and Ellis had earlier played with The Grass Roots. The album is notable for some tasty mellow guitar work on tracks such as Gently Gently and Open House, whilst Tina's beautiful vocals are to the fore on Flying Away, a beautiful mellow song. However, the group are probably best remembered for the album's closing track Endless Tunnel, an ambitious amalgam of Western and Eastern musical styles. Now a mini collectors' item this album is recommended.
A second album, Green Morning, was recorded for Capitol but shelved until its release in 1998.
After the demise of Serpent Power, the Meltzer's made a further album, Poet Song, which is also worth obtaining.
Bob Cuff later joined the band from Mystery Trend. Moscoso later played for The Cleveland Wrecking Co. and eventually became a carpenter in Marin County.
Jean-Paul Pickens, who was one of San Francisco's legendary 'Diggers', and his friend Gene Estribou released an unusual and rare folk album, Intensifications (MEA Records ) circa 1967. (Pickens plays banjo solos on Side Two!)
(Vernon Joynson/Stephane Rebeschini/Clark Faville)


Blue-eyed soul, freakbeat and state-of-the-art girl pop, Sharon was one of the best voices of the time. This first-ever career retrospective features virtually all of her 1960s singles and several cuts from Sharon's legendary 1966 session at Stax in Memphis. by ALEC PALAO
IT READS LIKE a tragic fairy tale: how a full-throated, music-mad young Jewish girl from the suburbs of Johannesburg fell in love with a man of mixed race, and followed him to England, not knowing really what to expect. Arriving in London virtually penniless, they marry, he becomes her manager and both are thrust into the forefront of a vibrant music scene, with records, TV dates and an impending sense of success. Our heroine becomes the envy of the industry via recording sessions and gigs with some of the greatest American soul legends of the day, whilst simultaneously enjoying the benefit of a highly regarded homegrown backing outfit for stage and studio. But just as it seems everything is about to happen, this tremendous visibility rapidly fades, leading only to fractured relationships, ill-health and eventual disillusion.
Sharon Tandy had a recording career in her native South Africa, on her return there in 1970, as she had before leaving for Europe in late 1964, but it is with the spectacular intervening period the singer spent abroad that the long overdue compilation YOU'VE GOTTA BELIEVE IT'S SHARON TANDY is concerned. It was a whirlwind five years for the shy youngster, lived fully in the eye of the Swinging London hurricane, and overseen by the Svengali-like machinations of Sharon's mentor/manager/ erstwhile husband, Frank Fenter, who brought her to the UK with the unswerving belief that Sharon had what it took to become a star. Fenter also used his enviable position as head of Atlantic to wangle Sharon an opening slot on the famed Stax-Volt UK tour in March 1967 and, more importantly, dispatch her to Memphis to sign with Stax, where she became the first European-based artist to record at the company's hallowed East McLemore Avenue studio.
Such an opportunity would have been an extremely daunting prospect for even the most confident of artists, but Sharon pulled off her Stax adventure because she was and is a naturally soulful performer, who places feel and instinct above precision. At the time, her "exotic" voice was glibly described in the British press as being like "a good dry sherry", but Sharon Tandy was not the typical girl singer of the era. Her unusual phrasing instantly set her apart, and an attendant lack of training lent an organic intensity to her singing, an authentic rough edge that was absolutely in sync with the often bluesy material she chose to perform. On her early Pye sides, Sharon belts it out against the orchestrated arrangements with authority and power, but by 1967, signed to Atlantic, her taste moved to the funkier, rock-orientated repertoire performed she on stage with her backing band, UK freakbeat avatars the Fleur De Lys.
You've Gotta Believe It's Sharon Tandy includes virtually all the singer's UK singles 1965-69, upon most of which Sharon was accompanied by the Fleur De Lys - tracks such as Daughter Of The Sun and mod anthem Hold On have been sought-after collectors' items for years. Sharon was equally adept at pop, as evidenced by gems such as Perhaps Not Forever, and You've Gotta Believe It, the latter an absolute high-water mark of British girl recordings. And a full seven songs, including five previously unissued, derive from Sharon's legendary 1966 session at Stax, where she was backed by Isaac Hayes and Booker T & The MGs. The copiously illustrated package features an in-depth look at Ms Tandy's career, with her full co-operation.
Sharon's catalogue demonstrates the hugely versatile nature of her talent. Sharon Tandy was always a singer's singer, commanding wide respect within the industry. The nagging concerns of chart placement and commercial potential long since having faded, we are left merely with a great and unheralded body of work. Sharon's voice comes across on these recordings as many things - smooth and disciplined, achingly intimate, uncompromisingly soulful - but in the end, always simply and uniquely, Sharon.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Pink Fairies

Year: 1972
Line-up: Russel Hunter (drms), Duncan Sanderson (bs, vcls), Paul Rudolph (gtr, vcls), Trevor Burton (gtr, bs)

Tracks: Prologue - Right On, Fight On - Portobello Shuffle - Marilyn - The Pigs Of Uranus - Walk Don't Run - I Went Up, I Went Down - X-Ray - I Saw Her Standing There

"What A Bunch of Sweeties" is generally considered to be The Fairies’ weakest of their three main Polydor albums, but it’s an unfair comparison. Sure: the albums that chronologically flanked it fore and aft WERE better focused, maintained a consistently higher level of energy and direction throughout, etc. But The Pink Fairies were a casual proposition to begin with, based in all manner of freak flag flying in front of an anarchic musical backdrop of incorrigible racket making. Destined to be a group unrecognised for stability in any degree, the departure of Twink a year before the release of "Sweeties" left The Fairies as a trio comprised of Paul Rudolph (guitar and vocals), Sandy Sanderson (bass), Russell Hunter (drums) with occasional augmentation from ex-Move guitarist, Trevor Burton.
This left a songwriting void that left Rudolph to gather the songwriting reins in the manner he had three years earlier on The Deviants’ third, self-titled album. First and foremost a musician, Rudolph rose to the lyrical challenge by inserting guitar solos all over, vocally directing the tracks just off-microphone throughout and unveiling his newly acquired Leslie speaker system, through which the majority of his playing would be fed.
After the botched fake telephone skit of "Prologue" comes the boogie stomp anthem, "Right On, Fight On" as it cuts in after a false start. Relating the story of a police break-up at one of The Fairies’ free gigs with Hawkwind underneath the Westway overpass just off the Portobello Road, it’s rough and loose as hell. Russell Hunter stomps through the whole thing as Rudolph continues with hoarse exhortations of the title, to "come together" and to "keep a strong position" in a rallying cry over the loosest, blareing-est of street jams. "Portobello Shuffle" opens with a rollicking riff and another wake up call to "Roll out of your seats/Get out in the streets/There’s a new day a-comin’!" "Marilyn" opens with a Leslie-gunked guitar intro, slowed into a molasses-dragging, mandied-out sensation and a blatant excuse to discharge even more mindless, directionless energy. Sanderson’s bass repeats the same line over and over as Hunter gets primed for the drum solo as everything gets chopped down by Rudolph’s side-winding solo, getting churned into a froth by the Leslies into a fucked up, sloppy, needless and heedless and a stumbling, drug punk moment deluxe. Then a drum solo ensues for no real reason at all, and once that’s over, The Fairies bash out like their very lives depended on it. "The Pigs of Uranus" features lyrics taken from a Gilbert Shelton underground comic and set to a country/western send-up reminiscent of The Deviants’ "Let’s Drink To The People". The last two thirds of the track sees Rudolph stick it into high gear with a stinging, gun-slinging solo, abandoning all other attempts at lyrics and just going for it.
Side two is where the real heart of the matter lies on "What A Bunch of Sweeties", unfolding with the opening thud of tom-toms and a single strum across the bridge of Rudolph’s guitar resounds like a tidal wave with a rudely loud BRAAAANNNNNGGGGG! You can hear Rudolph bark vocal directives over the volume of his own amps and Hunter’s bank of swishing cymbals. From nowhere, the loudly recorded series of fierce waves of rebounding guitar undertow get thrown up and against the studio walls, set upon by Hunter’s persistently swishing cymbal accenting. Only you’d never guess it until the vocals vanish and the piece is kicked into high gear with a blistering, buzzsawing guitar blitz at ten times the speed of the original. Rudoplh just goes for it with an incredible, run-on solo which trashes up "Walk Don’t Run" beyond recognition. And since "Walk Don’t Run" was a staple in The Fairies’ live set for years, Rudolph had already adopted a number of ways to go with his extended improvisations here. Dis-chord after dis-chord it builds, with Hunter just thrashing it all out for the fuck of it until he picks up speed and catches Rudolph’s blinding velocity with snare hits. Rudolph goes for it at top speed until he’s already nudged himself back into the flight path of the main "Walk Don’t Run" riff.
The far, far gentler strains of the elongated and beautifully hazed out ballad, "I Went Up, I Went Down" appear in the form of the most over-Leslie speaker-ed riffing on the album. The sound is completely liquid-like as the guitar intro builds, falls away and begins to blossom as the seed for a simple, phased melody. The bass and drums enter slowly, over the almost-babbling brook guitar as a ballad of the girl with the special pills unravels about as much as Rudolph himself: the unnamed little pill soon sees him floating on a cushion far over Notting Hill Gate and flying all over the place. Viewing colours never seen before, the title continually repeats as though yo-yo-ing back like an in AND out of body experience that never stays. "X-Ray" is almost Blaxploitation-like in its wah-wah and chunky riffing counterpointing Hunter’s dazed, "Shaft"-type hi-hat pattern. It all gets skewered by a Leslie’d to death guitar riff as Rudolph proclaims he’s "ready/steady to rock and rave", and although it seems weary, it just pulls away from the threshold of collapsing. Even though it’s a Merseybeat-era Beatle cover, their version of "I Saw Here Standing There" is given an almost New York Dolls treatment as Rudolph’s twin overdubbed guitar separation allows for the same two-prong blitz of "Human Being". His riffing is so Thunders-like as it drives down the middle of the song, trashing it all up harsh enough it’s almost a parody -- especially when his vocals get all hoarse on the Little Richard-inflected "woooo"s. It ends the album on a quick flourish, and for all its inconsistencies, "Sweeties" just might be a more punk statement than one may have initially guessed...And at top volume it’s damn near undeniable.


Kings of Oblivion

Year: 1973
Line-up: Russel Hunter (drms), Duncan Sanderson (bs, vcls), Larry Wallis (gtr, vcls)

Tracks: City Kids - I Wish I Was A Girl - When's the Fun Begin? - Chromium Plating - Raceway - Chambermaid - Street Urchin

This was The Pink Fairies’ last stand right before the rot of inactivity from lack of funds set in and cancelled their Polydor contract. An album of soaring Marshall Superfuzz anthems and Ladbroke Grooves, this was their last album while they were still (for a short time, anyway) a cohesive unit. The undertow of Paul Rudolph leaving in 1972 and the sacking Mick Wayne after one shite single and a tour cancelled after a few gigs left The Fairies down to just the rhythm section of drummer Russell Hunter and bassist Sandy Sanderson. Their old friend Mick Farren suggested a replacement guitarist he knew from years earlier who had performed at the Phun City festival he had organized. The guitarist was none other than the GREAT Larry Wallis, who had moved onto later-period Blodwyn Pig and then UFO before Farren’s suggestion. Lazza Wallis is a true Pink Fairy if there ever was one! He brought not only his cranked Stratocaster riffing and a good sense of structured songwriting to hang his flowing reckless guitar style upon, but a gleeful sense of humour and overall wiseacre rock and roll sensibility. "City Kids" (co-written by Wallis and Sanderson) is a street punk anthem of raving, speeding, hanging out and when Wallis sings the line "Park the car/And ruuuuuun" it’s about as "Under My Wheels"-era Alice Cooper as it gets. "I Wish I Was A Girl" begins another musical fray with soaring intro guitar and Russell Hunter spraying all his cymbals like a Merseybeat Ringo on methedrine and if that’s Sanderson on bass it was his most pronounced playing ever on record. An elongated bridge in the middle continues as Wallis’ guitars have now four-folded into an overdubbed, pile driving ecstasy, yet it’s beyond mere boogie as the momentum keeps plateauing up and up. Lazza’s guitar is not only melody but rhythm as well, as Hunter and Sanderson keep getting in and out of sync and overcompensate with just thrashing it out. The title gets repeated over and over as a faded mantra to the back of this rough and ready work out. "When’s The Fun Begin?" is a Notting Hill Gate doper weaving down a deserted West London street, the only light his blurred vision can see is the reflection of street lights on the wet tarmac. It’s coiled and tense yet opiate-slackened at the same time, and Hunter’s bashing over Wallis’ foot-controlled police siren solo make the bust inevitable as the vocals are shoved into the back of a police van, the last words a panned, repeated phrase on the fadeout.
"Raceway" is where the three-man Fairies blast-out in a mid-sized hall at full volume with bright white overhead spotlights flicker on and off in an off-beat pattern catching the three longhairs in the act of proceeding to pummel the disbelieving audience. If Russell Hunter had four arms, he still wouldn’t be hitting half as many cymbals as he does here, and multiple Wallis solos are bending in the air over the trio. "Chambermaid" and "Street Urchin" round out an album most people weren’t expecting from The Pink Fairies at this point in time-a strong, vibrant testimony to their no-bullshit rock and roll. And live it was even shatteringly LOUDER than before, which is damn near incomprehensible and frightening to even think about.



THE OVERCOAT - three chords...and a cloud of dust

The infection blossomed in the spring of 1986, when Gassen pushed four other kindred cavemen into a Tucson, Arizona living room to cut their first demo. They didn't know it at the time, but they were triggering a chain reaction leading to international tours, MTV video airplay, college radio chart-toppers, and a tireless schedule of recording. That lovably crude demo turned into their debut "Groovy Little Trip" 45 for Los Angeles' Dionysus Records, and suddenly there was no turning back. The records started pouring out, and by 2005 more than 35 CD, LP, 45 and compilation appearances had seen release. Critics were confused, dumbfounded, or happily startled at the band's approach and delivery. "The best material here is capable of peeling the fluorescent paint off one's walls," wrote the Arizona Daily Star inresponse to their first LP, "The Inner Groove." Recorded for $250 in a friend's living room studio, "The Inner Groove" featured fuzzed Rickenbacker 12-string guitars, a vintage Sears toy organ, and vocals suitably delivered from the bathroom via a long microphone cable. Like most of their later records, it was also drenched in tremolo, reverb, Vox, Farfisa, and the wheezings of a broken old "Kustom Kraft" guitar amplifier. Bigger budgets and more elaborate studios ensued, with the resulting albums bringing more to cheer about. "The Overcoat has the roller coaster lilt of sheer pop and the feel of magic," exclaimed England's Unhinged Magazine, while back in the U.S., Buzz Magazine observed that The Marshmallow Overcoat "is the cerebral nugget that blows the lid off the underground!" The UK psychedelic bible Freakbeat Magazine contended their second album "Try On The Marshmallow Overcoat should be listened to 1000 times. This LP holds its own with the most revered of classics." And as the recording studio became a second home, so did the tour van. The Marshmallow Overcoat wore out countless tires on American and Canadian roads, blasting the fuzz and Farfisa throughout the hemisphere. A two month 1992 European tour prompted wild shows from Holland all the way to Greece as the band's sweaty stage show scorched the Continent. France's Kinetic Vibes Magazine wrote that the band "creates an apocalyptic universe of shapes and colours ... an alchemy of sounds that subliminally invade the depths of our minds and spin in the unexplored zones of our psyche." Italy's Davy Magazine also reacted strongly to the European invasion. "Like a piece of wood left too long in the rain, The Overcoat has assumed weird and twisted forms. Music from the last outpost of the world could hardly be more mysterious." The band wore their influences on their sleeves — literally. Paisley shirts (long sleeve and buttoned at the top, of course), shaggy hair, Beatle boots and pegged-leg pants were the normal attire, on stage or off. Musically, they gladly credited the cream of the original 1960s garage/psych crop as their fathers. The Marshmallow Overcoat's records are jammed with loving nods to The Electric Prunes, Chocolate Watch Band, Blues Magoos, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Music Machine, among countless others.

Track listing
1. Season Of The Witch
2. Sidewinder
3. The Mummy
4. Invisible People
5. Echoes
6. The Garden Path
7. Question Of Temperature
8. The Bag I'm In
9. Eggheads
10. Getaway Girl, Getaway World
11. The Good's Gone
12. Tried To Hide

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Crooked Oak- From Little Acorns Crow
Uk 1976 Folkland

Crooked Oak:From Little Acorns Grow Original UK LP on the Folkland label with catalogue number FL 0102. This is a private pressing from 1976..

This is now a very rare and highly rated UK folk LP with acid and progressive inclinations.
Superb in every way.


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Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Artist: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick & David Freiberg
Title: Baron Von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun
Date: 1973
Label: Grunt / RCA Records BFL-1-0148
Illustrations: Drew Struzan, Bill Garland
Eye Photography: Jim Marshall
Album Design: Pacific Eye & Ear

Notes: When the Jefferson Airplane stopped flying its members could be found creating music of both a new and a familiar style. And any record that has Papa John Creach is worth at least a spin of two. Through in a dash of the Grateful Dead and a pinch of scattered influences and there you have it. Grace Slick would write and sing most of the selections and it lends a certain sameness to the record. But, for those who enjoy her style this is a very good thing. The influence of the SF Bay community that turns out for this record is felt all through the ten selections offered here. And what can you say about the cover art? A stripped to the meat-of-the-matter trio strike a pose on the front and the back cover appears to picture orbital mechanics and classic sculpture. I leave it to the viewer to impart his/her own meaning. For fans of the period.

Line Up:
John Barbata: Drums
Chris Ethridge: Bass
Jerry Garcia: Banjo, Guitar
Craig Chaquico; Guitar
David Crosby: Guitar, Vocals
Jack Traylor: Vocals
Jack Casady: Bass
The Pointer Sisters: Vocals
Papa John Creach: Violin
Mickey Hart: Drums
Jorma Kaukonen: Guitar

Track Listing
Side 1
Ballad of the Chrome Nun
Flowers of the Night
Your Mind Has Left Your Body
Side 2
Across the Board
Harp Tree Lament
White Boy
Sketches of China


THE ZIPPS - Be Stoned! Dig: Zipps

Dutch freakbeat band the Zipps formed in Dordrecht, the Netherlands in the fall of 1965. Lead guitarist Peter Nuyten and drummer John Noce Santoro previously teamed in the Moving Strings, who issued a pair of singles on the Delta label before dissolving, while singer/guitarist Philip Elzerman and vocalist Jan Bek came to the Zipps lineup from the Beat Town Skifflers, and bassist Theo Verschoor tenured in the Twilights. Bek quit the Zipps prior to the release of their debut single, "Roll the Cotton Down," issued in early 1966 on the Op-Art label; after signing to the Relax label, the group issued two more singles that year, "Chicks and Kicks" and "Beat and Poetry." Beginning with 1967's "Marie Juana" — a record which required significant lyrical revisions before Relax censors would agree to its release — the Zipps steered their garage-influenced sound towards psychedelia, and thanks in part to their hallucinatory light show, they earned the sobriquet "The Dutch Pink Floyd"; Elzerman openly espoused drug use in interviews, and stickers reading "Be Stoned! Dig: Zipps Psychedelic Sound" were distributed at live dates. After backing French pop singer Philippe Salerne on his singles "Elle" and "Venez Voir Comme On S'Aime," the group replaced Santoro with drummer Wim Klein, but after a December 1967 date in support of the Electric Prunes and the Soft Machine, the Zipps dissolved when Nuyten, Verschool, and Klein all announced their exit. Elzerman and Santororeformed the group in early 1968, adding guitarist Dick VisschersDick Visschers and bassist Ruud van Seventer for one final single, 1969's "When You Tell It, Tell It Well..!" The Zipps eventually disbanded for good, and in 1999, the Dutch label Pseudonym compiled all of their singles, the Philippe Salerne sessions, and a handful of live cuts for a retrospective titled Be Stoned! Dig: Zipps. In December 2001, a Zipps lineup consisting of Elzerman, Nuyten, Santoro, van Seventer, and former Heatwave keyboardist Janco Barut reunited for a hometown performance in Dordrecht; the following year, "Chicks and Kicks" was included on the second Nuggets box set.

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Pete Fine
PETE FINE gtr, vcls, perc, organ A
SAM HARDESTY vcls, perc A
(ROB LEON piano, timpani A)

NB: Plus a seven-piece string section and two French Horn players.


NB: (1) issued in plain cover with front and rear paste-on slicks, with insert. Info on LP labels is rubberstamped, and here the title is On A Day Of Crystalline Thought. Reissued on vinyl (Shadoks Music 003) 1998 and CD (Shadoks Music 003) 1999.

Totally different from his earlier band The Flow, Pete Fine changed direction completely after relocating to Arizona and the results were no less stunning. Classical and rock themes merge, as do electric and accoustic guitars, and male and female vocals. All the material was written by Fine. It's a difficult record to describe as nothing really sounds like it! The recordings were made in New York where the core band were joined by area musicians, including The Flow bassist Monte Farber. Some material written by Fine for The Flow reappears here in a different light and is no less effective. Obviously, this album is recommended but as only 100 copies were pressed, obtaining an original is a difficult and expensive proposition at this point. The original pressing was not audiophile quality, either - the Shadoks reissue has better sound than any original I've heard. Certainly not for most garage fans, however.

Fine's next project was Northstar, a progressive hard rock outfit (1975-76) that left behind an hour of studio recordings which will see release soon. Imagine The Flow with a female vocalist...
(Clark Faville)

Just others - Amalgam

Just Others- Amalgam

UK 1974

I Do Not Know Your Name
Question Of Emotion A
Ballad Of Lady Ann
We Are Not Alone
Close Your Eyes To The Sun
Concerning A Lost Love
I Miss You
Song For All Seasons
Ballad Of A Londoner
Where Is He?
A Dialogue Between A Young Man And The Night
At The End Of The Rainbow
Sing For Me

Folk rock with amazing sound ...can't explain..... great guitar work, fragile vocals and symphonic work sometimes.

It's melancholy, naive feeling on a sunshine saturday morning. (Lizardson)

This a really rare masterpiece

the story behind this unknow gem

And the music @192



Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wizz Jones - When I Leave Berlin

Village Thing Records VTS24

This was a return to the Bristol studio for Ian A Anderson's label. It was around the time I tried writing songs and not just relying on my Alan Tunbridge source. I remember driving down with Bert Jansch in my old VW Beetle to record my song 'Freudian Slip'. We drove back to London in the early morning hours through the pouring rain. It was only after I had dropped Bert off at his home that I discovered that the floor in front of the passenger seat was an inch or two deep with rain water - and Bert never said a thing to me about the leak - what a trouper!

This LP was notable for the emergance of what was to become the group 'Lazy Farmer', featuring my wife Sandy on 5-string banjo, Don Cogin also banjo, John Bidwell on Flute, and Jake Walton on guitar and dulcimer.

Hunt and Turner - 1972 - Magic Landscape

Hunt and Turner - 1972 - Magic Landscape
Village Thing Records VTS 11

Amazing acoustic folk rock like Dave Evans or Chris Thompson
Unfortunatelly no info.

Your link

Dave Evans - The Words In Between

Village Thing records VTS 6

The late '60s and early '70s were a golden age for British folk guitar. It wasn't enough to be just a singer/songwriter; you were expected to be a really good guitar picker too. Dave Evans was not simply good, he was a real original. With tunings and chord sounds that nobody had produced before, an agile and bouncy picking style, a self-made guitar that rang like a bell, a nicely creaky and lived-in vocal style, and songs that told down-to-earth stories - well-observed little vignettes about real people - his 1971 debut The Words In Between was head and shoulders above many other now-cult artefacts from that era. This long overdue re-issue on its 30th anniversary adds 5 tracks from his 1972 album Elephantasia.

Your Link

Very recommended for Chris Thompson, John Renbourn ... etc lovers

Seventh Dawn - 1976 - Sunrise

Seventh Dawn - Sunrise 1976

Here's some info from Fuzz, Acid & Flowers :

ANN MUNSON vcls, acoustic gtr, synth
BIL MUNSON vcls, gtr
ERIC MUNSON vcls, bs
HEFF MUNSON vcls, keyb'ds, synth, drms

1(A) SUNRISE (Fantasy Worlds Unlimited) 1976 R3
NB: (1) Just 200 copies were pressed originally, but it has been reissued
(Project Aquarius PA 001) in 1995 as a limited numbered edition of 275.

The tracks comprising this Virginia album date from 1970 thru' 1976. It varies from very soft female-vocal 'folk-psych' to melodic keyboard dominated proggy-rock with flowing guitar. Nothing heavy at all about this quartet. File in the 'hippie-rock' genre because of its gently drifting feel and odes to nature (The Snail and Robin), not necessarily as a put-down.
Their album was recorded as a project for an electronic music course at Virginia Commonwealth College.

A second album called Dreams was recorded but not released. This was a more progressive effort. The band soldiered on until the early eighties, playing their farewell gig at a college for the deaf!

Your Link

Monday, September 25, 2006





From New York, produced and arranged by Teddy Vann, this is an album which gets a mixed response from collectors. Some like it, claiming that it's Hendrix inspired psych soul rock here, on tracks like Rat Race or Kickin' 9 to 5, and deserves to be heard. Others hate it, citing awful vocals and weak material. Featuring a trio plus anonymous drums and occasional organ and violin, the album came housed in a gatefold sleeve with pictures of the trio being crucified on flower crosses and various religious symbols. The liner notes explained that "Golgotha music was one of the few surviving vestiges of truth. Its prophets of love and truth such as BB King, Bob Dylan, Donovan, Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie and Joan Baez sang the psalms of time. The crucifixion of the social heroes of the day, Martin Luther King, John and Robert Kennedy, has made even bigger demands on the importance and value of music, thus creating new prophets of love and truth". It is rare and therefore sought-after by some collectors, though others advise to avoid it at all costs. (Clark Faville/Stephane Rebeschini)


Mouse And The Traps - The Fraternity Years (1966-68)


Mouse and The Traps Personnel: BUDDY 'BUGS' HENDERSON ld gtr A JERRY HOWELL keyb'ds A B KEN MURRAY drms A B C D DAVE STANLEY bs A B C D RONNIE WEISS gtr, vcls A B C D DOUG RHONE ld gtr B C BOBBY DALE keyb'ds C BOBBY DELK D ALBUM: 1 THE FRATERNITY ALBUM (Fraternity ) 196? NB: (1) not issued. There are also two retrospective compilations: Public Execution (LP) (Eva 12001) 1981, later issued on CD, and Fraternity Years (CD) (Big Beat CDWIKD 171) 1997. 45s: 1 A Public Execution/All For You (Fraternity 956) 1966 2 Maid Of Sugar, Maid Of Spice/I Am The One (Fraternity 966) 1966 3 Would You Believe?/Like I Know You Do (Fraternity 971) 1966 4 Do The Best You Can/Promises Promises (Fraternity 973) 1967 5 Cryin' Inside/Na Ya (Fraternity 989) 1967 6 L.O.V.E. Love/same (Fraternity 1000) 1967 7 L.O.V.E. Love/Lie, Beg, Borrow and Steal (Fraternity 1000) 1967 8 Sometimes You Just Can't Win/Cryin' Inside (some PS) (Fraternity 1005) 1968 125 9 I Satisfy/I Satisfy (long and short versions) (Fraternity 1011) 1968 10 I Satisfy/Good Times (Fraternity 101 1) 1968 11 Requiem For Sarah/Look At The Sun (Fraternity 101 5) 1968 12 Wicker Vine/And I Believe Her (Bell 850) 1969 13 Knock On My Door/Where's The Litte Girl (Bell 870) 1969 NB: Flip to (1) as Mouse. (6) and (9) promo only. This band played in Tyler, Texas between 1965-69. Their founders Ronnie Weiss and Dave Stanley and Jeff Howell had all previously played together in an outfit called Jerry Vee and The Catalinas. Weiss had also done studio work for Robin Hood Brians studio. Lead guitarist Bugs Henderson joined from an instrumental combo called The Sensors and played on some of The Cast of Thousand's 45s. Their first 45, a Dylan soundalike, actually made the Billboard charts climbing to No. 121. The follow-up was as good, if not better, but poorly marketed and failed to repeat their early chart success. A later 45 Sometimes You Just Can't Win (Fraternity 1005) did spend one week at No 125 and was also a regional hit in Tyler and Louisville, Kentucky. The band also recorded a couple of 45s under pseudonyms:- I've Got Her Love/As Far As The Sea (Fraternity 983) 1967 was issued as Chris St. John and in the same year they issued Psychotic Reaction/13 O'Clock Theme For Psychotics (HBR 500) 1967 with the singer Jimmy Rabbit as Positively Thirteen O'Clock. Their two Bell 45s were produced by Dale Hawkins and the band were included on two of his 45s and his LP, L.A., Memphis and Tyler, Texas (Bell 6036). The Eva compilation includes all of their 45s except Satisfy/Good Times and has also been issued on CD, but even better is the legitimate Fraternity Years CD (Big Beat CDWIKD 171) 1997, which includes 25 tracks, including 7 unreleased cuts and detailed analysis from Alec Palao and Robin Hood Brians. The band split late in 1969. There was a very brief reformation in 1972 (line-up 'D') and Weiss, Stanley and Murray then went on to play together in another Texas band, Rio Grande. Buddy 'Bugs' Henderson now has a pretty fair reputation in Texas as a "legendary blues guitarist." He currently records for a Colorado indie named Flat Canyon Records, and has solo LP releases that fall outside the scope of this book. Compilation appearances have included: A Public Execution on More Nuggets (CD), Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (Dble LP), Nuggets, Vol. 6 (LP), Texas Music, Vol. 3 (CD) and Excerpts From Nuggets (CD); A Public Execution and Maid Of Sugar - Maid Of Spice on Nuggets Box (4-CD); Maid Of Sugar, Maid Of Spice on Nuggets, Vol. 12 (LP), Acid Dreams - The Complete 3 LP Set (3-LP), Acid Dreams Testament (CD), Glimpses, Vol's 1 & 2 (CD) and Glimpses, Vol. 1 (LP); I Satisfy on Psychedelic Unknowns, Vol. 4 (LP & CD); I Satisfy and Good Times on Sixties Archive Vol. 2 (CD) and Texas Punk Groups From The Sixties (LP). (Vernon Joynson / Max Waller / Paul Moffett)



The Vagrants Personnel:
LARRY WEST bs, vcls A
LESLIE WEST gtr, vcls A

1(A) THE GREAT LOST ALBUM (Arista AL-8459) 1987
2(A) I CAN'T MAKE A FRIEND (Southern Sound SS-101/204) 1996
NB: (2) is an unauthorised compilation of singles tracks plus an unreleased version of Satisfaction which would put Vanilla Fudge to shame!
1 Oh Those Eyes/You're Too Young (Southern Sound 204) 196?
2(A) I Can't Make A Friend/Young Blues (PS) (Vanguard 35038) 1966
3(A) The Final Hour/Your Hasty Heart (Vanguard 35042) 1966
4(A) I Love, Love You (Yes I Do)/Respect (Atco 45-6473) 1967
5(A) A Sunny Summer Rain/Beside The Sea (Atco 45-6513) 1967
6(A) And When It's Over/I Don't Need Your Loving (Atco 45-6552) 1968

An historically interesting punk band from Forest Hills, Long Island, New York. Leslie West later helped out Jolliver Arkansaw (a quartet with Felix Pappalardi, who evolved out of Bo Grumpus), Mountain and West, Bruce And Laing. He also issued three solo albums and has done session work for Bo Diddley, Bobby Keys and Mylon Lefevre, among others. Younger brother, Larry West went on to Haystacks Balboa, who issued an album on Polydor in 1970. Jerry Storch went solo and released one album on RCA. Respect is now their best known track due to its inclusion on the classic Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (Dble LP) compilation and later on Nuggets, Vol. 2 (LP) and Nuggets Box (4-CD) but the compilation Hipsville 29 B.C. (LP) included the 'A' sides of their first two 45s. Their later 45s tended towards a heavier sound but were still punkish and occasionally stunningly powerful, especially A Sunny Summer Rain which knocks spots off other East Coast 'heavies' at the time. Beside The Sea and And When It's Over are also decent fuzz-crunchers. Somehow success always seemed to elude them but thankfully Arista's retrospective collection goes some way to redress that. It contains three of the four sides released on Vanguard, all six of the Atco sides, and an unreleased My Babe. The pirate collection on Southern Sound includes both sides of their rare debut 45, the Vanguard track omitted from the Arista album, and an amazing 13'00" studio version of Satisfaction with backwards guitar segments and demented echo effects. Both collections are recommended.



Family Tree Personnel: NEWMAN DAVIS drms A MIKE OLSEN (LEE MICHAELS) keyb'ds A BOB SEGARINI gtr, vcls, keyb'ds A B C D BILL WHITTINGTON bs, gtr A B C MIKE DURE gtr B C D VAN SLATTER drms B C D BILL 'KOOTCH' TROACHIM bs, vcls C D JIM DECOCQ keyb'ds D ALBUM: 1(D) MISS BUTTERS (RCA LSP 3955) 1968 45s: 1 Prince Of Dreams/Live Your Own Life (Mira 228) 1967 2 Do You Have The Time?/Keepin' A Secret (RCA 9184) 1967 3 Slippin' Thru My Fingers/Miss Butters (RCA 9565) 1968 4 He Spins Around/She Had To Fly (RCA 9671) 1968 5 Terry Tommy/Electric Kangaroo (Paula 329) 1970 Segarini and Whittington formed this band when The Brogues dissolved in late 1965. They based themselves in San Francisco. In the Summer of 1966 they signed for Mira issuing the above 45. The 'A' side was a folk-rocker notable for strong vocals and a prominent harp. The flip side merged folk rock and Merseyrock. A further seven tracks were also recorded for Mira to put out on an album which never materialised. (The tracks were Good Day, May I Ride With You, He Doesn't Come Around, Up In The Air, Beggar, She Reads Magazines and Observations.) After this Mira release, which was a minor hit in Northern California, the group were offered a recording contract by RCA and made the above concept album which was rather ahead of its time and Beatlesque in influence. The Miss Butters 45 was taken from the album, the others were non-LP. As neither the album nor the singles sold RCA dropped the band in 1969. Segarini and DeCocq later formed Roxy. Olsen pursued a solo career as Lee Michaels and Segarini and Kootch were later in The Wackers. Segarini also recorded a series of solo albums in the late seventies. Compilation appearances have included: Prince Of Dreams and Live Your Own Life on Mindrocker, Vol. 8 (LP).


Livin' Love - 1969

The Feminine Complex Personnel incl: MINDY DALTON vcls, gtr A JUDY GRIFFITH vcls, perc A ALBUM: 1(A) LIVIN' LOVE (Athena 6001) 1969 R1 NB: (1) reissued on CD (Teen Beat ) and vinyl (Gear Fab GF 207). 45s: 1 I've Been Working On You / Six O'clock In The Morning (Athena 5003) 1968 2 Forgetting / I Won't Run (Athena 5006) c1968 3 Run That Thru Your Mind / Are You Lonesome Like Me (Athena 5008) c1969 From Nashville, the Feminine Complex was an all girl rock quartet. Their album combines garage rock and pop ballads. It's worth noting that the liner notes were penned by John Buck Wilkin, the leader of Ronny and The Daytonas. Mindy Dalton later had a 45 as Mindy and The Complex. The album is beginning to attract collectors, but is quite easy to find. The recent CD reissue adds several bonus tracks. One of the LP tracks, Hide and Seek, has also resurfaced on Project Blue, Vol. 2 - Psychedelights 1966-70 (LP). (Stephane Rebeschini/Max Waller/Clark Faville)



Ripped @320kbps by arcadium
Travel Agency
Personnel incl: FRANK DAVIS gtr, vcls A
ALBUM: 1(A) TRAVEL AGENCY (Viva 36017) 1968
45s: 1 Time/Made For You (Tanqueray 20102) Dec. 1966 2 Time/Time (Kookaburra 502) c1967 3 What's A Man/She Understands (Viva 637) 1969
This outfit formed in 1968 in San Francisco after Davis left Bob Segarini's band US. Davis, originally from Texas, had earlier worked at the Walt Andrus studios and some of his studio work can be heard on the Fever Tree albums. Davis also wrote Grand Candy, Young Sweet on Fever Tree's second album. The Travel Agency album was produced by James Griffin (later of Bread) in Los Angeles and issued on Leon Russell's Viva label. Side One is much stronger with some fine fuzztone guitar work on Cadillac George and some gentle, more folksy love songs like Lonely Seabird and So Much Love. Contrast with this fast commercial rockers like Make Love and Old Man, the catchy That's Good and the unusual instrumental intro to What's A Man, the album's opening track, and you can see their material was of some diversity. Perhaps because of that, it remains underrated and therefore still reasonably priced.
After this project Davis went back to Houston, Texas where he recorded an album Metamorphosis which was never issued and then returned to studio engineering.
There is still some confusion surrounding this band... or bands, not helped at all by the lack of personnel and credits on the album. The first two 45s shown above could be by a totally disparate group. Hopefully someone will straighten us out. In the meantime... The Tanqueray 45 is breezy L.A. pop-rock with chiming guitar and a folk-rock feel - infectious after a few plays. Song credits imply a personnel of Haelh, Bushy and Beal at that juncture. Another 45 on Kookaburra couples Made For You with M.F.Y. - two versions of the Travel Agency track - but as by Act III.
(Vernon Joynson / Max Waller)


Saturday, September 23, 2006

01.) Gene Machine (Gareth Johnson) -
02.) I Don't Care (Gareth Johnson - Dave Thomas) -
03.) Love Song (Dave Thomas) -
04.) Bar Room Blues (Dave Thomas) -
05.) Sad Song for An Easy Lady (Dave Thomas) -
06.) Ain't It Sad Too (Graham Davies) -
07.) The Bargain (Dave Thomas) -
08.) The Rut (Dave Thomas) -
09.) Happy Families (Gareth Johnson) -
10.) No.2 Psychological Decontamination Unit (Gareth Johnson) -
11.) Chorale (Forever) (Gareth Johnson) -

1971's "Reflections On a Life" was recorded in the wake of a personnel shakeup that saw original guitarist Ralph Denyer replaced by multi-instrumentalist Graham Davies. With drummer Les Hicks and guitarist Gareth Johnson sharing production responsibilities, the result was the band's most conventional, commercial and too some extent pedestrian release. With a couple of exceptions ('Happy Families' and the sound collage 'No.2 Psychological Decontamination Unit'), the band's earlier progressive moves were largely absent from their third set. That said, the album certainly started out with a bang. Complete with backward tapes, bizarre sound effects and ominous vocal treatments, the Gareth Johnson penned 'Gene Machine' was easily the wildest thing the band ever recorded. From there on it was far less experimental and less interesting (though side two's 'The Rut' continued the psych mood). With Johnson, Dave Thomas and Graham Davies splitting songwriting chores tracks like 'Love Song' and 'Bar Room Blues' found the band exploring a modest country/folk-rock orientation, while 'I Don't Care' and 'The Bargain' pursued a surprisingly conventional AOR sound. The performances were never less than sterling and the band excelled at injecting interesting touches throughout the collection (check out the Eastern influences that cropped up at the end of 'Ain't It Sad Too'), making the entire album worth hearing. In case anyone cared, propelled by a killer lead guitar 'Sad Song for An Easy Lady' and the pretty ballads 'The Bargain' (which I could swear I've heard elsewhere) and 'Chorale (Forever)' were easily the album's standout performances.

Magma (French) - 1971 - Live Theatre 140, Bruxelles

Concert 1971, Bruxelles - Théâtre 140 (Live, 1996)

- Christian Vander / drums, vocals, organ, percussion
- Francis Moze / bass
- Klaus Basquiz / vocals, percussion
- Teddy Lasry / clarinet, sax, flute, vocals
- Jeff Seffer / sax, bass clarinet
- Louis Toesca / trumpet
- Francois Cahen / acoustic & electric piano

Track listing
1. Stoah (5:23)
2. Kobaia (7:24)
3. Aina (6:17)
4. Riah Sahiltaahk (19:09)
5. Iss Lansei Doia (11:20)
6. Ki Iahl O Liahk (9:36)
7. Sowiloi (Soi Soi) (6:58)
8. Mekanik Kommandoh (17:19)
(for the very first time live)
Total Time: 83:26

This album is an 'official' bootleg recorded in Brussels at Theater 140 the 12th of November 1971. This was the first public performance of Mekanik Kommandoh which became the basis for their landmark Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh.

It is a offficial bootleg so don't expect 100% perfect sound quality. This album is probably for Magma fans only.

The album contains three songs off of Kobaia. Stoah, Kobaia, and Aina. The whole of the 1001 Degrees Centigrade album, and two works in the formative phases at that point. The aforementioned Mekanik Kommandoh, and Sowiloi which would turn up later on the outakes album Inedits.

Magma is a French progressive rock band founded in 1969 by classically-trained drummer Christian Vander, who claimed as his inspiration a "vision of humanity's spiritual and ecological future" that profoundly disturbed him. In the course of their first album, the band tells the story of a group of people fleeing a doomed Earth to settle on the planet Kobaïa. Later, conflict arises when the Kobaïans — descendants of the original colonists — encounter other Earth refugees. A remarkable aspect of Magma's albums is that Vander actually invented a constructed language, Kobaïan, in which most lyrics are sung. Later albums told different stories set in more ancient times; however the Kobaïan language remained an integral part of the music.

Part I
Part II

The Pink Fairies - 1971 - NeverNeverLand

track list :
01. Do It
02. Heavenly Man
03. Say You Love Me
04. War Girl
05. Never Never Land
06. Track One, Side Two
07. Thor
08. Teenage Rebel
09. Uncle Harry's Last Freakout
10. The Dream Is Just beginning
11. The Snake
12. Do It - Single Edit
13. War Girl - Alternate Extended Mix
14. Uncle Harry's Last Freakout - First Version

(ripped by Opa-Loka @320)
Part I Part II


Released over a year after their formation, “Never Never Land” is one freakin’, rockin’-rollin’ monster. The group formed in early 1970 around ex-Deviants Paul Rudolph (guitar and vocals), Sandy Sanderson (bass), Russell Hunter (drums) and the recently ex-Pretty Things drummer and vocalist, Twink. At their first gig at The Roundhouse, April 5, 1970, they were met with thunderous applause before they had even played a note, and their continued support from the London underground press helped their already heavy underground credentials, dubbing them as “The People’s Band”. Their first single, “The Snake”, is—I won’t mince words here—complete punk rock for 1970, and seven years before its’ time. John Lydon once referred to The Pink Fairies as his “favourite of the old wave rock bands”, and once you hear “Never Never Land” or “The Snake” single, you’ll soon know why. Paul “Black George” Rudolph commands his Baby Gibson Les Paul effortlessly into virgin, un-navigated realms of controlled noise from pure silk to raw power as Tony Iommi, Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend (circa “Live At Leeds”) all take roost in his head, and the complete abandon of Rudolph’s dosed-up guitar guides the whole ensemble into a series of abandoned freak and rolls previously unheard of in England. The album opens with “Do It”, the inflammatory, Twink-penned anthem that was the b-side of the previously mention “The Snake” single, here remixed and with an additional opening acoustic intro. It takes off into a get-off-yer-ass blistering rock out, Rudolph’s stunningly raw guitar builds and builds into a blinding coda that kicks everyone’s ass twice. Twink’s other tracks (“Heavenly Man”, “Wargirl” and “The Dream Is Just Beginning”) are quieter forays by comparison, but in no way any less addled.
“Say You Love Me” and “Teenage Rebel” are but two further examples of the tight but raw rock’n’roll that get spilled out at high speed, with Rudolph’s gruff vocals bayed over the ensuing loud, stomping free festival stomp-outs. An extended double-drum solo bridges into “Uncle Harry’s Last Freak Out”, their free festival closer. Running anywhere from 10-30 minutes live, it’s a little brief here at a mere 10 minutes 49 seconds, but no less raw or hectic. The double-drumming builds up a buffalo stampede in the background, drowning out Sanderson’s polite bass, but Rudolph’s guitar is all over the place. It’s far too loud, and it’s rocketing from speaker to speaker with stereo panning. It’s also filtered through Binson Echorec, distortion, wah-wah and infused with such a spirit of going for it that the surprise BRRRRRRRRING! synthesizer chord that breaks in gets you every time, bursting in like a manic pixie throwing fairy dust straight between your eyes. It then starts up again, but the echo unit is so heavy that it captures every single wisp of riffing and amplifies it into a freight train running through your head. It can only settle down from here, and it does, with Rudolph intoning: “Everyone should be so happy/everyone could be so merry/you and me could be so fairy…” It’s breaking down, then rising up again ever so slightly, and every small strum across the guitar bridge is a huge riff across the sky, the Binson on far too high. Before the other three Fairies know it, Rudolph is storming across the heavens in a chariot, and they’re holding onto the back of his black t-shirt for dear life, cause the echo is causing all his frenetic riffing to sound like hundreds of Rudolph’s playing at once and they can barely keep up. But they relax as all smears into a single mandied and echoed haze-out. “Never Never Land” originally came in a beautiful fold out 12” x 24” double-sided poster encased in a heavy, silk-screened PVC sleeve, and is a killer testimony of psychedelic punk rock.

Up the Pinks !!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ultimate Spinach - 1967 - Live At Unicorn Coffee House, Boston

Ultimate Spinach - 1967 - Live At Unicorn Coffee House, Boston
part I ~ part II

track list :
01 - Hey Joe
02 - Get Together
03 - I Don't Know Your Name
04 - Funny Freak Parade
05 - Don't Cry For Me
06 - Follow Me
07 - (Ballad Of The) Hip Death Goddess
08 - Mind Flowers

The Story of Ultimate Spinach by Ian Bruce-Douglas:

The first mistake I as a "virgin" bandleader made was that someone would introduce me to a guy who happened to play guitar and I would say "You play guitar? Cool! Wanna play in a band I'm putting together?" With the exception of Barbara Hudson...who I had heard play at an open mic at the UNICORN COFFEEHOUSE, in Boston...I had never heard any of these people play and I didn't have the sense to audition them or "feel out" their personalities beforehand. The drummer, Keith, was the brother of the local record store owner on Cape Cod, where I was living at the time. He, essentially, introduced me to the guitarist and bassist. Keith was a very nice, mellow, easy-going guy...and he played pretty well, too. Unfortunately, he had the good sense to leave the band right after we recorded the first album. Barbara was okay, too. However, I had nothing but problems with the guitarist and bassist. They were a couple of Cape Cod rednecks who played in country bands on weekends. They wanted no part of the Hippie Movement, didn't smoke cannabis or take LSD and had absolutely no concept of the psychedelic images I was trying to create. We nearly came to blows on a number of occasions and were on the verge of collapse when we were "discovered". In a word: I was sincere...if inexperienced...and was doing it for the passion and joy of creating and making music...well, maybe the sex and drugs were part of it, too! They, however, were only in it for the money. To put it mildly, there was something of a "culture shock" between me and the rest of the band. In fact, it ALWAYS seemed to be about "me against them"...and, having had a few really joyful bands since then, I know that it doesn't have to be this way...even if the band has a strong-willed leader, like me. I have always called my bands "benevolent dictatorships" since I reserve the right to make all decisions as I see fit...but, in my best bands, we have always shared a lot of laughter along with the hard work and as my respect and appreciation for my musicians grows, we tend to become friends outside the band and I end up considering their feelings whenever I make those decisions. In a word ULTIMATE SPINACH was a VERY bad mistake...even if it got me my "15 minutes of fame"!

"One of the best Psych bands, on an early Live recording !!!"

THE GOD MACHINE : One Last Laugh In A Place Of Dying

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Album Review - Melody Maker (17th September 1994)

Some things were never meant to be. After years of struggle against the vicissitudes of life in London and the tragic death of their bass player, The God Machine have decided to call it a day. Cathy Unsworth pays her last respect
It's hard to express feelings of loss in the printed word, still harder to pay adequate tribute to absent friends. As the title of the album suggests, "One Last Laugh In A Place Of Dying" is a more powerful testament to Jimmy Fernandez, the bassist who died in May this year at the tragically early age of 28, than any words could say.
In the space of two albums and four EPs, The God Machine reached higher, felt deeper and created more intense, eternal visions with their music than any of their contemporaries would ever have dared. This album is their peak, a thing of terrible, harrowing beauty that dips deep into the terrifying Pandora's Box of the human psyche to grapple with the raw nerve endings of existence. It brings back from the darkness in one, long howl of rage, pain and understanding the flaming torches of redemption, with a music that spans the worlds of the living and the dead. It surpasses Soundgarden's "Superunknown", Smashing Pumpkins' "Siamese Dream", even the back catalogue of Jane's Addiction, to whom they were initially compared.
"One Last Laugh ..." was recorded in Prague, and not for nothing does "The Unbearable Lightness Of Being" spring to mind. In the shadowlands of Europe TGM found the perfect surroundings for their haunted dreams, a place where secrets linger around dusty old architecture and winding streets, a place that has known the awful extremities of human evil : "Cut yourself so I can see the bleeding", is the opening line. "Tremelo Song" makes a sound like chandeliers falling, as Robin Proper-Sheppard, Jimmy Fernandez and Ron Austin turn guitar, bass and drums into one gilded eternity. You can sense the urgency and frantic release sought through the hypnotic "Painless" - "I'm sorry but that's not what I've found".

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And so The God Machine move onwards through the rooms of your mind, unlocking doors where secrets fly around like ghosts. "The Devil Song" looks over its shoulders at a fork-tailed shadow moving ever closer, the clamouring of voices at its climax coming from an old, two-reel tape recorder Robin found in a junk shop in Prague.
"The Hunter" is a thing of sensual, aching beauty, a waltz with that devil in an old, forgotten ballroom, while "Evol" is the scariest evocation I've heard since Killing Joke's "Revelations" frightened the life out of my 13-year-old brain."Boy By The Roadside" is too painful to actually put into words, but the album drifts off to a beautiful piano elegy, "The Sunday Song", which sounds like the refrain from a ghostly carnival.
Three years ago, on a rainy night in King's Cross, The God Machine told me that the "Purity"EP was recorded as if it was going to be their last record. Their futures were so unsure at the time that they had to put everything into the one moment they had. "It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees", they said.

Track List :
1 The Tremolo Song 04:02
2 Mama 02:52
3 Alone 04:48
4 In Bad Dreams 03:09
5 Painless 03:58
6 The Love Song 03:55
7 The Life Song 04:41
8 The Devil Song 05:05
9 The Hunter 07:58
10 Evol 04:06
11 The Train Song 04:27
12 The Flower Song 05:41
13 Boy by the Roadside 05:50

14 The Sunday Song

track list :
1. Castles In The Sky 3:30
2. Broken Hours 3:40
3. Heart Without A Home 5:25
4. Time Is Passing 2:40
5. Circles 7:13
6. November 3:11
7. Colour Questions 12:06
8. You'll Never Know Me/Release 7:40

Taking their name from Bob Dylan's 1966 LP, Blonde On Blonde were originally formed in Newport, South Wales in 1967 by vocalist/guitarist Ralph Denyer, drummer Les Hicks, bassist/organist Richard Hopkins and guitarist/sitar player Gareth Johnson. It was this line up of the band that signed to Pye Records in late 1968 and who released the single, 'All Day All Night'/'Country Life' (7N 17637) in November of the same year. The same foursome also recorded the band's debut LP "Contrasts" (NSPL 18288) which was issued by Pye in mid-1969 - complete with a colourful gatefold sleeve which housed twelve fine slices of psychedelic-tinged progressive rock that earnt the band strong critical acclaim and a slot on the same year's legendary Isle Of Wight Festival which was headlined by Bob Dylan.
By the time of 1970's 'Castles In The Sky'/'Circles' single (EMBS 279) and the LP, "Rebirth" (NR 5049), Denyer had left to form Aquila, who released one album, "The Aquila Suite" (SF 8126) for RCA Records later that same year, after which vocalist/guitarist Dave Thomas took over from Denyer, making his debut on the aptly-titled "Rebirth" LP, which once again was released in a striking gatefold sleeve with liner notes by future Radio 1 DJ Tommy Vance. Richard John (aka Richard Hopkins) only stayed with the band for another year and was replaced in mid-1971 by bassist/guitarist/banjo player Graham Davis. This Davis/Thomas/ Hicks/Johnson incarnation of Blonde On Blonde recorded October 1971's "Reflections On A Life" album (Ember NR 5058) at Monmouth's Rockfield Studios though the lack of commercial success finally took its toll on the band and they went their separate ways soon after the LP's release.

Today all of the band's releases are expensive highly sought after collectors items, not just because of their rarity, but because they contain some of the late 60s/early 70s finest progressive rock. However, the whereabouts of the various members of Blonde On Blonde remain something of a mystery though it is generally assumed that, following the demise of the band in early 1972, none of them pursued careers in music.

Mark Brennan
Taken from the CD reissue of "Contrasts", 1994 Repertoire Records, REP4521-WP


When I was asked to write some additional sleeve notes for this re-release of "Rebirth", I thought of a good place to start, and found my diary of 1970. It was packed so tight I could hardly decipher my own handwriting! There was so much going on - a real buzz of excitement. We'd signed to Ember Records at the end of 1969. By January 1970, we were hard at work recording "Rebirth".

I remember it all so clearly, I'd joined Blonde On Blonde as their new singer a couple of weeks before the band was due to play at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.

We'd only just begun rehearsing for our forthcoming tour, so I concentrated on more songs for that and the next album. I had some ideas, but they developed through close collaboration with Gareth and Richard. "Colour Questions" was really a live 'tour-de-force'. Live we were a lot heavier than in the studio. It was only on record that we could experiment with the more subtle mixture of acoustic and electric sounds, the sounds that most characterised Blonde On Blonde's music. "Broken Hours" was the first song I'd ever written. It's a love song of course. "November" carries something of the way I felt about the magical atmosphere between the edge of Wales and the Forest of Dean where I lived and rehearsed.

It was a sharp contrast to our hectic schedule of recording, filming and gigging in 1970. Shortly after the completing the recording sessions, we began filming for the BBC television Saturday Night Special called "Whatever Next" - a completely oddball mix of performers from Marcel Marceau to Gilbert and George, to band-in-residence Blonde On Blonde. We were really busy working live too. At the Roundhouse, the Marquee, the Temple (formerly The Flamingo) in Wardour Street, in the heart of London's vibrant Soho. In addition, we were playing all over the country at universities and colleges, town halls and clubs. Just a glance at the diary brought back vivid memories of all those gigs and all the musicians and bands we played alongside with. Georgie Fame, Alan Price, Marsha Hunt, Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, Wishbone Ash, Genesis, Roy Harper… We were once even supported by Fleetwood Mac!

There was something very special about being able to live a life split between two worlds, one quiet and countrified, and the other - on the road or in the heart of London's nightlife! I think you can hear that contrast in the music itself: a mixture of focused energy and laid-back calm. It was a reflection of the way we lived and worked. We all came from a heavily industrialised Welsh seaport that was closely surrounded by mountains and wild romantic countryside; it was the contrast that inspired us. And it still inspires me. I am about to release a new Blonde On Blonde album. The music's already 'in the can' and includes songs from Blonde On Blonde's live performances that were not previously released. It also includes some very recent material. The new album is called "Coldharbour" (another name for my hometown Newport). It was hearing "Rebirth" again that brought me determination to complete the project.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the sounds of 1970 so faithfully captured here on this reissued CD. When I listened to it again, it was like taking a ride in a time capsule in my own head. The sound and the memories are crystal clear.

David Thomas
Taken from the CD reissue of "Rebirth", TKO Magnum, 2000


Discography :
Contrasts (1969) - Pye NSPL 18288, CD reissue: Castle/Sanctuary (Psychedelic Pstones) CMRCD257, 2001
Rebirth (1970) - Ember NR 5049, CD reissue: Spalax 14525, 1996
Reflections On A Life (1971) - Ember NR 5058, CD reissue: Spalax 14526, 1996

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Magma (French) - 1976 - Inédits

track list :
1. Sowiloh + KMX - E XII - Opus 3 (13:45) - Vander,Top
2. KMX - BXII - Opus 7 (6:13) - Top
3. Om Zanka (5:30) - Vander
4. Gamma (4:00) - Vander
5. Terrien Si Je T'ai Convoque (4:10) - Vander
6. Gamma Anteria (7:45) - Vander


Gerard Bikialko Keyboards (1,2,4,6)
Micky Grailler Keyboards (1,2,4)
Benoit Widemann Keyboards (3)
Francois Cahen Keyboards (5)
Jean Luc Manderlier Keyboards (5,6)
Francis Moze Bass (5)
Jean-Pierre Lambert Bass (6)
Janik Top Bass (1,2,4)
Bernard Paganotti Bass (3)
Claude Olmos Guitar (1,4)
Marc Fosset Guitar (6)
Gabriel Federow Guitar (3)
Didier Lockwood Violin (3)
Klaus Basquiz Vocals & Percussion
Rene Garber Vocals,Bass Clarinet (5,6)
Teddy Lasry Saxes (5)
Jeff Seffer Saxes (5)
Louis Toesca Trumpet (5)
Christian Vander Drums

NOTES: Live recordings spanning several years with varying lineups.


Perhaps the all-time peak of prog pretentiousness was when drummer Christian Vander, of the French band Magma, invented his own language to express the post-apocalyptic story lines of the band's albums. Despite the inherently unnecessary nature of this activity, it definitely contributed in the immense and overbearing atmosphere of Magma's music. The pioneering 70s French band was one of the most experimental, artistic and fiercely uncompromising bands of the progressive era. Their music combined elements of jazz, opera, minimalism and 20th century classical music into a highly idiosyncratic mix of exceedingly dark, yet emotionally rich and undeniably powerful sound that eventually brought on the Zeuhl sub-genre of progressive rock. Their expanded ensemble included heavy emphasis on horns and choirs. The compositional style of the group reflected a mastery of sophisticated musical concepts; their use of gradual repetition as a tension building tool was unparalleled, as well as subtle rhythmic innovations and minimalist techniques as atmospheric devices. Though the music will definitely sound exceedingly odd at first, just because they are so different from anything else, their sound has a certain addictive quality to it, and developing a taste for their eccentricity is not particularly difficult. All their albums fit together into some concept which causes them all to hang together. I'm not sure what the particulars are, but it has something to do with humanity leaving a desolate Earth for the new utopian world of Kobaia (hence Vander's language, Kobaian) and the complications that came along with the transition. Their first two albums, Magma and 1001 Centigrade, dealt more with a jazzier sensibility, and are comparatively lighter in tone than some of their later works. Magma's next work would kick off their most notable and distinctive period, the immense Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh (MDK). This album features all the hallmarks for which Magma are recognized. Martial beats, militaristic pounding and a heavy emphasis on a huge, orchestral backdrop replete with choirs and layers of horns. The overall mood of doom, death and destruction is undeniable. The sound is carried over into a Vander solo album (in name only), Wurdah Itah, as well as their next opus, the magnificent Kohntarkosz, which features less vocal dependence but is an overall masterpiece of desolate moods and stark atmospheres. The live album, Hhai, is supposedly excellent, but I haven't heard it yet. After that, the albums from Udu Wudu on are something of a step down. Overall Magma produced some of the most important and groundbreaking music of the decade. - Greg Northrup [2002]

V.A. - Echoes In Time

Both Volumes (500 each) orginally issued on LP in 1983

The musical creative excellence which infused rock'n'roll during the mid to latesixties is difficult to describe retrospectively. It was an atmosphere of energy & sensation which one had to exprience rather than interpret This comp capturesa few of the finer rarities of that psychedelic era. Some of the tunes were locally only or privately released.

The groups featured on this compilations contributed to the musical magic of an era witch coalscad into a legend.

V.A. - Echoes In Time vol. 1
01. Human Expression - "Optical Sound" (2:25)
02. West Coast Branch - "Spoonful" (2:42)
03. United Travel Service - "Wind & Stone" (3:18)
04. The Deep - "Trip #76" (2:33)
05. Skunks - "The Journey" (2:13)
06. Fapardokly - "Gone to Pot/No Retreat" (4:03)
07. Unfolding - "Play Your Game" (2:50)
08. Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck - "Somebody Think" (3:43)
09. Raves - "Mother Nature" (2:21)
10. Jerry & the Others - "Don't You Lie to Me" (2:52)
11. Ferguson Tractor - "12 O'Clock High" (2:48)
12. Lemon Pipers - "Quiet Please" (2:25)
13. Blue Scepter (SRC) - "Gypsy Eyes" (4:51)

V.A. - Echoes In Time vol. 2
01. Outcasts - "Set Me Free" (2:52)
02. Nova Local - "Games" (2:06)
03. Iguanas - "Mona" (2:41)
04. King-Beezz - "Gloria" (2:49)
05. Avengers - "Reflection" (2:49)
06. British North American Act - "Don't Run Away" (2:36)
07. Mijal & White - "I'm In You" (3:52)
08. Crystal Rain - "You and Me" (3:14)
09. Fruit of the Loom - "One Hand in Darkness" (2:27)
10. Frederic - "Five O'Clock Traffic" (2:13)
11. Soulbenders - "Hey Joe" (3:30)
12. SRC - "Badazz Shuffle" (3:17)
13 - Leviathan - "Second Production" (5:01)

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Legendary Pink Dots - 1991 - The Maria Dimension

The Legendary Pink Dots - 1991 - The Maria Dimension

Formed in London in 1980, the Legendary Pink Dots moved to Amsterdam in the middle of the decade. Members throughout the band's career have been Edward Ka-Spel (vocals, keyboards) and Phil Knight (keyboards), also known as the Silver Man, with a shifting supporting cast over the years. The Dots' music is by turns melodic pop and exotic psychedelia, with classical influences, sampling, and relentlessly dark, violent, apocalyptic lyrics. After several releases for Mirrodot and Inphaze during the early '80s, the group signed to Play It Again Sam distribution for 1985's The Lovers, and released much of their best material (1990's Crushed Velvet Apocalypse, 1991's The Maria Dimension) on the label. Even as the Legendary Pink Dots neared their two-decade anniversary, the group continued to tour Europe and America quite consistently.After releasing Your Children Placate you From Premature in spring of 2006, the band embarked on their 25th anniversary tour.


Happy Dragon Band 1978 Happy Dragon Band

Happy Dragon Band 1978 Happy Dragon Band

Track List :
01 - 3-D Free
02 - Positive People
03 -In Flight
04 - Long Time
05 - Bowling Pin Intro
06 - Lyrics Of Love
07 - Disco American
08 - Inside The Pyramid
09 - Astro Phunk
10 - 3-D Free (Electronic)

Surprising about-face from the Phantom "Divine Comedy" guys, this avant-flavored basement late 1970s trip mixes synth-led proto-new wave songs with social commentary lyrics and a sense of a lot of things being possible. Vocal effects are in an abundance while several moogs seem to play off against each other, yet the whole thing is tight and controlled enough never to degenerate into freeform chaos. Strange "Eraserhead"-like moods creep into your skull as eerie vocals serenade a fucked-up world much like sardonic space aliens might. The band achieves an impressive effect by playing big, moody chord sequences and harmonies on crude analog synths, which enhances the experience of alienation and telescopation. Some 70s glam-pop and raw guitar riffs can also be picked up among the electronics and drum machines. Very clearly a product of its era (including some tentative reggae backbeats), I find this an enjoyable LP and for all its weird, angular sounds, a lot less challenging than much of the lame "rock" stuff that was being released at the time. Psychedelic in its use of contradictory and unusual moods, but even more likely to appeal to fans of 1970s synth-punk/avant in the Ohio/Eastcoast style. [PL]
This bizarre freaky rock album is as different from the Phantom album as Relatively Clean Rivers is from Beat of the Earth. It mixes several 70s styles and buries them under sound effects, synthesizers and weird vocal arrangements. There are a few electronic instrumentals, some lyrics that are as obtuse as the arrangements, and some very faint nods to the disco/funk trends of the time. Despite an occasional "Dark Side Of The Moon" influence, they are more psych than prog or space rock, and at times they have the same feel as some early new wave synth bands (i.e. the Units, Assassin Of Silence.) It takes a number of listens to grasp the actual songs because they're so disjointed and because the melodies are somewhat hidden behind the walls of noise. Once the songs finally sink through, it's almost a surprise to discover that they're very good, and the electronics enhance them rather than mask their weaknesses. Like the U.S.A album, even the most insane synth noises here have been well integrated into the flow of the songs and don't sound random at all. This is my idea of a synth album! [AM]

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