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picked studio musicians, relegating the band to vocals only) tanked at radio, support for Color Blind was all but withdrawn.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)
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