Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Churchills - Living Loving (1968)

The Churchills' sole album is above average for a rare psychedelic late-'60s obscurity, and an important document as the only Israeli psychedelic record to achieve even a bit of an international cult, but not as interesting as some of the buzz generated on the collector's circuit may have you believe. Heavily influenced by both West Coast psychedelia and late-'60s British hard rock, there's often a Jack Bruce-type resonance to the vocals, and a garage-Doors vibe to the guitar-organ interplay and spacy-but-somber lyrics. Sometimes they let more of a Middle Eastern element into play, as on "Subsequent Final," a mandolin tune which sounds like a psychedelic hora dance.
One of the top 10 psych albums of all time (fact). Only released in Israel in 1968, this is an incredible psych fest with superb tripped out songs in English, amazing multi-layered, phased freaked out acid guitar solos, weird effects and exotic arabian instruments.

Track Listing...

01 - Open Up Your Eyes
02 - Song From The Sea
03 - Pictures In My Mind
04 - Comics
05 - Where You're Gone
06 - Strangulation
07 - Straight People
08 - Subsequent Final
09 - So Alone Today
10 - Debka
Bonus tracks:
11 - Living Loving
12 - Signs Of You
13 - She's A Woman
14 - Sunshine Man

Candida Pax - Day (1971)

Taking symbolic cues from the burnt-down candle ends of loner blues-psych, and also the soul searching rasp of post-hippie Christian salvation, Northern English group Candida Pax released Day in 1971 on the obscure Deroy Sound Service label (a studio and manufacturing facility that specialized in private-press deals for independent artists), and that was the last anyone heard of them. In the artwork, there’s a photo of the band where one member is not so subtly concealing a copy of the first Fleetwood Mac LP in his arms.
The sight of a band literally wearing an influence as close to the sleeve as possible might worry more discerning listeners, but there’s enough earnest playing and haunted passages here to call it a very minor lost classic.Day is a moody affair, filled with guilt-wracked lyrics and slow-paced, shadowy arrangements that smolder with repentance in the knowledge that the men behind it will sin again, or will possibly never be saved. This bleak mood works to the band’s advantage, as there’s none of the hotdoggin’ that taints so many white British blues albums of their time. The riffage is tasteful and soulful, a la fallen Mac leader Peter Green, and the arrangements spare and lean, with the occasional sound of a wooden recorder brightening the dual guitar and rhythm section ambience.
At their most active (“Darkness”), those twin guitars engage in some low-level yet tense interplay; the leads circle each other, not so much answering the licks that come before them so much as punctuating them with subtle stabs, like bringing knives to a fistfight.Gospel influences, particularly on how they merged with the search of certain early rock ‘n’ roll and R&B records, are the prevalent overtone here; they’re heard in the shuffle of “Dark Clouds” with its wearily soaring chorus, and particularly in the minimal four-chord hymn vamp of “My Life,” recalling a bluesier, less-histrionic Van Morrison circa Astral Weeks, or a Joe Cocker type really trying to hold back. With so many sounds in their collective palette, it’s not a surprise that Candida Pax didn’t make more noise than they did in their day, but listening to this fine album, that seems almost beside the point; this music of theirs has only improved with age and the hopes for rediscovery.
Track Listing...
1. Day
2. Don't Leave Me
3. White Dove
4. Darkness
5. Dark Clouds
6. My Life
7. Reach Out
8. Free

Agnes Strange - Strange Flavour (1975)

"The forgotten saga of Agnes Strange and their lost album is one bizarre tale. The result of an unlikely joint venture between a major label (RCA) and the Bird’s Next chain of real ale music pubs, the Southampton-based power trio’s one and only album sank without trace in 1975, thanks in large part to the winding down of the band’s bookers, the Dick James Agency.
Now reissued for the first time, it comes with three bonus tracks (the single mix of Give Yourself A Chance and outtakes Motorway Rebel and Strange Flavour), and boasts both UK and European sleeve art. This collector’s item, with its big, warm analogue sound feels like the sort of wholesome fare that once upon a time surfaced on Harvest or Vertigo. Stuck in the no man’s land between the hard rock boom of the late 60s/early 70s and the dawning of punk, and produced by early rock’n’roll devotee Dave Travis, Agnes Strange crank their hearty blue collar mix of heavy rock, blues and rock’n’roll with occasional nods towards Taste, The Groundhogs, Budgie and, in their more boogiefied moments, vintage Quo.

Track Listing...
1. Give Yourself A Chance
2. Clever Fool
3. Motorway Rebel
4. Travelling
5. Strange Flavour
6. Alberta
7. Loved One
8. Failure
9. Children of the Absurd
10. Odd Man Out
11. Highway Blues
12. Granny Don't Like Rock 'n Roll
13. Interference
14. Give Yourself A Chance

Ultra - Ultra (1975)

Great twin guitars and vocals ala Thin Lizzy. Dig this US band from '75 and you will not be disappointed.

Band Members:
Calen Miles (guitars)
Larry MacGuffin (guitars)
Don Evans (vocals)
Tom Schleuning (drums)
Scott Stephens (bass)

Track Listing...
04.Ten Years Since
05.Lamp Black, White Fight
07.Diggin' Deep
09.Seasons Pass
10.City on Ice
11.The Desert
12.Souled There With Care
13.Man on the Street
14.Get Away
16.Hot N Cold

Part 1
Part 2

Wilkinson Tri-Cycle - Wilkinson Tri-Cycle (1969)

Wilkinson Tri-Cycle combined a more melodic approach with flashes of heavy rock. They had the power behind them but were more prone to take excursions into psychedelic imagery and softer moments of balladry. Again the touch of Schatz and Schlaks can be heard in the production on this, the band's sole album. Taking their hand at blues classics like "Leaving Trunk", made famous by the great Taj Mahal, they handle them skill but not necessarily ingenuity. The variety of the album works well together, never really rutting into one sound for too long but keeping consistent through the ever-present blues rumble of David Mello's leads. A thoroughly enjoyable listen, though not necessarily a lost classic.

Track Listing...
1. What of I?
2. Leavin' Trunk
3. David's Rush
4. Pourscha Poe
5. Antique Locomotives
6. 9-5, '59
7. I Like Your Company
8. Yellow Wall

Wildfire - Smokin' (1971)

From the opening echoed growl of the guitar intro to Stars In The Sky through the ten minute plus jam in Quicksand at the end of side two, this record sits toward the top of the pile of lost-in-time U.S. West Coast psychedelic hard rock privately pressed albums. It was originally issued in a plain sleeve with a sticker on the front. Only four or five copies of the original issue, which was made for demo purposes, are known to exist. Thankfully a good quality reissue is now available so all fans of the genre can check it out.

Track Listing...

1.Stars in the Sky(5:44)
2.Down to Earth(4:33)
3.Time Will Tell(3:10)
4.Don’t Look For Me(6:28)
6.What Have I Got Now(3:21)
7.Let It Happen(3:07)

After Tea - Jointhouse Blues (1971)

Dutch band formed in 1967 and composed by Hans van Eijck (keyboards and vocals), Martin Hage (drums); Poll Eduard (bass, guitar, vocals), Ray Fenwick (guitar, vocals). This was his last record released in 71. The drummer Pierre Van Der Linden, who joined one of his training, became famous later to join the Focus and Trace. Good old blues band based in the nuts with the progressive and excellent vocal.

Track Listing...
01:Jointhouse blues
02:You've got to Move Me
03:I'm Here
05:Let's Come All Together
06:Trial-Punishment-The End

Mayblitz - The 2nd of May (1971)

Well, this second album is a truly wonderful followup to their debut. Parts of this album is jazzier than before, showing the jazz influence of Tony Newman's drumming. But of course the bluesy psychedelic hard rock is still there, and in fact many of the songs are even heavier than on their debut.Unfortunately The 2nd of May proved to be May Blitz's final album. The band broke up because of lack of success, while their labelmates Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep had became hugely successful (despite neither of them exactly the darling of rock critics). The two Canadian guys seemed to have dropped out of music altogether (one report stated they returned to Canada, and I'm guessing back to their day jobs), and Tony Newman went on to other things like Three Man Army, Boxer and an in-demand studio musician (has played with Marc Bolan, Chris Spedding, David Bowie, even Whitesnake). Aside from the drum solo on "In Parts", this is a truly excellent album for those who like that bluesy hard rock/psychedelic with some prog trappings.
Track Listing...
1. For Mad Men Only (4:16)
2. Snakes And Ladders (4:42)
3. The 25Th Of December 1969 (3:12)
4. In Part (6:10)
5. 8 Mad Grim Nits (4:33)
6. High Beech (5:02)
7. Honey Coloured Time (4:13)
8. Just Thinking (5:12)

Mayblitz - Mayblitz (1970)

This english trio (guitar/bass/drums) really shows of some incredible musicianship. Good early 70's heavy rock with some different musical influences in their songs. I like early 70's hard rock, but not when it gets too plain and bluesy. I was afraid that this would be the case with May Blitz. Too much blues rock a la CREAM or other bands. But even though the limited instrumentation here, May Blitz really puts forth and gets the most and best out of their instruments and arrangements. At a first listen of this album you might feel you want more time changes, more shifting time signatures, but in the end and after repeated listens, you will realize that this album is good the way it is. Hard rock with lots of different influences.

Track Listing...
1 Smoking the Day Away 8:21
2 I Don't Know? 4:45
3 Dreaming 6:35
4 Squeet 6:51
5 Tomorrow May Come 4:46
6 Fire Queen 4:18
7 Virgin Waters 6:34

Demian - Demian (1970)

Originally released in 1970, this was the band's sole album. As some of you might know, Demian is basically the four musicians from Bubble Puppy putting out a post-BP release. Notice it's more hard rock that Bubble Puppy was, of course a psych band. I never even knew about this CD reissue until recently. Tunes I liked best were the Uriah Heep-ish "Face The Crowd", the awesome early '70's rocker "Coming", "No More Tenderness" (featuring some killer guitar riffs) and "Are You With Me Baby". Line-up: Rod Prince-guitar & vocals, Todd Potter-guitar, Roy Cox-bass & vocals and David Fore-drums.

Track Listing...
01. Face The Crowd (2:58)
02. Windy City (5:21)
03. Love People (2:19)
04. Coming (5:35)
05. Todd's Tune (3:23)
06. No More Madness (3:55)
07. Are You With Me Baby? (4:58)
08. Only a Loner (4:36)

Jericho Jones - Junkies, Monkeys and Donkeys (1971)

The highly obscure psychedelic rock group from Israel began life in the late '60s as the Churchills, who produced a string of beat/psychedelic singles before relocating to England, where they changed their name to Jericho Jones and later simply Jericho. They released this sole album as Jericho Jones on A&M; it bridges the group's transition from the Churchills' fuzz psychedelic sound into the more hard rock sound they produced as Jericho. This album can be recommended to fans of exotic underground progressive and the hard rock of the '70s. The CD reissue contains the entire scarce, original double LP as well as five bonus tracks from the same session.

Track Listing...
1 Mare Tranquilitatas
2 Man in the Crowd
3 There Is Always a Train
4 Yellow and Blue
5 Freedom
6 Trangulum
7 No School to Day
8 Junkies Monkeys & Donkeys
9 Junkies Monkeys & Donkeys
10 What Have We Got to Lose
11 Mama's Gonna Take You Home
12 So Come On
13 Mona Mona
14 Champs
15 Hey Man

Part 1
Part 2

Morgen - Morgen (1969)

ultra rare but all time favorite psychedelic 60's album from USA. Led by Steven Morgen, who simply named his band Morgen. A true psychedelic artifact originally released on Probe in 1969. The cover of guitarist Steve Morgen’s first and only album anticipates the record’s mystery status. It features a monochrome reproduction of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, an equally iconic solid grey background, and a single word, small enough to go unnoticed against the colorful merry-go-round of late-’60s psychedelic balloon lettering: "Morgen," which is at once the artist’s name, the album’s title, and the German word for “tomorrow.”

Track Listing...
1 - Welcome To The Void
2 - Of Dreams
3 - Beggin Your Pardon (miss Joan)
4 - Eternity In Between
5 - Shes The Nitetime
6 - Love

Sex - Sex / The End of Life (1971-1972)

This band originated from Canada with a bluesy hard rock music. This cd is now on the hunt of collectors since its been out of print from quite sometime now. This is a two albums in one cd, the self titled album released in 1971 and "The End of Life" is released in 1972.

Track Listing...
Sex 1971:
01.Scratch My Back
02.Not Yet
04.I Had To **** Her
05.Come, Wake Up
07.Night Symphony
08.Love Is A Game

The End of My Life - 1972:
09.Born To Love
10.I´m Starting My Life Today
15.The End Of My Life

Part 1
Part 2

Epitaph - Epitaph (1971)

In the early/mid seventies, the German and English Rock band Epitaph was one of the "big ones" in the German Rock Business. Their feeling for good and irresistible melodies paired with powerful Rock soon made them a name to be reckoned with. Comparisons to their Anglo-Saxon idols like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep soon vanished with their own style and panache delivered on their 1971 debut album, Epitaph. Of particular note is the impressive ability and musicianship of the individual band members, giving this record a memorable and lasting presence.

Track Listing...
1. Moving To The Country
2. Visions
3. Hopelessly
4. Little Maggie
5. Early Morning
6. London Town Girl (bonus track)
7. Autumn (bonus track)
8. Are You Ready
9. I'm Trying (bonus track)
10. Changing World (bonus track)

Titanic - Titanic (1970)

Titanic was a rock band from Norway, which also included a British member in its line-up. It was first active from 1969 and 1979, and also reformed twice.The group was made up of Kenny Aas, Kjell Asperud, John Lorck, Janny Loseth and Roy Robinson (lead singer). They formed in 1969, and released several successful albums and singles before disbanding in 1979.

Track Listing...
01. Searchin
02. Love is love
03. Mary Jane*
04. Cry for a Beatle
05. Something on my mind
06. Firewater
07. Schizmatic mind
08. I see no reason
09. Half Breed (bonus)
10. Santa Fe (bonus)

Andromeda - Andromeda (1969)

Andromeda is a spectacular band. Despite being a forgotten band from the late 60's, the most amazing thing upon first listen is just how GREAT the songs are. The band felt like they wanted to take the Hollies vocal style and combine it with some extremely heavy blues rock and psychedelic elements, and it works pretty darn well.
The vocal melodies are quite catchy and the guitar playing is always top notch, and the rhythm section sounds really cool when the band wants to jam out a little out (though most of the time Andromeda kept things relatively straight forward, there are some jamming sections on this collection).
I wish more people were aware of this great album. Just because it's not popular doesn't mean it's no good- that's absolutely NOT true in this case. Andromeda will be remembered for those lucky enough to listen to this collection of songs. There really aren't any weak moments. They probably would have become a classic band had they continued to stick around.

Track Listing...
01 Too Old - 5.00
02 Day of The Change - 5.04
03 And Now the Sun Shines - 4.01
04 Turn to Dust - 6.52
05 Return to Sanity - 8.22
06 The Reason - 3.33
07 I Can Stop the Sun - 2.10
08 When to Stop - 8.43
09 Go Your Way (Bonus) - 3.05
10 Keep Out Cos I´m Dying (Bonus) - 3.47
11 The Garden of Happiness (Bonus) - 3.13
12 Return to Exodus (Bonus) - 2.28
13 Let´s All Watch the Sky Fall Down (Bonus) - 4.04
14 Darkness of Her Room (Bonus) - 5.12
15 See Into the Stars (Bonus) - 7.15
16 Search On (Bonus) - 3.09

Part 1
Part 2

Tyburn Tall - Tyburn Tall (1972)

Tyburn Tall is a german heavy progressive album in 1972.
If you claim yourself as a krautrock eager, then you must hear this gem. If your ears are interacted with organ frenzy, this one is a must. This is comparable with king krauter Amon Duul II’s Tanze der Lemmings, Yeti and Wolf City or Colosseum complexity; this is solid progressive. Imagine, Amon Duul II or Colosseum plays at their most dynamic and skillful stuff on entire album with only 5 personnel. Blending classical aggressiveness, organ orgasm, majestic high-pitch falsetto vocal, haphazard emotions and rock penetration. All songs are terrific; no unprog shit, no time-wasting ballad intermezzo. This album is crazy as hell. One of Deutsch great obscurity in rock n prog passage.

Track Listing...
1 War Game 13:07
2 In the Heart of the Cities (Broken People) 10:35
3 I Am Amercian Too 5:24
4 Strange Days Hiding 17:09
5 Lost Angeles [Bonus Track] 6:22
6 Bring Out Your Dead [Bonus Track] 4:19

Download links
Part 1
Part 2

Ashkan - In From The Cold (1969)

Here’s a nice obscurity from the UK Decca Nova label 1969. This LP reminds me so much of ART & SPOOKY TOOTH. The opening track ‘I’m Going Home’ is a great track with some nice guitar work!

Track Listing...
1. Going Home
2. Take These Chains
3. Stop
4. Backlash Blues
5. Practically Never Happens
6. One of Us Two
7. Slightly Country
8. Darkness