giovedì, febbraio 02, 2012

The Glitterhouse - Color Blind (1969 psych pop)

The Glitterhouse - Color Blind
Once the contract hit the file, the Glitterhouse - if the band's recollections are to be believed - existed as a Bob Crewe vanity project, something to bolster his artistic reputation. See, Crewe (the Four Seasons & Frankie Valli, the Walker Brothers, the Tremeloes, Lesley Gore), a future member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, saw these guys play for a book release party & decided he could turn them into the next Lovin' Spoonful. But once their contribution to the Barbarella soundtrack (Crewe picked studio musicians, relegating the band to vocals only) tanked at radio, support for Color Blind was all but withdrawn. You know where I'm going next - damn shame. Cos even with Crewe's sweetening, Color Blind is an interesting document, albeit one that induces a few winces. The band blames their producer for fare like "Child of Darkness" (a moody, underwritten midtempo piece in the vein of the Association). But who gets blamed for the sugar-spun too-muchness of "Sassafrass and Cinnamon"? The anthemish "I Lost Me a Friend" with its anemic drumbreak? "Hey Woman" is more down-to-earth, kind of generic bubblegum but featuring wicked harmonies and some nice organ buildups. Comparisons to Love (both bands were five-pieces with a Black singer) are inevitable. Album closer "Happy to Have You Here Again" is an excellent Beatley bit (with a Geroge Martin-cribbing instrumental break), Mike Gayle's easygoing 'n' loose lead vocal carrying the day. The most successful song (Top 50 in New York City!) is "Tinkerbell's Mind," a grand, string-laden music box. In total Arthur Lee mode, Gayle coos over a great lite-psych arrangement. The only goof-up is the band's (producer's?) decision to have Mike speak-repeat the last phrase of every verse. Kind of heavy-handed. So: not a classic, but still a small country. 
From RYM (silent mike)

domenica, gennaio 29, 2012

Earth Island - We Must Survive (1970 usa psych psych pop)

Earth Island - We Must Survive
Very good Psych-lite with tinges of Pop and prog. Is music on the same wavelength as The Millennium; light "airy" sort of super-produced pop with (often) positive messages. For a few tracks I could've sworn the lead singer was Curt Boettcher (like on "Seasons of Our Lives"). Even some of the other vocalizations are similar (which is a good thing): --Ooh!-- and --Ahh!-- backing vocals on several tracks along with multiple singers, instrumentation varied from song to song, etc. The album is solid throughout, with no real "clunkers" to be found. Fillers, (see below), yes perhaps... but even the fillers aren't horrible. On repeated listens I've grown to appreciate it more and more. Highlights: "Earth People's Park" "This Island Earth" and "Ride the Universe" stand out to me. I didn't really care for "Peace and Understanding, Toronto 1970" as it just felt like tossed-together filler material compared to the rest of the record. Same with "The Hungry Planet"; they tried to spice it up with backing vocals but it's still a simple blues-themed jam in the end. Actually the second side is the weakest part of the record, with the first few tracks being very solid. If you can get your hands on it and enjoy Psych-lite/Millennium-style 60's Pop, I recommend checking out the first few songs at least.
From RYM (Faltain)

venerdì, gennaio 27, 2012

Earth Quake - 8.5 (1976 usa hard rock)

Earth Quake - 8.5
Most people seem to think that Greg Kihn was the mainstay of Matthew Kaufman's Beserkley Records. Kihn may have become the label's chief money maker, but the label was originally formed and financed by the band Earth Quake. Having recorded a pair of early-1970s albums for A&M, 1976's Kaufman and Glen Kolotkin produced "8.5" was the group's sophomore release for Beserkley. The album gets off to a roaring start with the heavy metal 'Finders Keepers'. Imagine Def Leppard had they come from California and you'll get a feel for this track. Unfortunately, tracks such as 'Little Cindy' and '' offer up a more conventional set of rockers. Powered by Doukas voice, most of the up tempo tracks are actually pretty good, but there isn't much in the way of originality or spark goin' on here. As for ballads such as 'And He Likes To Hurt You' and 'Girl Named Jesse James' ... well at least there aren't too many of 'em. Nice art noveau cover ... "8.5" track listing: (side 1) 1.) Finders Keepers (Johnson - Bowen) - 2.) Little Cindy (Gary Phillips) - 3.) And He Likes To Hurt You (D. Linde) - 4.) Savin' My Love (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Gary Phillips) - (side 2) 1.) Girl Named Jesse James (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas) - 2.) Motivate Me (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Gary Phillips - Bimier) - 3.) Hit the Floor (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Stan Miller) - 4.) Same Old Story (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas) - 5.) Don't Want To Go Back (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Gary Phillips) - 


lunedì, gennaio 23, 2012

Neo - Neo (1980 fra prog)

Neo - Neo
Instrumental, Jazz-rock avec quelques dérives Canterburiennes et effleurements Neo-prog mais surtout une sorte de Space Rock à la Ozric bien que ce goupe n'existe pas encore à cette époque. J'achève la description par des moments Jazz-Fusion du meilleur effet et vous aurez compris que ce disque est une merveille. A la charnière des années 7O-8O, années du Neo et de la quasi-inexistence du rock progressif dans le grand public, cet album fait figure d'OVNI musical en plein boom de la Disco, Funky et New Wave music. Un très grand disque qui est réédité avec bonus... Mais d'où diable sortent-il ces titres bonus ?? Y en a t-il d'autres ? Si oui où sont-ils, pourquoi ne pas en faire un CD ?? 1. Osibirsk (6:53) 2. Scene De Chasse (7:32) 3. Joiwind (3:57) 4. Neoplasme (3:14) 5. Sortie De Bain (10:42) 6. Plage II (2:59) Bonus tracks (CD reissue) : 7. Jazz ‘N’ Roll (7:20) 8. Song 4 Miles (5:20) 
From RYM (BronDune)

Floating Opera - The Floating Opera (1971 psych hard psych usa)

Floating Opera - The Floating Opera
Male and female vocal, semi-commercial rock with some hard rock cuts and good period flavor. Grades - 2 B+'s, 1 B, 3 B-'s, 1 C+, and 2 C's. They were from Ann Arbor, Mich. 
From RYM (tymeshifter)

giovedì, gennaio 19, 2012

The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump - The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump (hard psych usa 1969)

The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump - The Fort Mudge Memorial Dump
I think, percentage wise, Boston trumps San Francisco for best psych output. F.M.M.D. are a strong representative. The album features somewhat heavy psych hard rock with organ, female vocals and great guitar with fuzz, wah-wah, and some dual leads, as well as tremendous period flavor. This is the kind of album most psych neo-phytes hope to discover when searching the genre out. Consistently great and recommended. Grades - 1 A, 1 A-, 3 B+'s, 3 B's, 1 B-, and a C. Incidentally, I have seen plenty of reference sources claiming this to be a 1970 release, and since they only formed in 1969, I think this is more plausible. I have been unable to verify this on the internet. 
From RYM (tymeshifter)

venerdì, gennaio 13, 2012

Sammy - Sammy (1974 hard rock, prog)

Sammy - Sammy
It's doubtful many folks have ever heard the British band Sammy - I certainly hadn't which was kind of surprising given the band's impressive pedigree. Drummer Mick Underwood was apparently the band's driving force, with the line up rounded out by a collection of rock veterans including ex-Audience horn and woodwinds player Keith Gemmell, ex-Billy J. Kramer keyboardist Mick Hodgekinson, former Ginhouse guitarist Geoff Sharkey, and ex-Roy Young Band bassist Paul Simmons. Signed by Philips, the band debuted with a 1972 45 'Goo Ger Woogie' b/w 'Big Lovin' Woman' (Philips catalog number 6006 227). While the single did little commercially, it attracted enough interest and attention for Philips management to green light an album. Co-produced by Louie Austin and Deep Purple's Jon Lord, 1973's "Sammy" offered up a competent, if slightly worn set of mid-1970s hard rock. Largely penned by Sharkey and Simmons, lyrically and musically there wasn't a lot of originality going on here (kind of like the album cover) - Gemmell's sax adding occasional jazz-influenced runs to the band's blues and rock oriented sound. As lead singer Sharkey wasn't bad; his raw raspy voice sounded surprisingly good on tracks like 'Give Me More', their unlikely cover of 'I Ain't Never Loved a Woman (The Way That I Love You)', and 'Get Into a New Thing'. Imagine uriah Heep-lite with the saxes, a little more boogie and variety ('Who Do You Really Love') and you'll be in the right aural neighborhood. The band was actually far more impressive on their isolated stabs at more-pop oriented material like 'Sioux-Eyed Lady' and 'Jo Anne'. Elsewhere the album spun off a UK single in the form of 'Sioux-Eyed Lady' b/w '70 Days' (Philips catalog number 6006 249). Brainless fun, it's actually not a bad effort, especially if you approach it with the right mindset. One LP and two 45s appears to cover the band's recording legacy. By the way, the British album release featured different cover art. 

mercoledì, gennaio 11, 2012

Time 1&2 (1972+75 Youg. hard prog)

Time - Time Time - Time II
Everytime i have listened to this album ive had shivers inside me, "Pjesma no. 3" can bring me to tears "Za koji život treba da se rodim / For What Life Should I Be Born" is one of the best moments of my intire music listening ! and "Makedonija" is a very memmorable song. best get the version with that song on it! the Vrijeme remastered version is even better :) 
From RYM (rixsta)

sabato, gennaio 07, 2012

Christopher - What'cha Gonna Do?(69 heavy psych usa)

Christopher - What'cha Gonna Do?
A diverse mix of hard rock, blues, punk, and psych, all with a semi-garage flavor, and fairly non-commercial orientation. Grades - 1 A, 2 B's, 3 B-'s, and a C. This issue is anumbered micro-press of 350 copies.
From RYM (tymeshifter)

giovedì, gennaio 05, 2012

T.I.M.E. 1+2 (1968+69 usa psych)

T.I.M.E. - T.I.M.E. T.I.M.E. - Smooth Ball
Guitarists Larry Byrom and Bill Richardson had previously been members of San Diego-based The Hardtimes who over the 1966 - 68 timeframe managed to release a series of five singles and one interesting LP (1968's "Blew Mind" World Pacific catalog number WPS 21867), before calling it quits. Relocating to Los Angeles, Byrom and Richardson wasted little time forming their next band - Trust In Men Everywhere (wisely abbreviated to T.I.M.E.). Recruiting drummer Steve Rumph and former Jack London and the Sparrows bassist Nick St Nicholas the quartet was quickly signed by Liberty Records,. Teamed with producer Joe Saraceno, they subsequently made their debut with 1968's cleverly-titled "T.I.M.E.". A musical timepiece, the album was quite diverse, including competent stabs at a broad array of genres including blue-eyed soul, folk-rock, psych, and plenty of sunshine-pop. Unfortunately, nothing here was particularly original, making for one of those fun spot-the-influence collections. In fact, driven by tracks like 'Make It Alright', 'Let the Colors Keep On' and 'What Can It Be' at times the collection sounded like it had been recorded in 1965 rather than 1968. The band's other big problem stemmed from the fact they didn't have a great singer. All four members apparently sang, with most of the tracks having kind if a group vocal feel that added to the album's sense of anonymity. Exemplified by songs like 'Tripping Into Sunshine' and 'You Changed It All' the results weren't bad, but with a more distinctive lead vocalist, the results would have been far more impressive. All of those criticisms aside, it was one of those albums that's better than the sum of its parts. A truly fun collection that simply screams 1960s vibe (good, bad, or indifferent) - Opening up with some sustained guitar feedback, 'Tripping Into Sunshine' quickly shifted gears into a more commercial direction. Yeah, the track retained had a heavy psychedelic feel, but that edge was balanced out by some unexpectedly sunny harmony vocals. Imagine The Mamas and the Papas having decided to record a truly heavy psych tune. rating: **** stars - 'Label It Love' sported a totally unexpected Western influence ... seriously. Complete with Spanish-flavored acoustic guitars and percussion, this rollicking rocker was great. Every time I listen to it I think of zonked out cowboys. rating: **** stars - More fuzz guitar and a pounding,, almost soulful beat, gave 'Finders Keepers' a nifty blue-eyed soul feel, though the abrupt time shifts were disconcerting and detracted from the overall feel. The song highlight was the brief Beatles-styled jangle guitar solo. rating: *** stars - 'Love You Cherish You' found the band shifting gears into lounge act crooner territory. It wasn't much to be excited about, but the highlight came in the form of St. Nicholas' short bass solo. The song was so bad it was almost worth listening to. No idea if these guys played live, but easy to imagine screaming women fans if they played this one. rating: * stars - Complete with a Dylan-styled harmonica solo and some Beatles-styled harmony vocals, 'Make It Alright' had a distinctive folk-rock feel. Much more 1965 than 1968, but catchy and fun and easy to see why Liberty tapped it as the leadoff single. rating: *** stars - Again, it sounded more 1965 than 1968, but 'Let the Colors Keep On' offered up a wonderful slice of sunshine pop. Easy to imagine a group like Spanky and Our Gang having covered this one. rating: *** stars - Side two started with my choice for the set's the best performance - the fuzz guitar propelled rocker 'You Changed It All'. Great tune with nice blend of commercial melody, shiny harmony vocals and a tougher rock edge. Should have been tapped as a single. rating: **** stars - A reflective, slightly acid-tinged ballad, showcasing some of the Byrom's prettiest guitar work, 'I Really Love You' was another highpoint. rating: *** stars - Another personal favorite and the album's hardest rocking performance, 'Make Love To You' probably came the closest to showing some degree of originality. Nice, driving melody with more than a hint of Beatles influences and one of the few tracks with a distinctive lead vocal, though I don't have a clue who handled the lead vocals. rating: **** stars - Kicked along by St Nicholas' impressive fuzz bass and some uncredited jazzy electric piano, 'I Can't Find It' was another track that had a Mamas and the Papas feel to it. Pleasant, but a touch on the campy side and not essential. rating: ** stars - Another folk-rock flavored ballad, 'What Can It Be' had a pretty, acoustic guitar-powered melody and some nice group harmonies. What it lacked was any shred of originality. rating: ** stars - Propelled by some nice electric keyboards, 'Take Me Along' was another decent slice of sunshine-pop. The la-la-la-la chorus almost gave it a bubblegum flavor which may not appeal to some folks. rating: ** stars As mentioned, the album was tapped for a single in the form of: - 1968's 'Make It Alright' b/w 'Take Me Along' (Liberty catalog number 56020) Worth looking for sense you can still find cheap copies. 

domenica, gennaio 01, 2012

Ocarinah - Première vision de l'étrange (fra prog space prog 1978)

Ocarinah - Première vision de l'étrange
Imagine the first two Clearlight albums as strictly a keyboard trio (with occasional guitar), combined with a strong dash of metronomic rigidness similar to the Canterbury movement, in particular the early albums by Egg. Five long tracks of incredible creativity and complexity. 
From RYM (ashratom)

venerdì, dicembre 30, 2011

Public Foot the Roman - Public Foot the Roman (1973 prog jazz prog uk)

Public Foot the Roman - Public Foot the Roman
I probably shouldn't admit it, but the truth of the matter is I bought this album based entirely on the bizarro band name, the label (Capitol's short-lived Sovereign imprint had some interesting acts on its roster), and the interesting Hipgnosis cover (a bunch of folks standing in the middle of a Chelsea's soccer stadium looking up at what appears to be a UFO). These guys actually had an interesting background. Irish-born singer/guitarist Sean Byrne had been a member the California-based The Count Five who had a classic one-shot single with 'Psychotic Reaction'. When that band fell apart Byrne eventually returned to Ireland where in the early 1970s he ended up as a member of Public Foot the Roman along with lead guitarist Greg Knowles, drummer Jaime Lane, keyboardist Dag Small, and bassist Ward (guess he couldn't afford a last name). Produced by Derek Lawrence who handled a bunch of the Wishbone Ash catalog, 1973's oddly titled "Public Foot the Roman" was kind of an odd hybrid of AOR and progressive moves - occasionally blended together in the same song ('When You Lay It Down'). With Byrne responsible for all eight tracks on the surface that wouldn't sound particularly promising (I can see folks thinking along the lines of a second tier Genesis or Gentle Giant). The fact of the matter is that while there wasn't a great deal of originality here, the band played with considerable energy and with one of two exceptions (the country-tinged 'King for a Day'), this album was a lot of fun to hear. Byrne, Lane, and Small all handled lea vocals, though Byrne seemed to be the most prominent of the three. All of them had decent if slightly anonymous voices that managed to cover the band's entire catalog. For his part Knowles was a truly overlooked guitarist who turned in some first-rate performances on this overlooked set.. That said, the band's secret weapon (well I guess he really wasn't much of a secret) was keyboardist Small who managed to salvage virtually everything he touched. - 'Land Owner' opened the album with a fairly conventional slice of AOR. The highlight came in the form of a nice Byrne and Knowles double lead guitar solo that sounded like it had been borrowed from an early Allman Brothers track. Small kicked in some nice Supertramp-styled keyboards. rating: *** stars - In contrast to the first track, 'When You Lay It Down' found the band diving headlong into progressive rock. Mind you the results were still fairly mainstream with a recognizable and enjoyable melody and some tasty lead guitar and keyboards from Knowles and Small. The album also showcased some very nice harmony vocal work from the band. rating: **** stars - Completely unlike the rest of their catalog 'King for a Day' sounded like a cross between Commander Cody and early UK pub-rockers like Brinsley Schwartz. Once you got over the initial shock, the song kind of grew on you with Knowles turning in a simply blistering Telecaster solo. Very commercial, you could just hear progressive and rock fans scratching their heads trying to figure how someone slipped a pub-rock song on their turntables. rating: *** stars - Probably because it had the highest 'progressive' content and bowed in non-too-subtle aural homage to Yes and other English progressive bands, 'Judas Returns' (along with "Decline and Fall') was one of the two PFTR songs that folks typically acknowledge off the album. If you liked Yes at their most commercial and didn't mind some really dumb lyrics (c'mon, they were from Cambridge, so you couldn't be blamed for expecting something a bit more substantial ("men in shields control our days ..."), then you probably weren't going to have a problem with this one and to be honest, it grew on you after a couple of spins. Unfortunately, just as the Knowles - Small jam was really beginning to kick into gear the song faded out. Shame. rating: **** stars - 'Don't Bite the Hand' started side two off with some more Allman Brothers-styled twin lead guitar opening into a rollicking, fairly straightforward slice of AOR. The guitars saved the song from falling in the also-ran category. rating: *** stars - 'One (On My Mind)' was another atypical performance. With pretty melody and layered harmonies this one sounded a bit like something out of the Crosby, Stills, and Nash catalog (something Crosby might have penned). Small turned in some beautiful keyboards. rating: *** stars - The album's longest and most complex composition, 'Decline and Fall' was another Yes-influenced number that gave Small an opportunity to showcase his impressive array of keyboard talents. Twisting and turning through a series of entertaining segments, the song actually became more focused as it went along and served to showcase some really nice keyboard and guitar interplay by the members. Such jamming normally doesn;t do a great deal for me, but this was one of the exceptions. Very nice. rating: *** stars No, it isn't a lost classic, but it's far better than you would have expected judging by some of the lukewarm reviews. Shame they didn't get a second shot at it. "Public Foot the Roman" track listing: (side 1) 1.) Land Owner (Sean Byrne) - 4:38 2.) When You Lay It Down (Sean Byrne) - 5:40 3.) King for a Day (Sean Byrne) - 3:39 4.) Judas Returns (Sean Byrne) - 6:00 (side 2) 1.) Don't Bite the Hand (Sean Byrne) - 5:05 2.) One (On My Mind) (Sean Byrne) - 4:54 3.) Decline and Fall (Sean Byrne) - 8:31 From RYM (RDten1)

lunedì, dicembre 19, 2011

Out of Darkness - Out of Darkness (1970 uk hard rock prog)

Out of Darkness - Out of Darkness
none too consistent, but very good overall, guitar driven bluesy prog hard rock, with Christian lyrics, and mixed with some softer rock. Grades - 1 A-, 3 B+'s, 2 B's, 3 B-'s, 2 C+'s, and a C. 
From RYM (tymeshifter)

martedì, dicembre 13, 2011

Ark - Voyages (1978 us psych xstian)

Ark - Voyages
Very good, but not extraordinary album. It's a Christian hard rock LP, with a mix of vocal and instrumental material, and featuring good guitar. I think I'll reserve final judgement until after I listen a few more times, but as of now, atleast half the LP is worth a solid B or better.
From RYM (tymeshifter)

mercoledì, dicembre 07, 2011

Phylter - Phylter (1979 Bel prog)

Phylter - Phylter

PHYLTER is an almost unknown Belgium band born in the late 70’s in the borderline that divides Classical Symphonic from Neo Prog, a school that we’ll be adding soon with the name of Neo Symphonic for those bands previous to the birth of Neo but already having some elements of this 80’s sub-genre.The band was formed by Patrick Philips (Organ, Fender Rhodes Piano, Acoustic Piano, Eko Piano, Strings, Synthesizer, Vocals), Marc Van Bortel (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Paul Van Bortel (Bass Guitar, Vocals) and Christian Zaman in the DrumsFor their first and only self titled release in1978 and upgraded to CD the year 1993 by the French Spalax label they counted with Jean-Marie Aerts playing rhythm Guitar ad guest.Despite the almost absolute lack of information, “Phylter” is easy to find in almost any good online music store and it’s a pleasant surprise, their main influence is the 4 men era GENESIS blended with special skills with CAMEL and PINK FLOYD atmospheres plus a bit of fusion.The album is mainly instrumental and the vocals in very good English are simply delightful but their highest point is Patrick Phillippe, an incredible keyboardist from who there’s also rare info.The album has all the ingredients that would make it desirable for any Prog collection, strong and dramatic changes and beautiful melodies, specially in the closer, the excellent 15 minutes epic “Down and Mood for Change”.Honestly can’t understand why they vanished so soon when their material is absolutely strong, if there’s a chance get their album, it’s worth.

lunedì, dicembre 05, 2011

Froggie Beaver - From the Pond (1973 us prog folk)

Froggie Beaver - From the Pond
So here's another one that would have been all but forgotten, were it not to Austrian record collector Hans Pokora who included it in one of his Record Collector Dreams books. A lost progressive classic from Nebraska? We'll I'll admit I was skeptical. First off it turns out these guys were in fact from Nebraska. Guitarist John Fischer, drummer Tom Jackson (replaced by Rick Brown), keyboardist Ed Stasko, and lead vocalist John Troia were in fact cornhuskers who played music on a part time basis. Originally determined to showcase their own material, their efforts were met with indifference which led them to focus on top-40 tunes. They were apparently a pretty good cover band since their performance saw a loyal regional following when they played local clubs such as Omaha's Aquarius Lounge and The Club at Westroads Mall. That in turn gave them an opportunity to incorporate original material in their repertoire and by 1973 they'd made enough money to record this surprisingly impressive album at Omaha's Sound Recorders Studios. Produced by David Sandler, 1972's "From the Pond" was apparently a self-financed vanity project released on the band's own Froggie Beaver label. Interestingly various references I've seen categorize the album as progressive. Technically I guess that's correct since 'Lovely Lady and 'Road To Tomorrow' embed fairly complex musical structures, including some swirling ELP-styled keyboards. That said, be forewarned that if you're looking for hard core progressive moves this probably won't punch your ticket. With Fischer responsible for the majority of the seven tracks (Stasko and Troia co-wrote 'Lovely Lady'), most of the album sported a highly commercial sheen. In fact songs such as 'Buy Back My Life' and the pretty ballads 'Come To Believe' and 'Just for You' would have sounded great on top-40 radio. To be honest the entire album was pretty catchy. Fischer was quite an accomplished guitarist (check out the atypical slice of Pink Floyd-influenced psych 'Away from Home'), while Troia had a likeable voice that could have made a car dealership jingle entertaining. Fisher was also a decent singer. - 'Road To Tomorrow' opened the album with a promising atmospheric instrumental that highlighted Fisher's finger picking talents. Unfortunately, clocking in at less than a minute, it simply didn't have enough time to develop into anything. rating: *** stars - Kicked along by Stasko's Uriah Heep-styled organ flourishes (including an extended solo), 'Lovely Lady' was a decent rocker. Edited down this one would have made a decent single. rating: *** stars - Showcasing Fisher's attractive voice, 'Buy Back My Life' found the band abandoning any effort to hide their commercial orientation. Perhaps the album's most pop-oriented track, this n one would have sounded perfect on mid-1970s radio. rating: **** stars - 'Come To Believe' was a pretty, but rather anonymous singer/songwriter ballad. Easy to image Dan Fogelberg covering this maudlin slice of navel gazing. rating: ** stars - Unlike the saccharin 'Come To Believe', 'Away from Home' was an engaging, slightly acid-tinged ballad. Sporting a nice atmospheric melody, the track highlighted the band's surprisingly impressive group harmonies and a fantastic Fischer lead guitar solo. One of my favorite performances on the album. rating: **** stars - It didn't do much for me at first, but the acoustic ballad 'Just for You' was one of those songs that crept into your head and wouldn't go away. Yes, I'll admit to having found myself humming it ... Imagine a decent Billy Joel song and you'll have a feel for this one. rating: *** stars - The album ended with a short reprise of the instrumental 'Road To Tomorrow'. rating: *** stars Congrats to engineer Ron Ubel who gave the album crystal clear sound. Adding guitarist Steve Beedle to the lineup, the band toured in support of the album; but couldn't generate much interest in the collection (they even camped in front of a local radio station until the station agreed to add the album to their playlist). By 1974 they were history. There's also an earlier non-LP 45 which I've never heard, but is suppose to be quite impressive: 'Movin' On' b/w 'Nothing for Me Here' (Million catalog number 34). The collection has been reissued a couple of times. The Italian Arkama label released it on vinyl and CD with the single added as bonus material. Gear Fab released it on CD. 
From RYM (Rdten1)

sabato, dicembre 03, 2011

The Fallen Angels - It's a Long Way Down (68 us psych)

The Fallen Angels - It's a Long Way Down
I have read the reviews of this that existed at the time I am writing this. It truly saddens me to read some of the less than stellar reviews, because I know that in almost all cases, the reviewers expectations were heightened by the lofty (though well deserved) accolades posted by other reviewers. Approaching any album with such high hopes inevitably leads to disappointment, but especially so in this case. It is a great record, of course, but one that begs each individual listener to arrive at that conclusion them self. We see "psych masterpiece" bandied about in many of these blurbs - it may be, but it certainly isn't overtly obvious. Actually, not all tracks are even psychedelic. Some are merely mainstream vocal pop. Some tracks are imbued with folk flavor. But most are crafted in such a way as to implant a "seed" in your brain that will grow (kind of like The Alien) long after you've stopped listening, and leave you scratching your head and wondering where you heard the tune that refuses to leave your consciousness. As with their first album, most of these songs garner low grades by themselves. But in the context of the album, they swell to much larger consequence. Don't get your hopes too high, and give this an honest listen, or two, or many, and see if it doesn't meet your expectations, perhaps later rather than sooner. Grades - 1 A-, 2 B+'s, 3 B's, 1 B-, 1 C+, and 4 C's. 
From RYM (tymeshifter)

giovedì, dicembre 01, 2011

Morse Code Transmission - II (1972 prog canada)

Morse Code Transmission - II
Hard rock with strong prog flavor. An improvement over their debut. Grades - 3 B+'s, 1 B, and 5 B-'s, quite consistent. 
From RYM (tymeshifter)

martedì, novembre 29, 2011

Lincoln St. Exit - Drive It! (1970 us hard psych)

Lincoln St. Exit - Drive It!
This disc is a great re-release of Lincoln St. Exit's early material! It easily stands up to the releases of any other underground psychedelic band of the era (The Chob, Moving Sidewalks, etc). Between this and the ENTRANCE album, released under their then current name Xit, in the 70s; one would have the bulk of the Lincoln St. Exit material. This would leave a die-hard fan only to track down their "Who's Been Driving My Little Yellow Taxi Cab b/w Paper Place", "Half a Dream / Sunny Sunday b/w Whatever Happened to Baby Jesus" and the elusive " Whatever Happened Pt. 1 b/w Whatever Happened Pt. 2" singles, to have a complete collection. The DRIVE IT EP features the heaviest and most blazing psychedelic guitar material, while ENTRANCE is on the rather mellow ballad side. The only exceptions on ENTRANCE are the rockin' "Mississippi Riverboat Gamblin' Man", and "She's My Everything" which substitutes sax and piano solos for electric guitar. Between these two releases, only "Soulful Drifter" and "Sunny Sunday Dream" are shared in common. The DRIVE IT version of "Soulful Drifter" is 1:10 shorter than the other version (presumably from an earlier recording), and has no 'string section', organ or tambourine. The DRIVE IT "Sunny Sunday Dream" is a simple studio recording that's basically identical, except the ENTRANCE version is in excellent stereo, and includes a completely different ending in which so much echo is added that it becomes a chaotic mess before the rhythm section drops out, leaving only the organ and howling guitar (for 18 extra seconds). As they headed into the 70s this group became unconcerned with Pop culture's idea of 'hip' and wrote less Pop-oriented tunes; opting instead for drawn out, native drummed, native sung, orchestral concept albums. All great stuff. From RYM (sambson)

domenica, novembre 27, 2011

Wichita Fall - Life Is But a Dream (1969 us psych pop))

Wichita Fall - Life Is But a Dream
A true conceptual pop psych gem,blatantly ignored by everyone and still waiting to be reissued.With the structural complexity of a soundtrack and the melodic variety of a pop record.The fact it was released in a major would explain such disdain.It reminds me of "The Revolt of Emily Young" but milder and "The Story of Simon Simopath" but funnier. 
 From RYM (CarlosCastro)

sabato, novembre 19, 2011

The Hamilton Face Band - The Hamilton Face Band (1969 usa Hard rock rock)

The Hamilton Face Band - The Hamilton Face Band
I was hoping to find one of RDTEN1's reviews for this album, perchance to reveal where they were from. All of my research has come up empty. But due to Zappa alumnus Underwood's inclusion, California wouldn't be an unreasonable guess. The music is a rather diverse collection of non-commercial rock. Some of it is semi-hard sounding, while a lot of the rest is difficult to classify. There does seem to be an element of self-indulgence here, though some of the mat'l has good period flavor. Grades - 3 B-'s, 3 C+'s, and 3 C's. From RYM (tymeshifter)

martedì, novembre 15, 2011

The Hot Dogs - Say What You Mean (1973 rock)

The Hot Dogs - Say What You Mean
Really good and consistent, somewhat hard, rural flavored rock, featuring great vocal harmony, and quality song writing. My biggest complaint is that some of the tracks are too short, bailing just when they seem to be hitting their stride. Grades - 2 B+'s, 6 B's, 2 B-'s, and a C+. 

The Hot Dogs featured the talents of Memphis-based musicians Greg Reding and Bill Rennie. keyboardist/guitar player Reding had previously been a member of Village Sound, while singer/bass player Rennie had been in The Poor Little Rich Kids (he was known as Bill Renni). Along with former Piccadilly Circus guitarist Jack Holder, in 1970 the pair started playing together under the moniker Silver. The same year the trio went into Memphis' famed Ardent Studios to record some demos. The demos caught the attention of producer Terry Manning who brought in sessions drummer Prouty for backup. Unfortunately Silver fell apart before anything could come of it, with Reding and Rennie subsequently paying their bills as touring sidemen for Albert King. Back in Memphis, 1972 saw Reding and Rennie renew their relationship with producer Manning and with his support went into the Stax-affiliated Ardent Studios to record an album. With backing from Holder, guitarist Robert Johnson, and Prouty, 1973's Manning-produced "Say What You Mean" was a surprisingly likeable set of British-influenced power pop. With Reding and Rennie responsible for much of the material (Manning also contributed several tracks), these guys clearly had an affection for English-styled pop with more than a passing nod to the Fab Four. In fact, imagine what Badfinger would have sounded like if they'd been from Memphis and you'd be in the right aural ballpark. - The title track 'Say What You Mean' was a gorgeous ballad with a haunting melody and some beautiful harmony vocals. Even better were the stunning guitar solos (I'm guessing Holder and Johnson were the featured performers). You had to wonder how this was overlooked as a single. - Kicked along by a xylophone (?), 'Morning Rain' started out with a beguiling laidback tropical feel, before taking brief detours into Uriah Heep organ terrain, following by a Hammond B3 cocktail jazz interlude, and ending with a tasteful lead guitar (Terry manning?). For some reason this one's always reminded me of an early Steely Dan track. It would have slotted nicely on "Can't Buy a Thrill". Very nice. - Shifting gears 'When I Come Home Again' displayed the group's proficiency in the country-rock department. Nice melody with an incidiously catchy chorus be forewarned that this one will stick in your head. - 'Time Is All' started out as an acoustic ballad, but exploded into an outright rocker before returning to it's roots. Not my favorite track, though the guitar solo was pretty hot ... - Side one ended with another acoustic ballad in 'Another Smile'. This one had a pretty melody and some wonderful harmony vocals from the pair. Always liked the chiming twelve strings and the handclap percussion on this one. - 'Thanks' was one of the track that reminded me of something out of the Badfinger catalog. Pretty melody and a dazzling guitar solo made this one of the best songs on the album. Great Rennie bass pattern to boot. - 'Take the Time To Let Me Know' was another pretty ballad, but it didn't really go anywhere. Once again the highlight came in the form of the tasty guitar solo. - Manning's 'Feel Real Fine' offered up a weird mix of country and rock influences. It was definitely weird and almost sounded like a "White Album" outtake. Kicked along by some acoustic slide guitar and harmonica, this was actually one of the catchiest numbers. Beats me why I like it so much. - Starting off as another country-tinged number the mandolin-propelled 'Let Me Look At the Sun' came as another major surprise. Showcasing a fabulous melody and the album's best lead guitar, this was another lost single. - Following a pattern, 'Way To Get To You' opened up with spare acoustic guitars before bursting into a fuller rock arrangement. Another pretty melody with glorious harmony vocals ... - 'Lowdown' ended the album with another out-and-out rocker. While the song was quite good (another killer guitar performance), on this one Reding and Rennie seemed somewhat uncomfortable singing in the high key. This one was tapped at their third and final single. All hyperbole aside, this was one of those rare albums that actually seemed to get better the more often you listened to it. Stax tapped the album for a series of three unsuccessful singles: - 1973's 'Another Smile' b/w 'Way To Go To Get You' (Ardent catalog number ADA 2905) - 1973's 'Morning Rain' b/w 'Say What You Mean' (Ardent catalog number ADA 2906) - 1973's 'Lowdown' b/w 'Let Me Look At the Sun' (Ardent catalog number ADA 2908) "Say What You Mean" track listing: 1.) Say What You Mean (Steve Smith - S.T. Smith) - 6:34 2.) Morning Rain (Greg Reding - Bill Rennie - Terry Manning) - 4:48 3.) When I Come Home Again (Steve Smith - S.T. Smith) - 2:23 4.) Time Is All (Bill Rennie - Jack Holder - Terry Manning - Ruleman) - 3:32 5.) Another Smile (Bill Rennie - Terry Manning) - 2:55 1.) Thanks (Greg Reding - Bill Rennie) - 2:53 2.) Take the Time To Let Me Know (Greg Reding - Jack Holder - Bill Rennie) - 3;34 3.) Feel Real Fine (Terry Manning) - 2:53 4.) Let Me Look At the Sun (Bill Rennie - Terry Manning) - 3:52 5.) Way To Get To You (Greg Reding - Bill Rennie) - 2:33 6.) Lowdown (Greg Reding - Bill Rennie - Terry Manning) - 3:33 With Holder and Prouty on-board as full time members, over the next year the band supported the album and toured extensively. They also recorded a non-LP 45 before calling it quits in 1974. - 1974's 'I Walk the Line' b/w 'Thanks' (Ardent catalog ADA-2910) Holder and Reding subsequently reappeared as members of Black Oak Arkansas playing on at least one LP - 1977's "Race with the Devil". Holder went on to play with the band Cobra, while Reding went on to join The Memphis All Stars. 

From RYM (tymeshifter+ RDTEN1)

mercoledì, novembre 09, 2011

Sounds of Modification - Sounds of Modification (1968 us psych pop)

Sounds of Modification - Sounds of Modification
Sounds of Modification This pop group was ahead of its time. This album must of taken a lot of work. I know at the time it was recorded on 8 tracks at Jubilee recording studios in New York City, 1790 Broadway. With the proper management and guidance this group could of gone a long way. I know this group recorded many recordings. Such as Carry on Carole,Im Down Again,darkness fills my lonely heart, the Umbrella song,I don't know what, and of course their masterpiece A New Place To Live album which I heard was only released in Canada under Mandella records. I would like to collect any and all recordings this rock group has made. The only problem is that I can't find any records to purchase. I know for a fact that Jubilee pressed thousands of copies during 1968 and were distributed throughout the country. But I am still searching. The drummer Mike Cavouto was one of the best drummers on the East coast during the 60s and 70s. Again this group was a sure thing, only if they were managed properly. What a sin. 
From RYM (butchball)

sabato, novembre 05, 2011

Food Brain - Bansan (jap heavy psych prog 1970)

Food Brain - Bansan (Social Gathering)
What the hell is this heavy Japanese hard instrumental rock. If the song That Will Do was just a little bit shorter at 9 minutes long it starts to get on my nevers but the first five minutes or so are great. My favorite song here is Clock a nice 5 minute Hammond Organ/Guitar driven rocker. Check It Out it's Food for your Brain. 
From RYM (classicrockman)

giovedì, novembre 03, 2011

In Spe - In Spe (1983 est prog)

In Spe - In Spe
After discovering the wonderful compositions of Erkki-Sven Tuur it came as a surprise for me to learn that he had once led a prog-rock group in the eighties. Some digging around on internet unearthed an MP3 of their impossible-to-obtain first album and it is indeed a treasure trove of finely played (mostly) instrumental prog. Slightly jazzy, a little bit of classical and folk influences and a sound that is somehow entirely its own. I did keep expecting Mike Oldfield to drop in at some moments, there are definite links to his music circa 'Incantations' and 'Ommadawn', another point of reference would be the albums of Pekka Pohjola. Anyway, a worthwhile discovery and I only hope that somebody has the good sense and taste to reissue it sometime. 
 From RYM (reeves)

domenica, ottobre 30, 2011

The Kitchen Cinq - Everything But...(us 1967 garage psych fuzz)

The Kitchen Cinq - Everything But...
A decent album for garage aficionados, this is a mix of light weight pop with garage flavor, and some harder, grittier cuts, featuring punk flavor and fuzz guitar. They were from Amarillo, Tex. Grades - 3 B's, 3 B-'s, 3 C+'s, and 2 C's 
From RYM (tymeshifter)
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