Thursday, July 12, 2007

Earth Quake - Rocking The World (1975)

Berkeley's Earth Quake were among the resident bands dominating the scene in northern California during the early to mid 70's. In fact, they were one of the first acts signed to the fledgling Beserkeley Records, though label mate Greg Kihn would be the one to put the label on the map. Moreover, despite what pretty much every bio ever written about this band has said, Greg Kihn was never in Earth Quake. He did contribute some background vocals on a few recordings and eventually hired a few of the band members to join his own band in the late 70's. Earth Quake's early years were spent crafting a curious hard rock/folk sound that was decidedly very west coast sounding. Over the years they'd evolved, bringing in elements of power pop and new wave. Somehow, the band never really caught on, despite issuing several strong albums. One such album was 1975's "Rocking the World". Essentially a live set, highlighting new originals and a handful of covers, the album was met with general indifference outside of their region and abruptly vanished from record store shelves.

Though the performance here is tight and visceral, the reliance on covers and the informal setting in which the album was recorded does tend to undermine the quality of the album. There's no denying the power of the band, but the scattershot song selection pulls the overall vibe in too many directions to leave the listener ultimately satisfied. Nevertheless, this is an interesting and extremely rare piece of classic Cali rock that deserves to be heard. The band fragmented at the dawn of the new decade, leaving members to flee to other bands like the Greg Kihn Band and Larry Lynch & the Mob.

Though there are better albums which represent Earth Quake's true creativity, this obscure relic captures a brief moment in 1975 when they were still a young struggling band making waves in Berkeley. I hope you dig this one!


micksguitar said...

great lp by a band that was very overlooked when this came out. great playing and a great post thanx mick.

beardedhead said...

cool album!!!