Tuesday, August 11, 2009

3/3 - Sanbun No San (1975)

Japanese power trio 3/3 made this gritty blues-flavored rock album around 1975. I keep hearing that this band is considered to have had a large influence on Japanese punk and no-wave and psyche-rock; maybe so, but as much as I like this record, it doesn’t strike me as being particularly groundbreaking; much of it, for example, recalls Jimi Hendrix, which I’m not at all saying is a bad thing. The boys do crank the energy level up in a few places to a nearly Damned-like thrash, and yes they were probably ahead of the curve on that one; in 1975, punk rock hadn’t seriously broken out yet, but listening to this record you might think it had. The final song is laid-back, relatively speaking, with a gentle guitar intro. A muddy recorded sound on this release but screw that; this record rocks and is a total gas to listen to. Reissue edition of 300 copies. Originally released on LP in an extremely limited edition of 15 copies.
Track Listing...
1. Machine Song
2. Jump
3. Always
4. In A Cloud
5. Fly
6. Open A Window
7. Let It Flow

Winterhawk - Revival (1982)

Here's some 70's rock-sounding rock from 1982. Hailing from Chicago, I can imagine these guys playing a lot of bar shows and not getting the recognition that they should have. A few years too late, perhaps. Features some ridiculously awesome guitar-work from Jordan Macarus and some great wailing vocals. And the winged centaur on the cover rounds out the package nicely. Enjoy.

Track Listing...
01. Intro 3:41
02. Sanctuary 5:25
03. Period of Change 7:15
04. Can't See the Forest for the Trees 5:35
05. Revival 6:04
06. Ace in the Hole 5:05
07. Free to Live 9:23

Virus - Revelation (1970)

More of a classic music with progressive rock and hard nuts of course, but without saying, krautrock. The band is very competent and it was only with these two discs, where perceived influence of a psychedelic also in their sound. Lovers of Deep Purple are welcome.

Track Listing...
1. Revelation (12:14)
2. Endless Game (12:17)
3. Burning Candle (5:27)
4. Hungry Loser (10:30)
5. Nur noch zwei Lichtjahre (7:50)
6. Confusion (3:18)
7. Facts Of Death (3:38)

Yesterday's Children - Yesterday's Children (1969)

Reissue of the Connecticut hard rock groups only LP, originally released in 1969. Not to be confused with the Chicago area punk group of the same name who appear on the Pebbles box set. From the Cheshire and Prospect areas of Connecticut, these guys started out playing classic garage fuzz-punk as demonstrated by To Be Or Not To Be .They'd progress to a hard rock style, of which the LP is a good example and worth searching out. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR HARDROCK FANS of late 60's fuzzed rock.

Track Listing...
01. Paranoia
02. Sad Born Loser
03. What of I
04. She's Easy
05. Sailing
06. Providence Bummer
07. Evil Woman
08. Hunter's Moon

Frijid Pink - Frijid Pink (1970)

Alternating boogie and heavy, sludgy proto-metal, FP's self titled release is a must-own for those with an interest in the period. Every 'Yah' and 'Gut-ta' uttered (and there are a LOT of them), every overdriven, fuzz-drenched chord is worth the price of admission.

Track Listing...
1. God Gave Me You
2. Crying Shame
3. I'm on My Way
4. Drivin' Blues
5. Tell Me Why
6. End of the Line
7. House of the Rising Sun
8. I Want to Be Your Lover
9. Boozin' Blues
10. Heartbreak Hotel [*]
11. Music for the People [*]

Night Sun - Mournin' 1972

Night Sun's only album! They mixed up frantic prog and early doom metal to create something really unique. This band was way ahead of their time, and probably one of the heaviest band in the early 70's.

Track Listing...
1 Plastic Shotgun 2:35
2 Crazy Woman 4:16
3 Got a Bone of My Own 7:49
4 Slush Pan Man 4:25
5 Living With the Dying 5:29
6 Come Down 5:49
7 Blind 4:23
8 Nightmare 3:15
9 Don't Start Flying 3:06

Three Man Army - Third of a Lifetime (1971)

Guitarist brothers, Adrian and Paul Gurvitz, formerly of GUN, later of THE BAKER/GURVITZ ARMY, ( with drums God, Ginger Baker,) make a not-surprisingly guitar-ecentric album of surprisingly fresh hard rock from 1971, full of riffs, hooks, and variation. More upbeat and sharp than overly heavy, but still a great hard-rock CD. This is quite the album. After hearing the great playing and super tunes on this disc, it makes you wonder what became of the brothers Gurvitz.
Track Listing...
01.Butter Queen
03.Another Day
04.One Third of a Lifetime
05.Nice One
06.What's My Name
07.Three Man Army
08.See What I Took

Cactus - Cactus (1970)

Classic 1970 debut by this super group featuring Vanilla Fudge’s rhythm section (Tim Bogert on bass and Carmen Appice on drums), the Amboy Dukes’ Rusty Day on vocals and Detroit Wheels guitarist Jim McCarty. Cactus were one of the most under-rated bands in the early 70's.Certainly Zeppelin stole much of the fire. Just take a listen to Parchman Farm and No Need to Worry.These two songs contain some of the most pivitol lead guitar in the 70's. McCarty is never mentioned as a guitar god,yet he paves the way for hard rock and blues playing the way it should have been; he certainly wipes the floor with Clapton. Cactus as an outfit was a band that could have gone more.Unfortunately they all went their ways.It is only until now that people recognize the legacy that was. Rusty Day RIP, his vocals soared.Although he is asleep,his voice echoes on and on ,as does CACTUS.
Track Listing...
1. Parchman Farm (3:07)
2. My Lady From South Of Detroit (4:26)
3. Bro. Bill (5:12)
4. You Can’t Judge A Book By The (6:31)
5. Let Me Swin (3:51)
6. No Need To Worry (6:14)
7. Oleo (4:51)
8. Feel So Good (6:04)

Blue Cheer - Outsideinside (1968)

Outsideinside is BC's second album. It built on the power and amperage of thier first album Vincebus Eruptum. Outsideinside is an improvement in everyway from VE. Not only in songwriting prowess, but in mix and growth as an artist. So its fair to say this is BC's zenith. This is the last album with guitarist Leigh Stevens before he called it a day. The band then devolved into a rotating door of members. What makes this an essentual purchase you ask? Several things. BC was revolutionary for thier loudness. They cranked it up, caused near riots. Keep in mind this was the late 60s - peace and love man. They got the hippies doing crazy stuff. They also laid down the prototype for metal which was to come later. Listen to Magnolia Caboose Babyfinger, you'll see what I mean. Paul Whaley's liberal use of the double kick drum and tasteful fills was also new. Leigh Steven's guitar work at times seared across the meat of the music. They did all this heaviness and kept melodies in thier songs. In short, thier style, attitude and playing chops were completely at odds with most of thier contemporaries.
Which led to many potshots being taken at them, with Jimi Hendrix's dissing of them perhaps being the most famous. Often an artist that flies against whats trendy or popular at the time - will get savaged and disrespected only later to be appreciated. Blue Cheer's early works are such the case. A whole lot of loudness, some psychedelic touches along with a style that laid the foundation for metal. Anyone wanting expand thier knowledge of where amped up insane White Blues (aka Metal) came from need to look no further.
Track Listing...
1- Feather’s From Your Tree
2- Sun Cycle
3- Just A Little Bit
4- Gypsy Ball
5- Come And Get It
6- (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
7- Magnolia Caboose Babyfinger
8- The Hunter
9- Babylon

Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum (1968)

Blue Cheer released this debut in 1968 when groups and artists like Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf and The Doors were putting out psychedelic rock. Blue Cheer were three guys who played loud psychedelic rock and I can still see those stacks of Marshall amps piled a mile high. These guys had one major hit "Summertime Blues" which has been covered by other artists. Their version stands alone by itself as my favorite. The other songs on this album such as "Out Of Focus" and "Parchment Farm" are pure psychedelic kick a.. rock. This groups follow up album "Outsideinside" was also much of the same. Too bad these guys didn't get the credit they deserved and were lost in the shuffle of all the psychedelic groups popping up in the late 60's. If you're into 60's psychedelic rock don't pass this gem up. Highly recommended!
Track Listing...
1- Summertime Blues
2- Rock Me Baby
3- Doctor Please
4- Out Of Focus
5- Parchment Farm
6- Second Time Around

Triumph - Just A Game (1979)

This album is a lost late 1970's gem. It shows the range and versatility of all three members of the band. It's worth the price of admission, so to speak, just for "Hold On" and "Lay It On The Line". However, this album is much deeper than those two classic rock diamonds. "Just A Game" and "Suitcase Blues" should be standard fare on any legitimate 70's rock collections as well.

Track Listing...
1. Movin' On (4:07)
2. Lay It on the Line (4:05)
3. Young Enough to Cry (6:03)
4. American Girls (5:03)
5. Just a Game (6:13)
6. Fantasy Serenade (1:41)
7. Hold On (6:06)
8. Suitcase Blues (3:04)

Sir Lord Baltimore - Sir Lord Baltimore (1971)

Hard Rock fans, if you want to know who were the real pioneers of 60´s - 70´s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal you must listen this album. Sir Lord Baltimore is, surely, the most underated band of Hard Rock history. They are much, much better musicians, composers and innovators artist than Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. Songs like "Chicago Lives" are the Holly Grial of future Heavy Metal. This song will remind you at a bunch of 80´s and 90´s heavy Metal bands. Perhaps Zeppelin or Black Sabbath give the sound at the early 70´s Hard Rock, but Sir Lord Baltimore went far beyond, they gave the sound at Heavy Metal of the future. Their influence in Heavy metal history is clear and awesome. "Sir Lord Baltimore" is a really Masterwork: fresh, innovator, wild, fierce, four musicians with ideas far ahead of their own time. A must have album !!!!!.

Track List...
01.man from manhattan
02.where are we going
03.chicago lives
04.loe and behold
05.woman tamer
06.caesar LXXI

Armageddon - Armageddon (1969)

A Los Angeles band, although Mark Creamer, Jim Parker and John Stark were earlier members of the Texan Kitchen Cinq. They did not release any 45s on this label but the album is now a very minor collectable. They sound influenced by Cream on a couple of tracks and also covered Tales Of Brave Ulysses. The album, which was produced by Tom Thacker, also contains a weird cover of The Magic Song (Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo), from Disney's "Cinderella".
Robert Ledger went on to play in Simon Stokes' Nighthawks, whilst James Parker and John Stark also played on Them's U.S.-only album In Reality. Marc Creamer played for his wife (Laura Creamer)'s band, Eve, on their Take It And Smile album, (LHI 3100) 1970 (also produced by Tom Thacker and featuring Ry Cooder, James Burton, Hal Blaine and Sneaky Pete). Finally, Skip Battyn played in The Evergreen Blueshoes and would later join The Byrds.

Track Listing...
1 Armageddon Theme
2 Water Lilly
3 Another Part of Our Life
4 Come Tomorrow
5 Cold Cold Tracks
6 Cave of the Winds
7 The Lamp
8 Bilbo Baggins
9 Tales of Brave Ulysses
10 The Magic Song

Argus - Argus (1973)

Rare unearthred masters from this obscure 1973 UK progressive rock group obviously influenced by Wishbone Ash and their kind. Bonus tracks are from another unknown 70s band the post-Argus group Anaconda.
The first band is Argus with material recorded in 1973, a hard rock outfit that sounds like Free, included the singing. Above average band, whose best talent is... the drummer!!!... great drumming by Mr. Wagstaffe in its 5 tracks (small solo in track 4... beautiful).
Second band is Anaconda with live material recorded in 1977, a jazz-rock outfit!!!... that sound like any jazz-rock band... if we discard the horrible singing we found a good guitar playing (showing that Randy Spence plays as good as bad he sing), a little persistent participation of flute (not bad at all) and a rhythm section really competent, where the best talent is... the drummer!!!... great drumming by Mr. Wagstaffe in the 7 tracks (long solo in track 4 (9 of the compilation)... beautiful). A good recommendation is to listen the 5 first tracks (hard-rock) go take a cup of tea and then go for the next 7 tracks (jazz-rock).
Track List...
1. Friend of Mine
2. Road of Life
3. Twenty-Four Hours
4. Same Old Story
5. Superstition
6. Funk Song*
7. Why Can't They Leave Us Alone?*
8. Take No Chance*
9. Drum Thing*
10. Jubilee Shuffle*
11. 77 St. Thomas Road (Pts I & II)*
* bonus tracks by Anaconda live in concert.

Armageddon - Armageddon (1975)

Keith Relf's final album before his tragic death in 1976 (from electrocuting himself accidentally). "Buzzard" kicks things off with a guitar so grimy sounding you could fry Eggs on it. it explodes into a wall of Wah Wah pedals and complicated drum fills. you just end up drooling at this bands potential. Next up the beautiful "Silver Tightropewhich" is obviously written by Relf having heard the folky classical stuff he had written for the first two Renaissance albums. It is soaked in phased guitar effects with Relf singing in a beautiful falsetto voice sounding completeley different from his Yardbird's days. This is the only mellow moment on the whole LP. "Paths and planes and future gains" its back to the heavy metal the characterizes this LP. Overall a fantastic album which gave us glimpse of what may have followed.
Track Listing...
02.silver tightrope
03.paths and planes and future gains
04.last stand before
05.basking in the white of the midnight sun
06.warning comin'on
07.brother ego

Armaggedon - Armaggedon (1970)

This band is from Germany.This is pretty standard hard rock. The guitar tone sounds really cool on tracks like "Round", but, overall, it just doesn't stand out from any other hard rock band. But their Spooky Tooth cover is absolutely amazing. It's rare to see a cover of a really good song improve so much upon the original. It's heavy as hell, and their improvement on the last three notes of the original main riff make it sound so much better (instead of ending with the same note three times, they play an ascending set of notes ending with a bad ass low note.). It's the difference between "damn that's a good riff" and an ear orgasm.

Track Listing...
03.oh man
04.rice pudding
05.people talking
06.better for you, better than me

Aeroblus - Aeroblus (1977)

Aeroblus is a legendary power trio that joined Argentinian musicians Pappo Napolitano and Alejandro Medina (Manal, Billy Bond y La Pesada) to Brazilian drummer Rolando Castello Jr. (Patrulha do Espaço). Considered the greatest south american power trio, the band formed when Pappo and Medina, who were living at a site in Campo Limpo Paulista, invited Junior to make a jam.
The group moved to Buenos Aires, where recorded his first and only album, with the same name of the band. All tracks is most heavier than Pappo was developing with Pappo´s Blues, with great guitar riffs and inspired solos, and a great work of Medina and Junior. My favorite songs are "Vamos a Busca la Luz", "Completamente Nervioso", "Arboles Difusores" (with a amazing performance of Junior, one of the best Latin America drummers of all times), "Vendriamos a Buscar", "Sofisticuatro" and "Buen Tiempo". In Pappo´s career, Aeroblus marks the transition between the hard and blues rock of Pappo´s Blues and the heavy metal of Riff, band that Pappo formed in the 80´s.

The original issue in vinyl is extremely difficult to find, but Universal relaunched the album on CD in 2006, in a beautiful digipack package.

Track Listing...
01.Vamos a Buscar la Luz
02.Completamente Nervioso
03.Tema Solisimo
04.Arboles Difusores
05.Vendriamos a Buscar
06.Aire en Movimiento
07.Vine Cruzando el Mar
08.Nada Estoy Sabiendo
10.Buen Tiempo