Saturday, August 15, 2009

JPT Scare Band - Past Is Prologue (1975)

These recordings from the Kansas City threesome, JPT Scare Band, from 1973-75, have been bootlegged for eons at pricey sums. If the band had a signed record contract back in the early '70s, there is no doubt they would be up there with Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Black Sabbath for guitar overload damage. Unfortunately, these recordings never really made it out of the inner circles of hard psych heads. This is a classic snapshot into the basement of a true American Rock Band doing what they do best. It is easy to imagine all their friends freaking freely to their brand of tripped-out, space-vibe rock. Interesting liner and production notes round out this great package (lots of photos, lyrics, etc.) and proves that, in the mid-'70s, not all of American rock was asleep or staring at its navel.The JPT Scare Band's screaming electric psych/blues barely made it past the basement where they first rehearsed back in 1973, but someone was smart enough to tape these three titans of volume at work. That work became the album known as Sleeping Sickness, an album spoke about in hushed reverence among heavy psych heads that were lucky enough to hear it.
Past is Prologue gives us a snapshot of the band through time, including tracks recorded in 1975, '76, '77, '93 - and oddly the best track, Sci-Fi acid-epic "Burn in Hell", recorded in 2001. The reason I say "oddly", is because the band seems not to have skipped a beat over the years. The musical chemistry between the three members of the band is awe- inspiring..."Burn in Hell" sounds as fiery and intense as, say, "Time To Cry" did back in '75.
The beauty of the JPT Scare Band is it's ability to function as a unit in the nebulous field of the free-form heavy jam. They start with a chord progression and the rest is a musical conversation, the direction dictated by unspoken energies. Terry Swope is a gawdam genius. One of the best all around soul guitarists I've ever heard. The kind that are unencumbered by strict technique and play soley based on smoldering emotion. Definitely in the league with the best in that genre...Hendrix, Duane Allman, Robin Trower and Carlos Santana. The other two comparatively unheralded players in the band are of equal importance - bassist Paul Grigsby anchors the band with an equal amount of soul and passion and drummer Jeff Littrell knows when to dig in with a fill and push the band a bit, and then back off in the more soulful moments. The end result is nothing short of mind-blowing.A must for those into heavy psych and/or those that are true aficionados of the mysteries of the jam.

Track Listing...
1. Burn in Hell
2. I've Been Waiting
3. Wino
4. Sleeping Sickness
5. Time To Cry
6. Titan's Siren
7. Jerry's Blues
8. It's Too Late (Revisited)

1 comment:

  1. kick ass album! they have a few others now, jamm vapour, rumdum daddy and they put sleeping sickness out on the kung bomar label.