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)

Mamba - Mamba (swe jazz fusion 1979)

lunedì, settembre 19, 2011

Seedog - We Hope to See You..(1972 krautrock psych jazz ger)

Seedog - We Hope to See You..
On a label most known for two highly regarded avant Krautrock albums - Code III and Sand - Seedog couldn't be more different. This album has a poor reputation, most likely a reaction to the fact its not anywhere near the same style of the two aforementioned bands. It's not Krautrock in the traditional style, yet many of the elements are present: Soaring flute, long tracks and loud guitar solos. It would be passable as an album on Brain, perhaps a companion piece to albums by Cornucopia, Lava and Satin Whale. "We Hope to See You" is song oriented, with way too many vocals in accented English. But it's surprisingly listenable with a chugging acoustic guitar driving the generally happy tone of the album. Had Agitation Free added a multitude of vocals after their "Second" album, then I could imagine Seedog coming from that. And, as it turns out, a former Agitation Free member indeed is a member of Seedog. Much better than I expected. 
From RYM (ashratom)

venerdì, settembre 16, 2011

Rain - Rain (1972 can hard soul)

Rain - Rain
So here's a little known, but mildly enjoyable early-1970s Canadian pop set that you can still find for a reasonable price ... what's not to like about that? Led by former Landslide Mushroom (don't you love the name), vocalist Phyllis Brown, Rain hailed from Kitchner, Ontario Featuring keyboardist Charley Hall, singer Ron Hiller, lead guitarist Bill McLaughlin, and drummer Chris Woroch the band signed to Greg Hambleton's newly formed Axe Records. Axe had a distribution agreement with London which led to the release of their 1971 debut single: - 'Out of My Mind' b/w 'You're the One' (London catalog number 17410). With the single going top-40 in Canada, Axe rushed the band into the studio to record a supporting album. Produced by Hambleton, 1972's cleverly-titled "The Rain Album" included a collection of professional, if seldom inspired pop-rock material. Brown handled most of the vocals and displayed a nice voice, though some of the appeal wore off whenever she tried to push her voice. Hiller was featured on 'I'll Write You a Letter'. Similarly, the rest of the band were quite competent, showing occasional flashes of real talent; particularly Hall's tasteful keyboards and McLaughlin's lead guitar (check out his solo on the atypical rocker 'Got To Get Away'). That said, as a band they didn't seem to have a great deal of personality, or chemistry going for them. That may have been one of the factors in Brown's subsequent decision to go solo. - Yeah, 'Out of My Mind' was a top-40 Canadian hit, but to my ears it was kind of a tuneless mess with Brown breathlessly screeching her way through the song. She clearly had a nice voice, but it wasn't very apparent on this one. rating: ** stars - Written by future Major Hoople's Boarding House front man David Lodge, 'Let the Love Begin' was a far better song. Kicked along by Hall's keyboards, this one had a breezier sound that showcased Brown's blue-eyed soul moves against a nice Stax-ish feel - kind of like a poppier, Canadian Dusty Springfield. rating: *** stars - Hall's organ opened the song with what sounded like a funeral dirge and their cover of Carole King's 'Child of Mine' never recovered ... sounding like it was being performed at half speed, this one just went on and on and on ... rating: ** stars - With 'Got To Get Away' they decided to get heavy ... and much to my surprise they actually pulled it off. Surrounded by a straightforward rock arrangement Brown's voice proved surprisingly well suited to the genre. Great Hiller bass line with McLaughlin turning in a fantastic fuzz guitar lead. Easily the album's stand out performance. rating: **** stars - Penned by Brown, the ballad 'Reason for Living' came off as something The Carpenters might have recorded. Pretty, but inconsequential. rating: ** stars - Side two simultaneously showcased the band's strengths and weaknesses; namely a nice rocker that suffered from Brown's strained and shrill vocals. rating: ** stars - Probably the worst song on the album, 'Here with You' was a hideous touchy-feely ballad that even The Carpenters would have rejected. rating: ** stars - The lone song to feature Hiller on lead vocals, ' (Hiller was featured on 'I'll Write You a Letter')' was a nice slice of power-pop. Definitely one of the album's better tracks with a catchy hook. rating: *** stars - 'Sad Colours Blues' found the band taking a so-so stab at the blues. Competent, but nothing more, the highlight came in the form of McLaughli's tasty lead guitar. This one probably sounded better in a club after you had a couple of beers. rating: ** stars - I'd rate 'I Don't Want To Leave You' their best pop song since it boasted a radio friendly melody and showcased one of Brown's best performances. On this one she sounded competent without pushing into shrill territory. Would've made a nice single. rating: *** stars So, I'd sum it up by saying pleasant pop, but non-essential for most folks. The band hit the Canadian club circuit releasing two follow-up non-LP 45s: That was followed by: - 1972's 'Stop Me From Believing' b/w 'Caught Right in the Middle of It' (AXE catalog number AXE-1) - 1972's 'Find Your Love' b/w'\ 'I Don't Want to Leave You' (Axe catalog number AXE-5) Neither did much commercially, and the band quickly underwent a string of personnel changes. As mentioned, in late 1972 Brown left for a solo career. She was quickly followed by Hiller and McLaughlin who were replaced by lead guitarist Bernie LaBarge and vocalist Brian LeBlanc. The revamped line up made it back into the studio for one final non-LP single before calling it quits: - 1972's 'Make Me' b/w 'Catwalk' (Axe catalog AXE-9) For anyone interested, looking far younger than seems fair, Brown has a small website at: Late inning guitarist LaBarge also has a web presence at: 
From RYM (rdten1)

mercoledì, settembre 14, 2011

The Outlaw Blues Band - Outlaw Blues Band (1968 blues rock psych/prog)

The Outlaw Blues Band - Outlaw Blues Band

A very solid, very consistent mix of light blues pop, and heavy blues rock, with psych influences and featuring some great guitar. Grades - 1 B+, 2 B's, and 4 B-'s. Track B4 stands out as a real klinker to my ears, though.From RYM (tymeshifter)

mercoledì, settembre 07, 2011

Warm Dust (psych - prog - jazz 70/71)

Warm Dust - Peace for Our Time Warm Dust - And It Came to Pass
Warm Dust released 4 albums worth of material in two years (first album is a double). When Warm Dust are on, they play some of the finest jazz infused progressive rock one can ever hear. Somewhere between fellow English groups Nucleus and If, when both are at their peak. There are some really beautiful grooves to be found here. Sometimes they're a bit too diverse for their own good, especially in their feeble attempts at free jazz or straight blues rock numbers. But the good outweighs the bad - especially on the first two albums. 
From RYM (ashratom)

domenica, settembre 04, 2011

Utopia - Utopia (1973 Ger Krautrock)

Utopia - Utopia

Probably more like 3.75 stars. Unless you're a confused Todd Rundgren fan, you probably aren't reading this unless you're more than just a casual fan of Amon Duul II. So, should you add this to your pile of ADII CDs? Yes, if you can find it (not that easy) for a reasonable price (even harder). You're probably aware that technically this isn't even an Amon Duul record; their name was attached only upon a 2nd CD re-release. It began as one member's solo project and then the AD principals jumped in and helped. Thus, in hindsight, calling it an ADII record isn't too much of a stretch. The music itself is pleasantly all over the place. 'Alice' sounds kind of like Kevin Ayers w/a bad sore throat. 'Nasi Goring' sounds like grooved-out '60s Italian soundtrack music. 'Deutsch Nepal' is 'Stonehenge'-era Spinal Tap as hell (including the tongue-in-cheek aspect). 'Jazz Kiste' sounds like a '70s Miles Davis track (think 'Big Fun' or 'On The Corner' but not as repetitive). The rest is maybe a bit more conventional but certainly listenable. The version I have is the Gammarock CD. It includes some bonus tracks. Two are pretty awful (circa '97 recordings; trying way too hard to sound contemporary), one is yet another version of 'Deutsch Nepal' (OK but sort of 'who cares'), and the last three are actually songs by the band 18 Karat Gold (which included somebody from ADII). I assumed these would be pure dreck but 2 of them ('Goldrush' and 'Star Eyed') are quite good. The bottom line I guess is this is worth buying if you have the first 4 or 5 ADII albums and want to add a decent little coda to your collection. 
From RYM (themouthbreather)
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