Showing posts with label Scorpion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scorpion. Show all posts

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Day After The Sabbath 75: Midgarðsormr [Swedish Special]


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pass:  tdats


TDATS 75: Midgarðsormr [Sweden 1] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud
For Vol 72, I concentrated on Denmark [edit: Here is Norway,  Finland and Iceland]. Here is the second in my Nordic quadrilogy, a Swedish special. The name is from Norse mythology, Midgarðsormr is the sea serpent that encircles the world, which it's feared will fall apart if he ever releases his bite on his tail. Lets hope that doesn't happen in the next hour at least.

What has become clear is that Sweden has by far the largest and most varied rock history of all the norse countries, so it's been a pretty mammoth task listening through it all to find the right-sounding bands for this one. I'm sure there is still a lot more to find so don't expect this to be the last Svenska volume... Sweden's 'Progg' movement was one of the reasons. It can be likened in many ways to Germany's Krautrock scene; musical collectives exploring ways to use avant-garde rock music in their left-wing, anti-commercial protests against the establishment. While the sound of the 'Progg' movement is not the driving force for this comp, it appears in a few tacks and if you want to know more I recommend a box set called "The Essence of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979: Pregnant Rainbows for Colourblind Dreamers".


TRACKS
01. Baltik - Leslie Briggs (1973)
       from album 'baltik'
02. Björn Famne - Vampire (1975)
       from e.p.
03. November - Starka Tillsammans (1972)
       from album '6:e november'
04. Asoka - Tvivlaren (1971)
       from album 'asoka'
05. Wildmarken - Vad Vill Dom (1977)
       from album 'och nu på sjuttiotalet'
06. Epizootic - Sunset, Emotion (1976)
       from album 'daybreak'
07. EF Band - Self Made Suicide  (1979)
       single
08. Kebnekaise - Kommunisera (1971)
       from album 'resa mot okänt mål'
09. Neon Rose - Night Birds (1975)
       from album 'reload'
10. 4 Ever - Vansiniga Berta (1974)
       single
11. The Outsiders - Inside Of Me (1968)
       single
12. Midsommar - Till Morsan (1972)
       from album 'belsebub är lös ...'
13. Scorpion - Hey Girl I'm Ugly (1970)
       from album 'i am the scorpion'
14. Charlie & Esdor - Fuck The Cops (1970)
       from retrospective 'charlie & esdor'
15. Rävjunk - Snöspår (Del 1,2 Och 3) (1977)
       from album 'uppsala stadshotell brinner'


We start with a band that has a link to Sweden's most successful musical export, and to a few bands that have appeared on the blog. 'Baltik' was a one-off studio project that included occasional Abba guitarist Janne Schaffer and Roxy Music/Quatermass/Hard Stuff/Ian Gillan Band bassist John Gustafson. Janne played guitar for many of Abba's hits and is a well known prog-jazz guitarist in his own right, he also worked with John Gustafson in the Swedish band Ablution. Baltik's "Leslie Briggs" is a great heavy opener which can easily be described as the earliest in 'prog-metal', though not typical of their album which was a curious mixture of folkish prog with a few heavy moments.

Björn Famne e.p.
The most information I can find on Björn Famne's 'Vampire' is on oscarowski's Youtube clip : "..private release recorded in the religious Falk studios in Sweden... the rest of the tracks veer towards classic guitar (no other instruments) and it is believed that this song was recorded when the sound engineer was out to have a coffe or something... what would the "almost priests" working there have said if they found out... hahaha. Compiled on the great 'Who will buy these wonderful evils'...."

Stockholm's November have appeared here before, way back on Vol2 and here is another stunning timeless sounding track that sounds as though it could have been recorded last week by a contemporary stoner rock band, though it is actually from 1972. November really were a talented bunch and had a distinctive approach to their heavy blues-tinged riffs. Though they were only together for three years, thankfully they made three albums in that time. The awesome production job is the other aspect that belies this recording's age.


Asoka were from Malmö and their background was in older band 'Taste Of Blues'. The sound changed a lot and resulted in their manic and unusual s/t album which had a playful air while maintaining the heaviness. Wildmarken were from the Sollefteå area. It's been hard to find info on them even though they were together for 5 years and had two albums on EMI, there is a little here on progg.se. They were pretty average commercial hard-ish rock but I do like this track "Vad Vill Dom" (Eng: What do they want?) which has a cool phased riff and menacing, grinding pace. Tomas Jansson and Janne Åhman went on to 'Circus' who made one e.p.

Next up is a couple of linked tracks; from 'Epizootic' and 'E.F. Band'. They both included Bengt Fischer and Pär Ericsson. Little is noted regarding Epizootic, they had one apparently self-released album called 'Daybreak' with some multi-instrumental prog and their track here 'Sunset, Emotion' is a heavy hammond-assited slab. EF Band ('EF' was derived from the first letter of Ericcson and Fischer's names) were based in Gothenburg. They made some impact in the NWOBHM scene, English member Roger Marsden went on to Angel Witch and guitarist Andy La Rocque (aka Anders Allhage) joined King Diamond. They were included on the 1st instalment of the classic 1980 'Metal For Muthas' compilations and had three albums before breaking up in 1987. 1979's 'Self Made Suicide' was their first single which was recorded at Red Ball studio in Shropshire, UK.

Kebnekaise (the name taken from that of Sweden's hightest mountain) have quite a prominent place in Swedish rock history stretching back to the mid sixties. They evolved from Baby Grandmothers, who was one of the country's first heavy psych bands and supported Jimi Hendrix's Swedish appearances in 1968 along with Mecki Mark Men, another of Sweden's formative heavy psych acts. Kebnekaise resulted from a coming together of members of these bands and some more including 'Homo Sapiens' and Tages, an accomplished band that were Sweden's best answer to The Beatles.

The Baby Grandmothers' guitarist Kenny Håkansson was the driving force of Kebnekaise and as was popular in the progg scene, folk influences crept in too. It's hard to describe the first Kebnekaise album, but it's definitely unique. There's elements of everything that was happening in commercial and underground progressive rock of the time, and plenty of extremity, but it's all infused with quirky Swedish melody and personality. For instance, the track 'Resa Mot Okänt Mål' is fast and brutal by anyone's standards and it's over-laid with pinky'n perky style speeded up vocals.

Neon Rose
Stockholm's Neon Rose were a band clearly showing the mid-seventies development of hard rock into speedy heavy metal, as the blistering 'Night Birds' demonstrates. They were lucky enough to get signed to Vertigo almost immediately on formation. After listening through all their recorded output, it's clear they had the musical chops to make it. The problem seems to me that none of their 3 albums were quite consistent enough to adequately maintain the Motörhead-like intensity which they hinted at. A good example of where a little more quality control could have made all the difference.

'4 Ever' were the initial incarnation of Stockholm's Solid Ground who I used back on Vol28. The strange thing is that the two tracks they recorded as '4 Ever' sound a lot more professional than the album that was released under the Solid Ground moniker two years later. If anyone out there can explain, please do... Stokholm's 'The Outsiders' are up next, they only recorded a few singles and both sides of their 'On My Magic Carpet / Inside Of Me' 1968 single are excellent heavy slices of freakbeat punk.


Scorpion
Gothenburg's Midsommar began life focusing on political subjects with their first album but the next one in 1972 was musically far stronger and rocked hard in places with hints of November vibe in the guitar riffs, and some pretty good brass backing it up. Scorpion's 'I Am The Scorpion' one-album curio was produced by american producer and cult music figure Kim Fowly, who later managed The Runaways, how it came about that he was involved in this obscutity is still for me to find out.... It also has drummer Pelle Holm who was in a late lineup of Kebnekaise. 'Hey Girl I'm Ugly' is a catchy piece of acid-bluesy rock.

Charlie & Esdor
Charlie & Esdor's first recorded music appeared on the 'Festen på Gärdet' live album, a collection of performances from Stokholm's 1970 outdoor festival, which according to Wikipedia, was 'inspired by the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock..... and came to serve as something of a unifying starting point for the 'progg' leftist progressive music movement.' In 1972 they made an e.p. called 'Grönt är skönt' and in 2005 Mellotronen released a great retrospective which shows the duo's varied skills in heavy folk, blues and rock, from which 'Fuck The Cops' is a particularly scathing instrumental.

Rävjunk
We wind up this one with Uppsala's Rävjunk, which literally means Fox Piss in english. They began around 1970 and played many of the progg movement's free festivals but did not record until 1977. At this time they were in a quandary about whether to follow the new punk trends or continue with their earlier space rock sounds so their only album, the home-studio made 'Uppsala Stadshotell Brinner' ended up as punk on one side and space rock on the other. Both are great though and they were clearly good at what ever they did.


01. Baltik - Leslie Briggs (1973)
       from album 'baltik'
02. Björn Famne - Vampire (1975)
       from e.p.
03. November - Starka Tillsammans (1972)
       from album '6:e november'
04. Asoka - Tvivlaren (1971)
       from album 'asoka'
05. Wildmarken - Vad Vill Dom (1977)
       from album 'och nu på sjuttiotalet'
06. Epizootic - Sunset, Emotion (1976)
       from album 'daybreak'
07. EF Band - Self Made Suicide  (1979)
       single
08. Kebnekaise - Kommunisera (1971)
       from album 'resa mot okänt mål'
09. Neon Rose - Night Birds (1975)
       from album 'reload'
10. 4 Ever - Vansiniga Berta (1974)
       single
11. The Outsiders - Inside Of Me (1968)
       single
12. Midsommar - Till Morsan (1972)
       from album 'belsebub är lös ...'
13. Scorpion - Hey Girl I'm Ugly (1970)
       from album 'i am the scorpion'
14. Charlie & Esdor - Fuck The Cops (1970)
       from retrospective 'charlie & esdor'
15. Rävjunk - Snöspår (Del 1,2 Och 3) (1977)
       from album 'uppsala stadshotell brinner'

Thanks for listening, Rich.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

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

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password:  tdats
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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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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