Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 58: All Thy Sons Command [Canada pt.2]

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TDATS 58 is my second collection of Canadian tracks. I was sure I had exhausted the possibilities on my first Canadian collection, [EDIT: there is now also a third: Vol92] but with some help from various online cohorts and some more extensive searches I have come up with another winner!

We kick off with what I consider one of the best tracks I have ever found, at any time. Toronto's "The Churls" made a couple of albums in 68 and 69 and this track is just about as good as heavy psych can be, but it's also a progressive rock pre-cursor with it's excellent production and considered structure that builds up layers of intensity. Vancouver's Trooper are up next, they created a fair few albums of melodic pop-rock to varying success in the late 70s and to be honest, were not that great but I do dig "In Trouble Again" a lot, just fun, heavy driving rock, the kind that you wanna play on the highway. Montreal's Offenbach are impossible to describe, they were all over the rock spectrum, singing in French and English. What ever they turned their hand to was done well, be it hard rock riffing of "High But... Low" or the Hammond organ atmospherics of "Mourir d'Amour", both tracks are on here.

The next track from Montreal's Sex was a contentious inclusion, I'd obviously rather have not used a song with these plainly ludicrous lyrics, but musically it's the most rockin, Sabbathist track on their debut s/t album, so make of it what you will. Next is Winnipeg's 'Next...', an obscure one-shot band which was a pleasure to find, not particularly heavy but with a unique prog sound and great vocals. Toronto's It's All Meat made one great heavy psych album in 1970, the hammond and proto hard-rock riffs mix to perfection with the attitude-filled vocals, great stuff! Mashmakhan were a reasonably well known and successful pop/rock band, not normally ripe for TDATS inclusion but I do like this Deep Purplish track that's tucked away on the b-side of their 1972 single 'Dance a Little step'. This song has been responsible for holding up the release of this comp for a while, as I waited for a better quality rip, but alas I don't think there is, so here is the best one I can find, please let me know otherwise though!

I used Hamilton's Simply Saucer once before on my proto-punk comp. It's hard to believe this material is from 1975, they certainly created a swirling mix of punky aggression, along with a fair amount of Krautrock abstraction. Montreal's Emerald City offer us some extremely fine Hendrixian guitar from their sole 1976 album "Waiting for the Dawn" and after that is my first inclusion of a rather better-known Canadian band, April Wine. This is a fairly commercial track from one of their mid-70s albums; "Stand Back", excellent track though. Toronto's Luke & The Apostles recorded a few great heavy psych singles and band members went on to form other notable Canadian bands such as McKenna Mendelson Mainline, Kensington Market and The Modern Rock Quartet (The MRQ). We finish up with Toronto's Max Webster, who almost made it in to the first Canadian comp, I have since found some more from them and I dig the quirky sounds on the debut self-titled from 1976.

Track List:

01. The Churls - Time Piece (1968)
02. Trooper - In Trouble Again (1975)
03. Offenbach - High But... Low / Mourir d'Amour (1972)
04. Sex - I Had To Rape Her (1970)
05. Next - Strange Mood (1971)
06. It's All Meat - Roll My Own (1970)
07. Mashmakhan - One Night Stand (1972)
08. Simply Saucer - Electro Rock (1975)
09. Emerald City - Little Red (1976)
10. April Wine - Victim For Your Love (1975)
11. Luke & The Apostles - Been Burnt (1967)
12. Max Webster - Hangover (1976)

Thanks for listening! Rich

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

2nd birthday and Merry Christmas!




The blog has been going for two years now, much longer than I expected, and has become something of a 'second job' for me so I just would like to say thanks to everyone who has contributed, and also to all those who have been listening, shown interest and kept me doing it!

If any of you have comments, ideas for new themes or would just like to show me some more great bands drop me a line on Facebook, LastFMaftersabbath@live.co.uk or here on the blog. In the mean-time, have an awesome Christmas and new year, and watch out for the next volume which will be another bunch of great Canadian bands entitled "All Thy Sons Command!"

See ya soon, Rich

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 57: Speedball Morning


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TDATS 57 is another selection of English language rock and psych weirdities from my searches.

Blackhorse were a very obscure Florida-based band and open up the compilation with a full frontal assault of gritty southern-tinged hard rock, which takes us nicely on to more southern flavor with the Skynyrdian riffs of Swampgas who made one album, in 1972 according to the sources. "The Accent" were a one-single 60s band that showed some great proto-progressive song-writing for 'Red Sky At Night' and Bullet is reputedly one of the founding names of blogger's favourite Hard Stuff (see Vol.2) who's early recordings also came under the name of Daemon. As Hard Stuff they recorded two quirky and heavy rock/prog albums, they were an 'obscure supergroup' as such, including John Du Cann and Paul Hammond formerly of Atomic Rooster, and John Gustafson, formerly of Quatermass. Texas's Twilighters come in with another short sharp 60s psych single, and Patto was a progressive blues-rock band formed in England in 1970 by vocalist Mike Patto with a lineup taken from 60s psych band Timebox, consisting of vocalist Patto, drummer John Halsey, guitarist and vibraphone player Ollie Halsall, and bassist Clive Griffiths.

John Fitch & Associates' 'Stoned Out Of It' offers a great mix of funk and psychedelic soul. Best known for his work with Ducks Deluxe and Tyla Gang, Sean Tyler also played with Help Yourself and Joan Jett. His reputation as an influence on punk is evident with the attitude-filled performance in this comp's namesake 'Speedball Morning'. Surrey, UK's The Factory (aka Souvenir Badge Factory) are next with their mod-pop single 'Try a little sunshine' which has a great juxtaposition between angelic vocals and heavy fuzz guitar in an instantly likable mix. There is very little history on Facedancers, the only clue is the liner notes saying they recorded in NYC, which is a shame as 'Let the music set you free' could well have been an anthem for disaffected youth.

Take a listen to Feathered Fish from The Sons of Adam and you may be very surprised to hear it was recorded in 1966, it's hard rock structure is quite evident, this could be somewhat explained by their very early appearance of the forward-thinking Randy Holden (see Vol.2) who, after playing with Blue Cheer, would later record his solo opus 'Population II' with a bank of 16 (some say more) 200W Sunn Amps.

Thunder was a duo, consisting of David Alley and Whitey Thomas. For their only album release, they got a little help from some friends. Like Bloodrock's Randy Reeder (see vol 1), guitarist Bugs Henderson and, John Nitzinger (Nitzinger being a particular favourite of mine - see Vol 3). John playing guitar, bass and writing about half the album. California's Kingdom created a decent garage rock album in 1970 and 'Waiting, Hesitating' demonstrates some insistent catchy riffing. The Stereo Shoestring made a great job of re-constructing The Pretty Thing's 'Defecting Grey', adding even more fuzz, for 'On The Road South'. The compilation ends on a recent find for me while formulating a 'Southern Rock' comp.  Ann Arbor, MI's Brownville Station made a lot of hard / southern / boogie rock albums during the 70s and are mostly famous for their cover of  "Smokin' in the Boys Room" but their lesser-known tracks revealed a keen and quirky sense of humour, like 1977's 'The Martian Boogie'.

Track List:

01. Blackhorse - Fox Huntin' (1979)
02. Swampgas - Potato Strut (1972)
03. The Accent - Red Sky At Night (1967)
04. Bullet - Fortunes Told (1970)
05. The Twilighters - Nothing Can Bring Me Down (1967)
06. Patto - Loud Green Song (1972)
07. John Fitch & Associates - Stoned Out Of It (1969)
08. Tyla Gang - Speedball Morning (1975)
09. The Factory - Try a Little Sunshine (1969)
10. Facedancers - Let the Music Set You Free (1972)
11. The Sons of Adam (feat. Randy Holden) - Feathered Fish (1966)
12. Thunder - King's X (1974)
13. Kingdom - Waiting, Hesitating (1970)
14. The Stereo Shoestring - On The Road South (1968)
15. Brownsville Station - The Martian Boogie (1977)

Thanks for listening! Rich

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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 56: Freedom Of Yore [Wales pt.1]


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TDATS 56 is a collection of bands from Wales, "the land of song". Expecting this to be hard, I was prepared for it take a long time to finish, like the Greek comp did for example. To my surprise it was not a hard task and I was able to wrap up the whole thing in a couple of days, I am very happy with the results! What I have found is that, although the relative number of old Welsh rock bands is low, the quality of them all is consistently great and I did not have the usual arduous task of running through & rejecting tens or hundreds of albums, as each one I discovered had at least one excellent track, in this respect I think it was the easiest regional comp to make so far...

Track List:
01. Man - Spunk Box (1969)
02. Ancient Grease - Eagle Song (1970)
03. Eyes Of Blue - 7 + 7 Is & Inspiration for a New Day (1968)
04. Love Sculpture - Nobody's Talking (1970)
05. Alkatraz - Nobody Like You (1976)
06. Fair Weather - I Hear You Knockin' (1970)
07. Brân - Y Gwylwyr (1975)
08. Quicksand - Overcome the Pattern / Flying (1973)
09. Kimla Taz - Tomorrow (1968)
10. Lone Star - The Ballad Of Crafty Jack (1977)
11. Blonde On Blonde - Ride With Captain Max (1969)
12. Sassafras - Electric Chair [Live @ The BBC] (1977)
13. The Neutrons - Snow Covered Eyes (1974)

We kick off with one of the more well-known bands on here, "Man", from South Wales' Merthyr Tydfil. Man evolved out of The Bystanders, a successful close harmony pop group. Many of their members went on to other important Welsh bands and this track is so good, sludgy and heavy with unique character. Ancient Grease (aka 'Strawberry Dust') were one of the bands here to share members with Man, including Phil Ryan and John Weathers. Their sole album 'Women And Children First' is one of my all-time favourites and they really do concoct a heavy swirling fug of groove through the whole album, along with awesome gritty vocals. I have made the entire album available here as I think it's one of the essentials, nuff said.

Eyes Of Blue evolved during the mid-sixties from covers and R&B band The Mustangs, based in Neath, and are one of the earliest and most important bands here. They also had later connections to Man and Ancient Grease. A good history (including many of the bands on this comp) can be found here and their last recorded album was made under the alternative moniker "Big Sleep". Here they have two songs including an interesting version of Love's '7 + 7 Is', and they show their diverse mix of sounds, including 60s psych and bluesy riffs. Cardiff's Love Sculpture (1966-70) formed from the remnants of local band "The Human Beans", they played mainly straight-forward blues and released two albums, this track "Nobody's Talking" has a dragging doomy feeling that I love.

After his stint in The Neutrons (who also feature on this comp), Will Youatt joined up with his ex-Quicksand partner James Davies to found Alkatraz and I have used their blues-swaggering track "Nobody Like You". Fair Weather evolved from a split within Amen Corner, they recorded a couple of great albums, with a mix of big band/brass and hard rock, they briefly achieved success with a UK singles chart #6 hit, "Natural Sinner". Brân hailed from Bethesda in North Wales and are the only band here to record in the Welsh language (Cymraeg), their talents included ethereal vocals from Nest Howells, which leant a beautiful folky ambience to tracks like "Y Gwylwyr". Quicksand created one album in 1973, a curious mix of heavy prog, folk and hard rock. I have joined two consecutive tracks here "Overcome the Pattern" & "Flying" to form a sprawling atmospheric trip.

Cardiff's Kimla Taz was noticed as one of the best local bands tipped by their home town heroes Love Sculpture. They later included guitarist Paul Chapman who also features on this comp in Lone Star. They play some catchy 60 style pop psych and never made an album, but have had an archival CD release in recent times. Lone Star (aka 'Iona') are up next and they undoubtedly had plenty of talent, with members who were or would be in Uriah Heep, (the Irish) Skid Row and Budgie to name a few, their vision of a hard rocking southern-tinged sci-fi based sound was a unique one! Newport's Blonde On Blonde moved to London to find their fortune and had some success with performances at festivals like the Isle Of Wight. On a side-note, guitarist Ralph Denyer went on to write the widely-selling 'The Guitar Handbook' which I have a copy of myself!

Cardiff's Sassafras, who featured one-time Love Sculpture drummer Congo Jones, were a hard working band who once held a world record of 332 live performances in one year, and they still occasionally ply their hard bluesrock to this day. The compilation ends with The Neutrons, another branch off from Man, they played early keyboard-heavy proto-prog and the track here 'Snow Covered Eyes' is backed by urgent acoustic guitar, slowly subduing into Rick Wright (rip) stlye ad-libbing, as a fine lead out...

Thanks for listening! Rich

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Friday, November 18, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 55: Barking At The Ants

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Number 55 is another random collection, with plenty of heavy psych, and also hard rock to keep you satisfied, the most commercial sounding (but still little-known) being Chicago's Mariah who seem to have come out of nowhere with a single album and disappeared just as fast, though the six piece group's second guitarist Frank Sullivan found fame several years later with AOR kings Survivor.

Rubber Memory recorded their album on basic equipment in 1970, and the first track here "All Together" is an absolute stormer, quirky, unique, and very heavy in places. The Running Man recorded one album in 1972, most of which is jazz orientated but the eponymous track here is lurching stoner-riff perfection. The Omens are the first of our 60s psych bands here and 'Searching' has a rock-solid insistence to it, with some crazy keyboard improv. Leviathan were a heavy prog band from Memphis who had up to three keyboards playing together and Angel Of Death one of their Uriah Heep-ish heavies.

Headstone made one private album "Still Looking" in 1974, with some great heavy psych that was probably a little behind the times even then, with its growling 60s fuzz guitar sound. The Purple Sun are a bit of an enigma, with unfortunately only this single in existence, but awesome it is with a great theatrical vocal performance backed by big fuzz guitar lines. JPT Scare Band may be known to many of you and "All Lit Up" is from a late (1979) recording that has been re-released by Ripple Music recently, it finds them in a more straight-forward radio friendly mood than their earlier stuff. There is an interesting story that The Dickens were actually the road crew of a band called NRBQ (The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet) who were sent out to play after NRBQ shows holding instruments  they were not familiar with, turned up as loudly as possible, to see what might happen...'Don't Talk About My Music' is one of the results!

Goodthunder created one album in 1972, at first listen it did not reveal too much but I found on repeated listens that it's actually very good, subtleties in the music become apparent and the comp's title track 'Barking At The Ants' has an involving progressive structure with nice heavy hammond. We return to some more pounding heavy psych with White Clover's '(Keep Your People) Dancin', which is taken from a demo tape of this early incarnation of Kansas no less. The compilation ends on an awesome track from the not so obscure Spirit, which I found to have some great heavy transitions along with some spacey keyboard work.

Track List:

01. Rubber Memory - All Together (1970)
02. The Running Man - Running Man (1972)
03. The Omens - Searching (1966)
04. Leviathan - Angel Of Death (1974)
05. Headstone - I Love You (1974)
06. Mariah - Reunion (1975)
07. The Purple Sun - Doomsday (1971)
08. JPT Scare Band - All Lit Up (1979)
09. The Dickens - Don't Talk About My Music (1969)
10. Goodthunder - Barking At The Ants (1972)
11. White Clover - (Keep Your People) Dancin' (1968)
12. Spirit - When I Touch You (1970)

Thanks for listening! Rich

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 54: Late Night Woman Blues [blues pt.1]

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Number 54 is a collection of heavy blues and blues-inspired tunes, which now makes for three so far; Vol54Vol79 and Vol108. Being the root of what we know as rock music, I figured it was quite an important subject to tackle. This volume has a great age range, featuring one of the oldest tracks I have used so far (1965).

We kick off with a short and brooding instrumental from Booker T. & The MG's. Jones was a child prodigy, playing the oboe, saxophone, trombone, and piano at school and serving as church organist. The band also features Steve Cropper, who was voted in at 36 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Next up is Elias Hulk, a one album band who made some great hard blues and are back in the studio this year for a 2nd album! Better late than never, they follow Iron Claw and Incredible Hog as some great heavy 70s obscurities who have also become active again recently. 

I used a short Moloch track back on Vol11. As a good example of how making these comps has developed my own personal taste, back then I thought there was only one worthy track but on a second look in my recent searches for blues I have realised how great their sole self titled- album from 1970 really is in it's entirety! Band of Light were based in Australia, Phil Key was the founding member, bringing with him Peter Roberts, both being kiwis who were previously in The La De Da's, who I used back on the New Zealand volume.

Arizona's Bliss produced one decent album of bluesy psych in 1969 and Capability Brown from the UK included Roger Flavell, who was later in Christie, a band I used back on Vol12. They excelled in 6-part harmonies and each of the 6 members sung with a different range, as well as all being talented musicians. Not much is known about The Blues Goes On, but they are thought to be one and the same as the "Live Experience Band", a group of West Germans who could imitate The Jimi Hendrix Experience like nobody else, doing covers, and originals like the track here, "Rimmler Blues". 

Moirana were a Danish super group including Ken Gudman from Culpeper's Orchard, who Zischkale used on his Cumulonimbic Rock comp  and they do a great job with the monumental performance of the comp's title track, "Late Night Woman Blues". Olhssons Grova were an obscure Swedish band that did this excellent raw cover of a track written by Rudy Toombs, a productive lyricist and composer of doo-wop songs and rhythm and blues standards during the 1950s and 1960s, which later became more famous when John Lee Hooker covered it in 1966. Arzachel (aka "Uriel") were a band that formed when the core members were all at school together, and eventually included names you may know, Steve Hillage and Dave Stewart who were also later in Gong, and Clive Brooks who went on to drum in Groundhogs. Their track here 'Leg' is an amazing psych-blues monster.

"The New Cactus Band", named in honour of Cactus but strangely containing no members of Cactus, did feature notable musicians such as Captain Beyond's Bobby Caldwell on drums and Iron Butterfly's Mike Pinera. Alabama's Felt made one album in 1969 that skillfully blended hard rock, blues and jazz and Three Souls In My Mind (later "El Tri") are an active Mexican band who were regarded as influential in the development of Mexican rock music. The comp ends with the A-side of a single I used already on Vol50  (my 'dubious' comp), I have since established that the single genuinely is from 1971 and Stone Axe featured two members of Josefus. I must thank Lectriclady for many suggestions on this one including Felt, Elias Hulk, The New Cactus Band and Olhssons Grova.

01. Booker T. & The MG's - Plum Nellie (1965)
02. Elias Hulk - Yesterday's Trip (1970)
03. Moloch - Cocaine Katy / Maverick Woman Blues (1970)
04. Band Of Light - The Cat [B side] (1973)
05. Bliss - Visions (1969)
06. Capability Brown - Keep Death Off The Road (Drive On The Pavement) (1973)
07. The Blues Goes On - Rimmler Blues (1971)
08. Moirana - Late Night Woman Blues (1974)
09. Olhssons Grova - One Bourbon One Scotch And One Beer (1971)
10. Arzachel - Leg (1969)
11. The New Cactus Band - Blue Gypsy Woman (1973)
12. Felt - Weepin' Mama Blues (1971)
13. Three Souls In My Mind - Lennon Blues (1971)
14. Stone Axe - Snakebite (1971)

Thanks for listening! Rich

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Exclusive TDATS interview with Jim Ronnie from Iron Claw.



Scotland's Iron Claw will be well-known to many of you. Their seminal 70's recordings languished in boot leg limbo for many decades until the first rays of light appeared when Rockadrome Records presented Iron Claw's first ever official release, a lovingly remastered collection of 1970-74 recordings.

This release showed how much fan interest there was bubbling away, hungrily waiting for a properly presented document of the ahead-of-their time band and later Ripple Music snapped them up, signing them for an album of all-new material. 'A Different Game' was released at the beginning of October 2011 to critical approval and as an avid consumer of all that was obscure in the hard rock world, I have contacted Jim Ronnie, guitarist with Iron Claw, for an exclusive TDATS interview.

I love that some of these bands, such as Iron Claw, who really showed their skills were comparative to the commercial greats of the time but just never got the breaks they deserved, are getting the belated chance to show what they are made of, playing live again and releasing new material! After recruiting a new singer in the form of Gordon Brown for 'A Different Game', they have played a number of shows this year already.

Unfortunately Gordon his since parted ways with the band, but his awesome performance is there for all the hear on the new disk, along with the rest of the original members' storming performances.

So, take it away Jim....

Q1. I read some comments once by Alex Wilson (Iron Claw's founding member and bass player) regarding a demo tape that you guys handed to Black Sabbath in your early years and how the end result wasn't so great for Iron Claw. Can you elaborate on the story and tell us your thoughts on it?
Jim: The Black Sabbath / Iron Claw story is already well documented and there isn't really much to add to it. We first met Sabbath at Dumfries Youth Club in 1969 and it was that night that Alex made what I believe is the first live recording of the band. (Black Sabbath now have sole rights to this recording). They were pretty bluesy and heavy as hell but I guess that's no surprise! Over the following months we saw and met up with them a few times and eventually went to see them at Newcastle City Hall and handed them a copy of our recently recorded album. This was the Iron Claw album that we recorded in London with Mike Waller on vocals. Songs that have recently been remastered and released by Rockadrome Records such as Crossrocker, Sabotage, Skullcrusher. We got to hear that Sabbath's management were not to happy with us upstarts producing this style of heavy rock and that was that. No big deal really.


Q2. The confident new album 'A Different Game' is now out, and it sounds like you guys have never been away! What are your thoughts on how it's been received in the short time since it's release?
Jim: The reaction to the new album has been amazing. Lots of critics have taken the time to review the album and I'm pleased to say the great majority have been 100% behind us. There have been a couple of blogs dissapointed at not getting the proto-doom Iron Claw of 1970 but hey, things move on. Interesting that you should say that it sounds like we have never been away because that's exactly how it felt as soon as the recording process started. This was not a difficult album to make. This is Iron Claw really getting back to our roots with blues-based heavy guitar rock and just laying it down with the minimum of production.

Q3. Gordon Brown puts in a great performance on the new album. How did you get together with him, and were there ever plans for Willie Davidson to sing again?
Jim: I agree. Gordon has done a fine job on the album. He was recommended to us by a friend. It was originally intended that Willie Davidson take the vocalist job but it didn't happen as planned. As you know, Gordon and the band parted company shortly after the album launch so we are now in the process of finding his replacement. Hopefully this shouldn't take too long as we're keen to get back on the road. There have been a few great singers offering their services already and we're confident that we'll be back very soon.

Q4. Apart from the new vocals, did Gordon inspire or contribute any other new elements to Iron Claw's sound on 'A Different Game'.
Jim: Gordon wrote lyrics for 10 of the 13 songs on the album.

Q5. Where abouts did you record 'A Different Game'?
Jim: The album was recorded in Alex's place in Dumfries, "Sair Heid Studios". The name being a reference to the height of the cellar door frame and nothing to do with a hangover!

Q6. Can you tell us a little about how the new material developed and how the recording sessions were?
Jim: There are three of the songs on the album that are brand new and written during the recording sessions. The rest of them have their beginnings in 1970's Iron Claw or are songs previously written by Alex or myself. For example "What Love Left" and "Love Is Blind" started life as songs played live in 1973 but were never recorded then. In all cases though songs were stripped bare and reworked to give them a contempoary feel.

Q7. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to see Iron Claw live yet, how did the recent show in Gretna go and how were the new and old songs received?
Jim: Gretna went really well as did the previous and first outing at Comlongon Rocks the week before. I've got to say though that the official album launch at Barlinnie Prison was something very special. This is one gig that I will never forget. It was a very frosty reception that we got from a few hundred sober prisoners when we took to the stage that night. We were obviously facing a huge task in winning these guys round. But we did win them round and witnessing the audience warm to us was immensly satisfying. The resulting shared experience was pure magic. Governor Derek McGill reported that the buzz lasted for days!

Q8. How was it playing the old material for the first time since Iron Claw's brief reformation for the Jock McBain tribute show in 1993?
Jim: We never got to play any of the old stuff at the live shows so far. All the material played was from "A Different Game".

Q9. What became of Jock's old band 'Smart As The Devil', that you continued to play with for a few years?
Jim: Willie Davidson was at the heart of "Smart as the Devil" and when he retired and left the band we carried on for a short time but it wasn't to last. I enjoyed my time with them. We played mostly covers of other rock bands but always put our own stamp on the songs and made them our own. Stuff like James Gang, ZZ Top, Bob Segar, Led Zep, Small Faces, Taste etc.

Q10. Iron Claw continues to inspire modern rock bands and fans, especially in the scenes that I am personally interested in. Do you listen to much new music, or recent releases from established bands, and if so could you name some?
Jim: My personal listening is quite varied although I've got to admit to being somewhat consumed by my own music when I'm in the middle of creating it. Recently I've got into the new Chickenfoot album (I do like Mr Satriani).

Q11. Finally, can you give us any scoops regarding the future for Iron Claw, like upcomming shows or ideas for more new music?
Jim: The plan right now is a simple one. Get the new singer worked into the band and get out there and blast out songs from "A Different Game" and some of the earlier songs too. Ripple Music have already said they would be keen to release another album as long as its as "kick ass" as this one. That's for a few months down the line but something we're already looking forward to.

Jim: Huge thanks to you for taking an interest in Iron Claw and for the support you continue to give us. Rock on!

Thanks a lot Jim, and good luck with what 2012 brings for Iron Claw!
The new album can be bought from Ripple on CD, or from CDbaby for a digital download.

Further references: Iron Claw on Facebook.

Thanks for reading!! Rich.


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 53: I Was Alone

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password:  tdats
Volume 53 is another general collection of great tracks from my travels through the vaults. It does so happen that all these are from the US though....

Liquid Smoke were a Long Island, New York group that made one great album in 1970, one highlight of which is this hard rock/psych crossover track "Lookin' For Tomorrow". Another NY band, "Elephants Memory", had a long and interesting career, at one time backing John Lennon and Yoko Ono on "Some Time In New York City" and "Approximately Infinite Universe". They recorded the crazy track "Mongoose" during their hard rockin' phase and actually had quite a hit with it.

Bohemian Vendetta were yet another NY group, they had a difficult start, going through three different names, "Like Stoned" was their first ever demo and immediately showcased their peculiarly heavy psych with pounding drums. Zerfas were an Indianapolis, Indiana outfit who created some unusual music laden with sound effects, and they hit on their best formula with the stark lyrics of "You Never Win". Macabre were no less than an early incarnation of Pentagram, but Bobby Liebling's usual vagueness regarding the beginnings of the band make it hard to know exactly when or by whom this great track "Be Forewarned" was recorded. It does show a markedly different "heavy psych" sound compared to the Stone Bunny or Pentagram recordings.

Sandston, Virginia's Short Cross made one 1971 album, "Arising", showing some surprisingly accomplished and well structured hard rock/blues with frantic horns, and Dallas's The Exotics made some stabbingly heavy psych in 1968 with this volume's title track, "I Was Alone". In 1971 Texan psych band the Playboys of Edinburg changed their name to Poe and created a very cool concept album called "Up Thru The Spiral", the album chronicles the life and thoughts of Edgar Cayce, a man who could put himself into some kind of self-induced sleep state to traverse space and time. Sundance were a West Coast Rock band that put one rocker "Chico Woman" on their sole s/t album from 1971.

Three Dog Night may be familiar to you with a fair few hits under their belt, mostly cover versions (I found them originally via their Hoyt Axton "The Pusher" cover) but this little hard-rocking groovy instrumental is by far my favourite track of theirs, and following them we have none other than James Gang/Deep Purple Guitarist Tommy Bolin, with his 2nd apperance since #49 and a heavy number from his 1976 album "Private Eyes". Leo & The Prophets take us on one final heavy 60's psych trip with "Tilt-A-Whirl" before a very early and, you'll find, surprising harder-rocking closer "Dead At Last".

Track List:

01. Liquid Smoke - Lookin' For Tomorrow (1970)
02. Elephant's Memory - Mongoose (1970)
03. Bohemian Vendetta - Like Stoned (1966)
04. Zerfas - You Never Win (1973)
05. Macabre - Be Forewarned (1971)
06. Short Cross - Wastin' Time (1972)
07. The Exotics - I Was Alone (1968)
08. Poe - Automatic Writing / Sons Of Belial (1971)
09. American Eagle - On The Rack (1970)
10. Sundance - Chico Woman (1971)
11. Three Dog Night - Fire Eater (1971)
12. Tommy Bolin - Shake The Devil (1976)
13. Leo & The Prophets - Tilt-A-Whirl (1967)
14. Dead At Last (1971)

Thanks for listening! Rich

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 52: Have Some Fun [funk pt.1]

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What's this, a volume of TDATS with jiving on the cover? Don't worry, what we have here is a volume which will go down well at a funk party, of course in true TDATS style, it would be a very  heavy funk party...

About half of these tracks are from obscure and lost singles, but we have a few from albums. The Soul Bros. Inc. have recently had all their singles compiled to an LP on the German label Tramp Records. It is believed that Jimi Hendrix and track 3's Betty Davis (Miles Davis's second wife) had an affair that hastened the end of her marriage to Miles Davis, but Hendrix and Miles stayed close and even planned to record until Hendrix's death. Betty Davis remained a cult figure as a singer, due in part to her open sexual attitude, which was controversial for the time. Some of her shows were boycotted, as well as radio plays, due to pressure by religious groups. With the passage of time her records have become highly regarded by collectors of soul and funk music.

Black Merda were a funky rock Detroit combo mixing fuzz-toned, psychedelic blues-rock with folky acoustic passages and contemporary late-'60s soul. Detroit features again here with Scorpion and their entertaining track "Running From Myself".

Surprisingly, we have a couple of german krautrock era bands here too, Armegeddon and Orange Peel (see #19). Less surprisingly we have a strong trio of Argentinean bands in Dynamita, Gipsys & Trio Galleta. Tack 11 "Equiana"  is an infectious drum-heavy curiosity from an obscure French outfit "Skins" and African People produced one consistently great album in Italy, 1971, cashing in on the wave of early 70's blaxploitation and being over seen by none other than Vangelis's older brother Nikos Papathanasiou who worked at Polydor records Italy. Another Italian curio here is Count Down's "Raptus" which is an unusual slice of disco, and the comp ends on a Zimbabwean combo Otis Waygood Blues Band who impressed me greatly with their wide range of talents when I used them once before on my African comp.

01. The Soul Bros. Inc. - Girl In The Hot Pants / Put It On Him (1972)
02. Kid Rock - Doctor Rock (1973)
03. Betty Davis - If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up (1973)
04. Dynamita - Señor Viento [Mr Wind] (1972)
05. Shotgun - Trouble Shooter (1977)
06. Black Merda - Prophet (1970)
07. Armegeddon - Oh Man (1972)
08. Jade - Paper Man (1974)
09. Iron Knowledge - Showstopper (1974)
10. Gipsys - Kamasutra (1971)
11. Skins - Equiana (1972)
12. Trio Galleta - Tomalo (1971)
13. Scorpion - Running From Myself (1969)
14. Count Down - Raptus (1976)
15. African People - On The March (1970)
16. Orange Peel - I Got No Time (1970)
17. Otis Waygood Blues Band - Have Some Fun (1970)

Thanks for listening! Rich.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 51: Return To Sanity

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TDATS 51 is an un-themed collection of great tracks, some more and some less known among obscure rock aficionados. Edge kicks things off with a perfect opener, a great bluesy hard rocker with a catchy riff. They have a west-coast background, drummer/singer David Novogroski having been with Boston Tea Party previously. Indian Summer were a Coventry, UK band who made one accomplished album of hard prog in 1971, featuring great keyboard work. Managed by Jim Simpson, who also looked after Black Sabbath and Bakerloo, their album was produced by Rodger Bain, who was responsible for Sabbath's debut album.

Indiana's Magi are next with a great track "Fryin' Away Time". They made a solid album in 1976 called 'Win or Lose' but soon disappeared. Clear Blue Sky's single album, on Vertigo records, is noted for it's Roger Dean cover art and for having a track called Sweat Leaf, allegedly inspiring Sabbath's song title. Mutzie, Led by singer/guitarist E."Mutzie" Lavenburg were a Detroit psychedelic outfit, also including brothers Barry on bass and Andee on keyboards, and a horn section. Their sole LP Light of Your Shadow appeared in 1970. Gary Wright was the one-time keyboarist for Spooky Tooth and he created some solo works of more commercially-aimed rock. The Andromeda track is taken from their 1969 album and the intro is very metal! They featured John Du Cann on guitar, later of Atomic Rooster and Hard Stuff, who has unfortunately just passed away at the time of writing this.

Le Goths were a short-lived rare example of French heavy psych, and The Edgar Broughton Band deserves it's first use on my comps. Probably known to a lot of you already, they were involved in many a 70's rock family tree are still playing occasionally, noted for Rob 'Edgar' Broughton's awesome gritty vocals. Petalouda were an incredibly obscure Greek band, I have not been able to find out much about them but this track is some of the best psych I've ever heard, with an exotic Greek flavour and a delectable drum break at 3:10. They remind me a little of Agamenon, a band I used on the Spanish comp #39.

Ohio's Poobah are up next. Another blogger's favourite, they featured the blazing lead talents of guitarist Jim 'Poobah' Gustafson but struggled through the 70's making three self-released records between 72-79. The comp ends on Arcadium's "It Takes A Woman", a UK based late 60s psych band that had one album of skillful and emotively-sung music.

Track List:

01. Edge - Lady Of Darkness (1970)
02. Indian Summer - Black Sunshine (1971)
03. Magi - Fryin' Away Time (1976)
04. Clear Blue Sky - My Heaven (1970)
05. Mutzie - The Game (1970)
06. Gary Wright - Whether It's Right Or Wrong (1972)
07. Andromeda - Return To Sanity [Alt. mix] (1969)
08. Les Goths - Turn Over (1968)
09. Edgar Broughton Band - Love Gang (1976)
10. Petalouda - What You Can Do In Your Life (1973)
11. Poobah - Mr. Destroyer (1972)
12. Arcadium - It Takes A Woman (1969)

Thanks for listening! Rich

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 50: Dubia Excrementis Bovis

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For the milestone of 50 (!) volumes I realized that I should do something a little different, so I finished off an idea that has been brewing for a while. This may well kick up some controversy with people out there, especially those who hold any of these bands dear. It's a collection of songs that in my humble opinion, may not be quite what they are purported to be. I will not go into too much detail, but suffice to say, some do not sound as old as they are alleged to be. Some of them sound like they were not recorded on equipment of the age, or some of them sound just that little bit too knowingly heavy for the time, Combine this with a lack of substantiated evidence to the contrary and we have some mysteries indeed. So, not wanting to cast a negative impression over the comp, the other common link between them is that they are all cool tracks, enjoy!

We start with a heavy as hell track which has come to light quite recently on the internet, a single by "Stone Axe" who reportedly were Ex Josefus (see vol #38) members Pete Bailey and Ray Turner. Next we have Heavy Goods Vehicle, I repeatedly read sketchy information about these rough recordings on forums etc as "the heaviest underground recordings ever" and after finally tracking them down, I found them quite underwhelming, but this Gun cover is good fun and relevant to the blog. Next up is two tracks from Lucifer Was. The strangeness here is that they clearly don't sound like they were recorded with 70's equipment. The story goes that they have been improved and had some re-recording done in recent times, but it still leaves you wondering how much of it originates in any way from the early 70s, if any? 

Next up is a song that a Facebook friend recommended, Tsee Muds, it's on youtube with an interesting looped video clip of them playing an apparently huge late 60s rock fest in Venezuela. I love the song, but were 'Tsee Muds' a real band, is that clip really them?? Who knows. Next up is Golem, who were allegedly a UK electro-prog act recording in 1973, this does not sound like it was recorded in 1973. Next up is Dietro Noi Deserto. This act has an interesting story. It is allegedly another name that the artist known as 'Jacula' and 'Antonius Rex' used, actual name Antonio Bartoccetti. Now I think the gothic keyboard stuff of those two former acts sounds way to digital to have been recorded on equipment of the 60s/early 70s as stated. The Dietro Noi Deserto stuff on the other hand is in my opinion much better musically, and also sounds of it's time, so where is the truth here??

The Supernaut demo was recorded in 1974, and contains a few long instrumental jams that are obviously Sabbath inspired, but again there is little information to substantiate the recording dates and The Hooterville Trolley is another example of a track that plainly was not recorded in the advertised year of 1967. Next We have two tracks side by side, connected by the artist Martin Weaver. I have no doubts that he and Wicked Lady were musicians in the late 60's and early 70's, but something does not sound right to me when I try to believe the earliest Wicked Lady stuff was recorded in 1969. This great Mind Doctors track also sounds a little to clean and digital for a minor recording budget in 1976, maybe Pink Floyd could have done it then, but Mind Doctors? To end the comp we have two great tracks from Vulcan and Punch. The super-heavy bedroom psych Vulcan have an album available online called 'Meet Your Ghost' and Punch have one alleged single release in 1970, of which Deathhead is the B-side.

01. Stone Axe - Slave of Fear (1971)
02. Lucifer Was - Teddy's Sorrow / Scrubby maid (1971)
03. Heavy Goods Vehicle - Race With The Devil [Gun cover] (1976)
04. Tsee Muds - Concha Acustica Parque del Este (1969)
05. Golem - Godhead Dance (1973)
06. Dietro Noi Deserto - Dentro Me (1971)
07. Supernaut - Keeper Of The Keys (1974)
08. The Hooterville Trolley - No Silver Bird (1967)
09. Mind Doctors - Rising Sun (1976)
10. Wicked Lady - Why Don't You Let Me Try Your P.C.P (1972)
11. Vulcan - Noname (1978)
12. Punch - Deathhead (1970)

Thanks for listening! Rich

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 49: I Am The Witch [female vocals pt.2]

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Volume 49 is another selection of tracks with female vocals. The last time I did this was in vol 17 last year and as you can see it's taken me a while to find a decent amount for another, the task has been rewarding as I've had to took far afield from the usual suspects that I used in that one.

J.C. Heavy were a short-lived act from Manchester UK and have one of the most immediate, hard-hitting tracks here. The concept of an Argentine psych-fuzz band covering Mountain's Mississippi Queen is like a match made in heaven and Alta Tension's short but sweet track nails it! The Rattles started life as a Hamburg beat group and played with The Beatles, later they made some hard rock/pop crossover and this track is wonderful.

We head back into Latin territory with Spain's Aguaviva and this stunning track based on an anti-war poem which translates to "The Girl of Hiroshima". It is quite unforgettable and unlike anything else I have come across so far for the blog. I used an 'A Euphonious Wail' track back on vol 44, that album has been growing on me and I find the lyrics of the track 'I Want To Be A Star' poignantly ironic coming from this long forgotten band. Uta was a French pop singer who heavied it up for this single B-side and Renaissance were an early UK prog band who created a haunting epic in the track Rajah Khan.

Birtha are one of the only all-female bands I have found, they play some great hard rock'n'roll and the track from an extremely obscure female solo singer Pamela Webb is an excellent heavy-fuzzed cover of the Sam and Dave classic. Fans of Amon Duul will dig the Krautrock occult heaviosity of Germany's Tomorrow's Gift, as they will also Italy's Circus 2000 with their similarity to the contemporary crop of female-fronted occultists like Blood Ceremony. Colorado's Zephyr end the comp with a massive slab of blues-rock and the guitar expertise of a young but already skilled Tommy Bolin (James Gang, Deep Purple).

01. J.C. Heavy (Manchester) - Do What You Like (1971)
02. Alta Tension (Argentina) - Mississippi Queen (1970)
03. The Rattles (Germany) - Devil's On The Loose (1971)
04. Aguaviva (Spain) - La Niña de Hiroshima (1971)
05. A Euphonious Wail (California) - Night Out / I Want To Be A Star (1973)
06. Uta (France) - Baudelaire (1969)
07. Renaissance (UK, Surrey) - Rajah Khan (1972)
08. Birtha (Los Angeles) - Free Spirit (1972)
09. Pamela Webb and The George (UK) - Hold On, I'm Comin' (1969)
10. Tomorrow's Gift (Hamburg) - Prayin' to Satan (1970)
11. Circus 2000 (Italy) - I Am The Witch (1970)
12. Zephyr (Colorado) - Hard Chargin' Woman (1969)

Cheers, Rich

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 48: Bad Vibrations

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Volume 47 kicks off with The Hook who assaults us with the heaviest track from their debut album, and impressively heavy it is for 1968. Sleepy John and Sudden Death were two US bands who's early 70's recordings languished for decades in absentia until the wonderful Rockadelic (also responsible for Crank) did us the favour of unearthing them, bringing us some cool proto-hard rock.

Sub's peon to the herb is an early gem of trippy krautrock and October Cherries are the first Singaporean band I have ever used. Sainte Anthony's Fyre were a power-trio from Trenton, New Jersey who's rough recordings still convey their hard rocking intentions perfectly. There is an interview with their drummer Bob Sharples here at Psychedelic Baby webzine. Puhdys are a German band who are still around, this is their first single and at the time they were in Uriah Heep/Deep Purple mode, thanks to bonistik for sending me that scorcher. Scorpion, Ning and The Bear Brothers are all one-single bands who have vanished into obscurity, but good and novel recordings they left behind indeed.

Memphis's Alamo produced a solid album of hard rock with cool hammond and gravelly vocals in 1971, and France's Schizo (first appearance: Vol 45) were too good to not use another of their murky unusual tracks. SRC were an also-ran from the productive Detroit scene and this is a great hypnotizing track with some excellent guitar breaks. Chances are that Gift are already known to you as a bloggers' favorite, and they fit in neatly with other German proggy proto-metal bands like a personal fave of mine; Night Sun.

Many thanks to Nololob for bringing Three-Headed Dog to my attention today; "Three-Headed Dog - Hound of Hades CD. Previously unreleased early 70s underground hard rock unearthed from the infamous Birmingham rock scene which brought us such luminaries as Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. Three-Headed Dog were among the lesser known and more obscure acts playing the circuit which included others like Iron Claw, Necromandus and Flying Hat Band."

01. The Hook (US) - Son Of Fantasy (1968)
02. Sleepy John (US) - You Say (1970)
03. Sub (Germany) - Ma-mari-huana (1970)
04. October Cherries (Singapore) - Are You Ready (1970)
05. Sainte Anthony's Fyre (US) - Chance Of Fate (1970)
06. Puhdys (Germany) - Türen öffnen sich zur Stadt (1971)
07. Scorpion (US) - Can't Get Blood From A Stone (1971)
08. Ning (UK) - Machine (1971)
09. Alamo (US) - The World We Seek (1971)
10. Sudden Death (US) - Road Back Home (1971)
11. Schizo (France) - Paraphrenia Praecox (1972)
12. SRC (US) - Badazz Shuffle (1972)
13. Gift (Germany) - Bad Vibrations (1972)
14. Three-Headed Dog (UK) - Slick Solution (1973)
15. The Bear Brothers (UK) - Red Shoe Trucken (1973)

Cheers, Rich.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 47: Turn On The Sun (Africa)


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Volume 47 is a motley crew of tracks from various locations in The Great Continent of Africa. This was sparked by a LastFM comment I got from someone who gave me a couple of suggestions. We have a wide range of great sounds, varying between white-african bands' typically western rock leanings like Rabbitt, to the tribal percussion of the Zam-rockers like Amanaz. One of the stand-out aspects of this comp is the rhythm and funk running through most of it!

Cape Town's Invaders open up with some groovy psych and we go straight into Ofo The Black Company. They were formed in Lagos, Nigeria and were quickly picked up by London Records, so their debut album was actually recorded in the UK. Their standout track here 'Allah Wakbarr' is an irresistibly catchy slice of funky rock. Nigeria's 'The Funkees' main reason for being on here is their intriguing cover of an Atomic Rooster track that works well and sounds unique. Amanaz, Witch, Ngozi Family, The Peace and Chissy Zebby all share the fuzzy, hazy sound that has become known as Zam-rock, coming from various regions of Zambia in West Africa. There is an interview with Witch vocalist Emmanuel "Jagari" Chanda, which also mentions The Peace, here at Pshychedelic Baby webzine. Of the three Johannesburg bands here, Suck demonstrate their love of downer rock and hard rock with their Sabbathy original 'The Whip' and a Deep Purple cover, Freedom's Children play a very accomplished brand of progressive heavy psych and Rabbitt go for the big stadium sound. There is a great Freedom's children-related interview here at Psychedelic Baby webzine. Rabbit includes Trevor Rabin, who soon moved to Europe and went on to further acclaim with solo works and vocal duties in the 80's incarnation of Yes.

Otis Waygood has a couple of great tunes here, varying from blues rock to reggae. We also have a couple of Ghanaian rarities; a compilation of The Psychedelic Aliens was put out recently. It took Frank Gossner (of Voodoofunk.com) 4 years, 9 visits to Ghana, and dozens of newspaper ads and radio announcements to track down the band for a hand in creating it! A final mention goes to Ghana's enigmatic Mack Sigis Porter, who recorded his great amusingly-titled album 'Peace on You' with an Italian backing group, and the immersive doomy atmosphere of 'Sunday In Neon Lights' really is something to behold.

01. Invaders (Cape Town) - Turn on the Sun (1970)
02. Ofo The Black Company (Lagos) - Allah Wakbarr (1972)
03. The Funkees (Nigeria) - Breakthrough (1971)
04. Amanaz (Zambia) - History of Man (1975)
05. Otis Waygood Blues Band (Zimbabwe) - Devil Bones / Straight Ahead (1970)
06. Ngozi Family (Zambia) - Night of Fear (1977)
07. Suck (Johannesburg) - The Whip / Into The Fire (1970)
08. The Psychedelic Aliens (Ghana) - Okponmo Ni Tsitsi Emo Le (1971)
09. Freedom's Children (Johannesburg) - Sea Horse (1972)
10. Mack Sigis Porter (Ghana) - Sunday In Neon Lights (1972)
11. The Peace (Zambia) - Black Power (1971)
12. Witch (Zambia) - Havoc (1975)
13. The Attraction (South Africa) - Go Away (1969)
14. Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family (Zambia) - Fisherman (1974)
15. Rabbitt (Johannesburg) - Savage (1976)

Cheers, Rich

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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 46: Bluesy Death

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Volume 46 is a general collection of great tunes. We kick off with LA's Lyd who made a cracking demo album in 1970 with some catchy psych, see any similarities to Nirvana in that 'Need You' riff? Mythos were a Krautrock band who delved into long trips so I've edited down a track here. There is an interview with Mythos guitar/flute player Stephan Kaske here at Pychedelic Baby webzine.  Fun Of It were little known Dutch band who made one album including this monster trip which I used to name the compilation. Doctor Downtrip from Belgium chugs away the cobwebs and the beginning always reminds of the original Doctor Who theme tune.

Frost were a band that grew in the same Detroit scene as MC5 and by the time of their third album in 1970, 'Through the Eyes of Love', they had developed into more radio-friendly hard rockers. Raven bring along some swaggering southern blues to drink away your sorrows to. Three Man Army were a UK super group who recorded a number of solid albums. Three members; Adrian Gurvitz (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Paul Gurvitz (bass, vocals) and Tony Newman (drums), played in a who's who of bands including Baker Gurvitz Army, Gun, The Knack, Jeff Beck Group, May Blitz and T. Rex.

Larry & The Blue Notes are one of the oldest inclusions I have made, a solid bit of driving hammond heavy psych, and Stack Waddy will probably be familiar to some of you as an infamous Mancunian sleazy blues band which was an early signing to UK radio DJ John Peel's (RIP) record Label 'Dandelion'. Similarly to Red Dirt (see vol. 40) they play heavy blues riffs that draw the attention of proto doom/metal fans due to their aggressive edge.  Bunalim are a rare inclusion of some Turkish heavy psych and Morly Grey had one album in 1972, they are usually described as heavy psych but their relatively clean guitar sound is more like hard rock to me and this nimble riffing kills! The comp ends on Ohio's Dragonwyck, who's track is a great slice of psych, the guitar lines have an eastern sound to me and the song has a great oppressive doomy feeling to it. There is a Dragonwyck related interview here at the It's Psychedelic Baby blog.

01. Lyd - Need You / Double Dare (1970)
02. Mythos - Hero's Death [edit] (1971)
03. Fun Of It - Bluesy Death (1970)
04. Doctor Downtrip - Wanted (1973)
05. Frost - Big Time Spender (1970)
06. Raven - Can't You See (1975)
07. Three Man Army - Polecat Woman (1974)
08. Larry & The Blue Notes - In And Out (1966)
09. Stack Waddy - Hoochie Coochie Man (1972)
10. Bunalım - Tas Ver Köpek Yok (1971)
11. Morly Grey - Peace Officer (1972)
12. Dragonwyck - Ancient Child (1970)


Cheers, Rich

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 45: La Folle Entreprise [France pt.1]

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Volume 45 is a collection of French bands. It has been quite a mission searching for music of this country that fits in to the feel of my comps, but the end results are very satisfying and here we have another inspirational and varied selection. For such a large and prominent European country, the 70's yielded very little heavy psych and hard rock/proto metal albums. Similarly to Italy and Spain, the nation's native rock tastes at the time veered very strongly towards pastoral/symphonic prog and other more 'intellectual' styles. As a result, the large majority of the tracks featured here are from very short-lived bands and obscure singles, often hidden away on B-sides.

Most countries boast at least a few successful cornerstone hard-rock bands and it would appear that 'Les Variations' was France's chief flag bearer in this respect. Their 1969 debut 'Nador' is a very accomplished and solid effort in the vein of Led Zep et al and this is shown by the fact that tracks from it have appeared on this blog before, on mine and other's comps. The avant-garde 'Zeuhl' underground (what could be considered as France's equivalent of 'Krautrock') did however nurture some great heavy psych and one such band that features here is Art Zoyd. Similarly to Amon Duul, they are a continuing art collective with a revolving-door lineup and have traversed many styles to create countless works including movie and ballet accompaniments. Schizo are another example of french artists who began recording heavy psych before changing dramatically. One member, Richard Pinhas, went on to band and solo work which concentrated on prog electronica akin to Brian Eno and Jean Michel Jarre. 

Carrying on through the comp we encounter blues rock (Alan Jack Civilization), Sabbathian doom (Chico Magnetic Band), hardened glam (Dynastie Crisis) and the heavy-riffing commercial rock of Blues Convention, Cameleon, Alice and La Folle Entreprise. One final mention must go to the half-time breather track from 'Saint-Preux', a solo artist who generally made classical compositions but on one album in particular "Le piano sous la mer" introduced some electric psych guitar to great effect on a few tracks, for interesting results.
  
01. Docdail - Aere Perennius (1969)
02. Art Zoyd - Something In Love / Sangria (1971)
03. Schizo - Schizo [and the little girl] (1972)
04. Alan Jack Civilization - Shame On You (1969)
05. Amphyrite - Symphonie pour 3 Oeufs Brouilles (1973)
06. Blues Convention - Fais ceci, Fais cela (1973)
07. François Wertheimer - L'automne (1971)
08. Saint-Preux - Le Gouffre Amer (1972)
09. Alice - Il Viendra (1970)
10. Chico Magnetic Band - Phantasm (1972)
11. Cameleon - Le Chemin de la Descente (1971)
12. After Life - Exit (1975)
13. Dynastie Crisis - Schizomania (1973)
14. La Folle Entreprise - Soleil (1973)
15. Tac Poum Systeme - Asmodai (1971)
16. Les Variations - Come Along (1970)

Cheers, Rich.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 44: Ridin' High [USA pt.1]


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Firstly, I must thank Zischkale for a few great recommendations on this one! TDATS 44 is a collection of rock, prog and psych from American bands. Steeplechase kick things off in fine fashion with some great hard hammond riffs. The Flow was a three-piece from New York who effectively used a variety of electronica to embellish their brand of heavy psych with trippy cosmic doom. Utopia were a short-lived heavy blues band from California who had a Blue Cheerfulness to them and Totty had a couple of late 70's self-releases that have recently been unearthed and issued anew. Two brothers in the band played some blistering hard rock on their superior 1977 debut.

Unison had a great guitar fuzz sound and the Yellow Payges were a California pop band that showed promise with their 1968 debut, unfortunately they did not last long enough to follow it up and elaborate on their harder-rocking tracks like Devil Woman. Cathedral, from New York, produced one excellent prog album in 1978, and then resurfaced 30 years later with another. A Euphonious Wail (euphonious: 'pleasant in sound; agreeable to the ear') made an interesting album with male and female vox in 1973, the track called F# being the hard-rock highlight.

Zipper's solitary 1975 album was the result of Weeds ex-member Fred Cole moving to Portland to start his band. White Summer were a Michigan based band who had one private press s/t album with some great tight rockers on it. For track 12 I have found a great Dust cover, from a newish Portland (OR) band called Red Fang, and to finish off the comp is a track from a late 70's private pressing. This is not the band that made the Rocky theme 'Eye Of The Tiger', but an obscure Louisiana band that successfully mixed the burgeoning NWOBHM sound of Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest with a dash of southern rock.

01. Steeplechase - Wrought Iron Man (1970)
02. The Flow - It Swallowed The Sun (1972)
03. Totty - Wicked Truth (1977)
04. Utopia - I Just Want To Make Love To You (1969)
05. Unison - Flesh and Blood (1976)
06. The Yellow Payges - Devil Woman (1968)
07. Cathedral - Gong (1978)
08. A Euphonious Wail - F# (1973)
09. Oz Knozz - Peanut Butter Yoni (1975)
10. Zipper - Let It Freeze (1975)
11. White Summer - Ridin High (1976)
12. Red Fang - Suicide (2007)
13. Survivor - Deceive Me (1979)

Cheers, Rich

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Day After The Sabbath 43: Transfusión de Luz [Latin rock pt.1]

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TDATS 43 is a collection of Latin American bands. [Editor's note: there have now been five Latin rock volumes: 118 (Chicano Rock) 84 (Brazil), 89 (Mexico), 104 (Peru) and 43 (general South America)] One name stands out here, with contributions to the three tracks from Aeroblus, Pappo and Miguel Abuelo. Norberto Napolitano, nick-named 'Pappo', started playing guitar at the age of ten, and developed a distinctively heavy, aggressive and fuzz-laden style. He became very active in Argentine rock from its beginning and made his name as guitarist of Los Gatos, the first rock band to enter the mainstream charts in Argentina. He continued in music right up until his untimely death in a 2005 motorcycle accident.  

Pax, the latin word for Peace, were from Peru, a country that produced a lot of good bands. The others on this comp being Longhonia and Tarkus. Along with Tarkus they played a very heavy proto-metallic style, while Laghonia created some great psych.  

Argentina is the most recurrent country here, and Plus were a great Argentine band that produced 3 albums beginning in the late 70's, they had a well-rounded professional sound from the start and the track here has an emotive doomy atmosphere, something which is shared with fellow countrymen Color Humano. There is little information on the few singles produced by 'Rosario', the artist is reportedly from Mexico and the track here is a frantic slice of psych with some great strangulated fuzz guitar. Piel De Pueblo's track offers a cool string-lead motif and their eccentric single album 'Rock de las heridas' is an entertaining listen. Opus Alfa and Climax are two bands from the early 70's which have a great sound from the time that Psych was turning to hard rock and finally I mention El Reloj and Módulo 1000, two bands who are a treat for any heavy prog fans out there.

01. Aeroblus (Argentina) - Aire en movimiento (1977)
02. Pax (Peru) - A Storyless Junkie (1970)
03. Rosario (Mexico) - Rengalaz (1972)
04. Plus (Argentina) - Ocultame Hermano (1977)
05. El Reloj (Argentina) - Aquel Triangulo (1976)
06. Dug Dug's (Mexico) - Yo No Se (1973)
07. Laghonia (Peru) - Someday (1971)
08. Opus Alfa (Uruguay) - Calma De Un Dia (1972)
09. Pappo (Argentina) - Sandwiches de Miga (1973)
10. Luis Alberto Spinetta (Argentina) - Era De Tontos (1971)
11. Piel De Pueblo (Argetina) - Por Tener Un Poco Mas (1974)
12. Climax (Bolivia) - Transfusión de Luz (1974)
13. Miguel Abuelo (Argentina) - Señor Carnicero (1973)
14. Tarkus (Peru) - El Pirata (1972)
15. Color Humano (Argentina) - A Traves De Los Inviernos (1973)
16. Módulo 1000 (Brazil) - Nao Fale Com Paredes (1970)

Cheers, Rich

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