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)

venerdì, ottobre 28, 2011

The Patron Saints - Fohhoh Bohob (1969 us psych)

The Patron Saints - Fohhoh Bohob
You can barely call this bad boy psych; there's a fair amount cribbed from the firm of Lee and MacLean, but just as much music-hall/recital-type stuff, like Cream's lighter moments. The first couple times I listened to this, I thought these guys sounded vocally like a bunch of jocks trying to make sensitive rock on the sly. The enunciation is something, I gotta tell you. But after a few plays its less immediate charms came to the fore. I'm still not going to pretend it's a classic - like you give a damn, ha - but the boys shew a great sense of dynamics as well as a florid touch on the ivories 'n' acoustic. "Do You Think About Me" is the major mis-step, a jaunty knock at th' hillbillies that won't truck in my part of the country. But "White Light," "Andrea" and "My Friend" attain a kind of sad-sack epicness (the latter is particularly emo, but give it time - the sum weight of the couplets add up to TRUTH). I kind of wish these fine gentlemen - genially maintaining their legacy after four decades - had decided to go for some sort of Gatsbyesque gothic. I mean, fine piano + upstate New York + recording in a mansion + deliberate diction could have = upper-crust guest-room masterpiece. But screw what I want, this is a winner. From RYM (silent mike)

mercoledì, ottobre 26, 2011

3/3 - 3/3 (japan 1975 psych hard rock)

3/3 - 3/3
Consistently fantastic power trio hard rock with strong Hendrix influences, recorded 1974. Bonus disc is live mat'l, recorded 2 years later, in 1976~7, and features some modern style garage/punk. Never mind the out-of-print vinyl reissue (I have a sealed copy if you want one), this CD is the way to go, with bonus tracks on the album reissue disc, plus the whole live bonus disc. Grades for both discs combined - 1 A, 4 A-'s, 9 B+'s, 6 B's, and 4 B-'s, nothing even mediocre on the whole package! These guys wail, and if you're into that heavy early 70's sound, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. From RYM (tymeshifter)

giovedì, ottobre 20, 2011

Vision of Sunshine - Vision of Sunshine (70 pop/psych folk)

Steeplechase - Lady Bright (1970 us hard rock)

Steeplechase - Lady Bright
Enjoyable, soulful 70's rock album, reminded me of my favorite unknown 70's band Gypsy. The booklet has absolutely no info on the band, it does not even list the bandmembers. Nice guitar organ interplay, sometimes even sounding like Santana on a couple of tunes. Not a must-have, but will definitely get some replay on my cd player. 
From RYM (jimslim11)

sabato, ottobre 15, 2011

Strider - Misunderstood (1974 uk hard rock)

Strider - Misunderstood
Pure hardrock with keyboards and a very good vocalist. Other stuff than their first output. 
From RYM (warpigcat)

sabato, ottobre 08, 2011

Spjärnsvallet - Spjärnsvallet (1975 swe jazz prog)

Spjärnsvallet - Spjärnsvallet
Interesting ethno prog. The A-side is really good, whereas the B-side is a bit mundane. All in all, warmly recommended.
From RYM (tovan)

lunedì, ottobre 03, 2011

Complex - Complex (1970 uk psych prog)

Complex - Complex
The first reissue of this horrendously rare LP was this American, Swank label bootleg from 1991. Originally pressed in only 99 copies, to avoid the arcane British taxes on 100 or more, the original album has sold years ago for $6000! Unfortunately, that original pressing was terribly flawed, with sound fidelity that sounds like what you might expect if you buried your speakers under a mountain of dirty laundry. This boot takes that original sound, and, like most bootlegs, amplifies that poor fidelity many fold, to the point where the sound is quite literally almost undefinable. I used to be able to tweak it into partially listenable zones by cranking the treble frequencies on my equalizer way up. But this is no longer necessary due to the release of the Tenth Planet reissue, which doesn't even attempt to clean up the original sound, but goes back to the original tapes and remasters them. See my review of that issue for further details. This issue is worth keeping only because it features a replica of the original back cover, not duplicated on the TP issue. The front cover artwork is closer on the TP one than this, though. Grades - 1 A-, 2 B+'s, 3 B's, 1 C, and a C-. Notice my grades for the other reissue to compare how much the poor fidelity of this one affected them. From RYM (tymeshifter)

domenica, ottobre 02, 2011

Lee Michaels - Carnival of Life (1968 superb us psych heavy psych)

Lee Michaels - Carnival of Life
Surely his strongest release. Though his albums are generally considered commercial, this one generates strong cross-over appeal to the underground crowd. Just a hint of commercialism flavors this basically hard rock record, which features some strong psych overtones. Some of these tracks are actually pop/psych. Overall, it's a superb album, a real sleeper! Grades - 3 A-'s, 1 B+, 4 B's, and a C+. From RYM (tymeshifter)

sabato, ottobre 01, 2011

Jam Factory - Sittin in the Trap(1970 us jazzrock jazz fusion)

Jam Factory - Sittin in the Trap
Obscure horn rock band from new york. This is a tough one to review this band plays a mix of blues, soul, rock and pyschadelia with a very good horn section. The vocals are good here as well nice and soulfull and deep there are a few singers here. My only complaint about this album is the lyrical content most of the lyrics here are about getting along, getting together, loving each other respect your brother bla bla i wasnt around at the time of the war and whatever else was going on in the late 60's and early 70's so i cant identify anyway the album is growing on me the more i listen to it. This album is blogged at redtelephone66 check it out 
From RYM (rockyg)

mercoledì, settembre 28, 2011

The Unspoken Word - Tuesday, April 19th (1968 us psych folk)

The Unspoken Word - Tuesday, April 19th.
Appears to be a bit of a concept bunch of songs - introspection and awakenings...done with such a literate and eloquent touch that it belies its' time of conception and execution. With undeniable touches of teh psychedelia, this is intelligent, thoughtful 60s baroque pop of the highest order. The two inner points of view on 'Distant Oh So Far', delivered by way of male/female lead vocals, is a real neat trick that's pulled off with panache and a wonderful lightness of production/arrangement...and that's just one example of how they get it all so RIGHT here. They go and blow it right at the closing, though, with the typically embarrasing late 60s carry-on called 'We're Growing'. Ignore.

From RYM (moondoggieferg)

venerdì, settembre 23, 2011

Boyce & Hart - Test Patterns (1967 psych bubblegum usa)

Boyce & Hart - Test Patterns
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, everybody knows, were great composers of many songs of The Monkees and some Bubble Gum classics. In this album they demonstrate to be great singers and versatile artists, passing by Pop, Psycho, Flamenco, Rock'n'Roll and Blues. 
From RYM (iendis)

giovedì, settembre 22, 2011

Vindication - Vindication (1973 Xstian Prog)

Vindication - Vindication
Indiana based Christian progressive rock band. No mistaking its Midwest identity, with those unique bowling-alley-beer-binges-meets-barbershop-quartet harmony vocals. Music is insanely complex for the time and place, and especially for the subject matter. It would seem Ohio's The Load may have heard or known Vindication as well, though they weren't near as complex as their brethren to the West. This one seems to get better with age. 
From RYM (ashratom)
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