Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crystal Haze - Crystal Haze (1977)

Crystal Haze are mostly shrouded in mystery, however it is known that the band sprang from the Decatur, Illinois sometime in 1975. Basically comprised of high school friends, Crystal Haze tracked their sole album mostly live in the studio with vocal duties being split between the two guitarists, Greg Bickers and Dave Ellis. After a rather slipshod attempt at mixing, the album was pressed as is in extremely limited numbers. It is rumored that only 100 copies were ever pressed. Since the rather low-key release of their debut album, very little has ever been heard of Crystal Haze though it is believed the band continued to gig around the area for another year before dissolving. The band's post-split activities are murky, though Bickers is now fronting local band, The Hitmen in his hometown.

"Crystal Haze" is certainly one of the most elusive mid-70's recordings in existence, fetching insane prices in collector's circles. From a rarity perspective, I can certainly understand the fervor often raised by this album, given how rarely it ever surfaces. What about the music though? Well, let me just say that the fretwork is fantastic. Excellent guitar tones & fiery performances abound here. Overall, the musicianship is pretty solid considering how young the players were at the time. There's some cool dual guitar work here and there as well, which elevates the intensity another notch. Standouts include the opening instrumental, "Flame" as well as two of the mellower tracks, "In The Night" and "Goodnight".

If you are a sucker for homegrown lo-fi 70's rock, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by "Crystal Haze". Tough to peg and elusive as the Dodo, this album's legend is at least somewhat justified. Dig it...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Re-upped: Bad Boy - Electric Eyes (1984)

Continuing with another entry from Milwaukee's Bad Boy, this is their fourth studio release from 1984, "Electric Eyes". In an attempt to remain relevant among the giants of overblown 80's hard rock, Bad Boy update their sound embellishing it with synth pads and noodley fretwork. Does it work? Well, it does a little but even then, it all comes off a bit third tier in the end. With Xeno (original Cheap Trick vocalist) now at the helm, the melodies are more prominent than ever, but the lack of originality reduces this obscurity to nothing more than a curiosity. There are some strong cuts here, but nothing really has staying power. Regardless, here it is in all its newly ripped digital glory. Bad Boy fans will want to sink their teeth into one of the band's forgotten releases.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Re-upped: $27 Snap On Face - Heterodyne State Hospital (1977)

Sonoma County weirdos, $27 Snap On Face, rank among the strangest of west coast cult acts from the 70's. Formed sometime early in the decade by guitarist Bob O'Connor and vocalist David Petri, the lineup was soon complete with the addition of bassist Steve Nelson, guitarist Jim Doherty, keyboardist Frank Walburg and drummer Ron Ingalsbe. Almost immediately, O'Connor and Petri knew they wanted to create something truly bizarre. Though the other members were resistant at first, soon the band were making waves in Sebastopol and its surrounding cities. With over the top performance art integrated into their shows, the band seemed destined for cult status from the get go. The band's history goes blurry from this point onward, though I am aware of at least one single issued in 1975, prior to the "Heterodyne State Hospital" album.

As for this album, well, let's just say it's an acquired taste. Some get it and others don't. I suppose I'm with the latter, though I can appreciate the band's desire to do something unusual. With Zappa flourishes penetrating the music presented here, the album comes across like an inside joke that only a select few were intended to understand. This being said, the listener might often feel a bit alienated by the material here. Sounding like an early Frisco hippie act fronted by Frank Zappa, the focus here is sublime and not so much about musicality as it is lyrical content. The band self-issued 1,000 copies of the album in 1977, though it sounds like it may have been recorded considerably earlier. The band continued for a short time, doing mostly union gigs in the Sonoma County area before eventually calling it a day. O'Connor now lives in Hawaii, Petri is a realtor in Cobb, Walburg runs a vacation community in Santa Rosa and Ingalsbe's whereabouts are unknown. Doherty passed away in 1993.

If weird cult bands are your thing, then you'll surely find something to love about $27 Snap On Face. This elusive piece of west coast psychedelic is, if anything, something you're not likely to ever forget. Enjoy this re-up from 'Gumby'!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bad Boy - Back To Back (1978)

Back again with another entry from Milwaukee's very own Bad Boy. "Back To Back" was the band's final effort for United Artists Records, released in 1978. The album spawned no singles and failed to chart, prompting the label to opt out of extending the band's contract. The band continued playing the midwest for a number of years before finally fizzling in the late 80's. With the imminent release of a greatest hits album in 1998, the band reunited and has been recording and performing ever since.

"Back To Back" is an improvement over the band's debut, featuring more focused songwriting, a harder sound and more direct melodic hooks. "Back To Back" also marks the band's first foray into power pop, a style that would be fully explored on their follow up release, "Private Party". Though there are a handful of somewhat pedestrian cuts, there are some equally compelling tracks to offset them. "It's Alright" is a powerful opening track, with a sound reminiscent of early Trooper. "Always Come Back To You" and "Accidental" are both brimming with hooks lifted from the Raspberries songbook. "No Stopping Me Now" is easily the heaviest track here, with a sleazy guitar tone to die for. All in all, this is a satisfying listen, especially for Bad Boy fans.

Dig this killer 1st gen vinyl rip, de-clicked and EQ'd for maximum effect. You'll be pressed to find a better transfer anywhere else, folks!


Friday, September 11, 2009

New Blog!

Be sure to drop in and visit my second blog, Planet Powerpop. If you're a lover of huge hooks and Beatlesque melodies, I'm sure you'll find something to love there. I'll continue blogging here, in addition to the new blog. Eat it up!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bad Boy - Girl On The Run (1986)

Bad Boy's fourth release came in the form of "Girl On The Run", a five song EP released in 1986. The band opted to release the record on their own label, Legend Records. With the limited distribution that is typical of indie labels, the album failed to launch the band back into the mainstream but it was well-received in parts of the midwest. Over the next few years the band slowly began winding down, as members defected to other area bands and solo projects. In 1998, the band reunited and has been performing locally ever since.

"Girl On The Run" is quite a departure from the band's 70's output, with a strong AOR slant full of embellishments like saxophones and keyboards. The band's grit has been replaced by a slick sheen that was very common for the times. The album's title track is clearly the standout here, though "Hypnotize" and "She Can Drive You Crazy" are also fantastic. Unfortunately, the two remaining tracks fall flat. "Midnight Love" lacks a strong hook and "The Longest Night" comes off sounding very formulaic and stiff. Overall, this is a worthy effort and a fine addition to the Bad Boy musical legacy.

This EP is extremely rare and usually quite expensive whenever it surfaces online. Check out this fantastic vinyl rip I've done and get hip to some rare Milwaukee AOR. You'll dig it.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Re-Upped: Bad Boy - Private Party (1981)

Here's another rarity from Milwaukee's legendary Bad Boy. By the time "Private Party" was in record stores, the band had already spent three years struggling to regain its composure after the sudden split from United Artists Records. With their fanatical hometown following keeping them aloft through this lean period, Bad Boy launched Streetwise Records to issue their third album in 1981. Though the album gained them newfound critical acclaim, it was not enough to launch them into superstar status. The band slagged it out in the midwest for another five years before finally giving up the ghost. A resurgence in interest eventually inspired a reunion in 1998 and the band can still be found conquering venues in their region today.

"Private Party" is an astonishing accomplishment, especially considering the climate in which this album was created. Few commercially successful acts ever have the fortune of trumping their most fruitful period of mainstream visibility, much less those who have never quite bridged the gap between being underground and being household names. Bad Boy had spent several years trying to capitalize on the support they were receiving from United Artists, but mainstream success eluded them in every way possible. So, it's quite amazing that their first self-financed album would not only push their songwriting to a whole new level, but also result in a production that glistens with a punishingly clear sheen that rivals any major label's output from the same time period.

The album swaggers with confidence at every angle, complete with charging guitars, heavyhanded rhythms and a charismatic vocal approach that demands your immediate attention from the very first note. "Private Party" is the sound of a hungry band on fire and hellbent on making a powerful musical statement. There are literally no weak tracks to be found here, folks. It's that damn good. With a sound that blends Cheap Trick, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Kiss, the band blasts through all ten tracks with total gusto. The result is unquestionably the most relevant collection of tracks this band ever laid to tape. Need proof? Check out this fresh vinyl tranfer done by me. It simply blows away the previous version that was available here!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Snakeye - Blue Feeling (1975)

Snakeye's debut came in 1975, two years after it had been actually recorded. The band were briefly courted by United Artists Records and the label subsequently issued a single "Choked Up" b/w "Blue Feeling" in 1973, but a full fledged contract never happened, leaving the band with master tapes to an album without a label. Eventually Harold Langille's local label, Big Harold's Records, issued the album in a limited pressing. Though the album did quite well for the band regionally speaking, with limited funds and resources, "Blue Feeling" was ultimately destined for the abyss and that's where it has remained ever since.

It's quite unfortunate too, as this album is a pretty enjoyable melange of styles that range from moody ballads to energetic hard rock. The album opener "See The Sun" is an excellent mood setter, with atmospheric flutes, tight vocal harmonies and a captivating dynamic shift throughout. "Something To Believe In" is one of the highlights, with a funky James Gang vibe firmly in place, it should've been a single. Other cuts worth mentioning are the sizzling title track and "I Can Stand" which sounds like David Byron fronting a southern rock band.

The verdict on this elusive relic is mostly positive. Though there are a few missteps sprinkled throughout, this is by and large a fairly tight and concise set of tracks. Check out this vinyl rip, but be aware that you may hear some very subtle pops on occasion. I labored hard over digitally restoring this one, but the source vinyl was only a VG+ rating. I didn't want to filter too much noise, as it would've compromised the music itself. I think you'll dig this one in any case! Dig it...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wizard - Wizard (1979)

Wizard were a Los Angeles based hard rock act which featured brothers Dave Walsh (guitar) and Brian Walsh (drums), as well as Bruffie Brigham (vocals, bass). It's not known when the band was established but their one and only album was self-financed & pressed under the guise of their own label, Future Track Records. The album circulated in nearby shops for awhile before disappearing completely. As the new decade approached, the band fizzled and Brigham moved on to Masque and later worked as a session player. The Walsh brothers activities are unknown.

This album has been fetching ridiculous prices at collector fairs and online auctions for a number of years now and I can't help but wonder why. Sure, the musicianship is decent enough and the songwriting isn't completely terrible by any means but methinks this is a clear case of hype over substance. The production here is half the problem, as the dynamics have all but been tossed out the window. What's left is a leaden and somewhat claustrophobic sounding mix that does no justice to the music at all. There have been many Rush comparisons made about Wizard and I just don't hear it at all. Am I missing something here? Overall, this LP is on the low end of "good", barely scraping by on the fact that there's exceptional musicianship happening here. Otherwise, unless you're a sucker for plodding lo-fi early 80's hard rock, you might want to bypass Wizard.

Unfortunately, this rip leaves alot to be desired. It's fuzzy and part of the opening track has been truncated, but I have seen no alternate rips floating around and until then, this will have to do. Thanks to my friend Orchman, here is Wizard. What do you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vinyl For Sale!

Yep, time to start unloading some of my humble collection. I suffered a 450gb hard drive crash recently and all proceeds from this sale will go towards a reliable 1 or 2tb external drive. This makes my 2nd drive crash since 2005 and this one in particular stings! Fear not, alot of my rarities that I've been waiting to post here have been salvaged, so RFR will only get better and more active as I begin reorganizing files and doing write ups as I go. In the meantime, take a look at the vinyl I'm offering below. All LPs are graded conservatively and freight charges will be calculated on your zipcode or postal code. There will be no extra charges and each item will be shipped within 24hrs of payment, so there'll be no excessive waiting! I'm selling on a first come first serve basis, so use my email link at the bottom right margin of this blog to confirm your selection and we'll exchange contact information. Keep in mind that the gradings are for cover/vinyl. Thanks!
Thundermug – Orbit 1972 Axe Recs EX-/EX $12.00
Thundermug – Strikes 1973 Epic Recs EX-/EX $ 8.00
Thundermug – Ta-Daa!! 1975 Mercury Recs EX-/EX+ $12.00
Trooper – Trooper 1975 MCA Recs NM/EX- $12.00
Hello People – Bricks 1975 ABC Recs NM/NM $ 8.00
FM – City Of Fear 1980 Passport Recs EX-/EX- $10.00
Target – Captured 1977 A&M Recs EX-/EX- $ 6.00
Growl – Growl 1974 Discreet Recs EX-/EX $10.00
Voyager – Halfway Hotel 1979 Elektra Recs NM/NM $10.00
Glider – Glider 1977 United Artists Recs EX/EX+ $12.00
Flying Squad – Flying Squad 1978 Epic Recs EX-/EX+ $15.00
Baby – Baby 1975 Mercury Recs EX/EX+ $12.00
Baby – Where'd All The Money Go? 1976 Chelsea Recs EX/EX+ $12.00
Christ Child – Hard 1977 Buddah/Arista Recs VG+/VG+$ 8.00
Locust – Playgue 1976 Annuit Coeptus Recs NM/EX+ $12.00
Neon – Neon 1970 Paramount Recs VG+/EX- $ 8.00
The Pirates – Hard Ride 1979 Pacific Arts Recs VG+/EX- $ 6.00
Child – Child 1977 Ariel Recs NM/NM $15.00

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thundermug - Orbit (1973)

I've posted most of Thundermug's recorded output here before, but not their 2nd LP, "Orbit". Prior downloads I've come across from other sources have sounded scratchy and muddy. Not this one, folks. I ripped this myself from clean vinyl and the sound is amazing. The album came in mid '73 and though it was critically acclaimed in Canada, it never made a dent elsewhere in the world. It's a shame, as this is arguably their most cohesive release.

Though the album is notably less experimental as their debut, it makes up for this change in direction by focusing on tighter arrangements and melodies. In fact, later that year Epic records issued a Thundermug compilation LP which contained all but three cuts from this release. Yes, it's that strong. If you are a Thundermug fan or just enjoy clever melodic power pop/hard rock, you will be more tha satisfied with "Orbit". Click the link below and give your ears a taste of one of Canada's best kept secrets.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Hello People - Bricks (1975)

I'm back with another post from The Hello People, this one being their final release from 1975, "Bricks". By this point, the band had been pruned down to a quartet and streamlined their musical approach considerably. Under the direction of mentor Todd Rundgren, the band entered the studio in early 1975 and had "Bricks" on store shelves by the summer. Though Rundgren's golden touch had revived many sagging careers of the artists he worked with, The Hello People did not fare quite as well. By early 1977, the band had stopped touring and effectively fizzled by year's end. The post-breakup activities of former members are not known.

If you enjoyed the psychedelic sounds of the band's early albums, you will probably not find much to enjoy with "Bricks". Here we see a pastiche of mellow pop, hard rock and 50's doowop. Though there are highlights such as the perfectly crafted "Pass Me By", which incidentally appeared earlier in a different form on a previous album by the band, most of the material here is rather pedestrian. Despite this flaw, I honestly do enjoy this album from time to time. It's all about moderation folks and this is an album that does not hold up well under repeated listenings. Having said that, this is a relic worth checking out, especially if you are already familiar with the band. Check out this excellent rip from virgin vinyl. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Re-Upped: Baby - Where Did All the Money Go? (1976)

Back again with another entry from Baby, this time being their 2nd and final release, "Where Did All the Money Go?". From the get go, it is apparent that the band has tempered their sound considerably, transforming from a raunchy southern hard rock sound to a slicker, more laid back bluesy rock style. Some will find this change an improvement, but it's impossible not to notice the decline in songwriting present here. I personally prefer the supercharged crunchiness of the debut, but there are a few standouts here. "Easy Street, Hard Luck Avenue" and "Still in Love" are both closer to the band's signature hard rock sound and are two of the better cuts here. To the band's credit, they've added keyboards to the sound and this enhances the dynamics of the songwriting quite a bit. Whatever your preference, this obscurity deserves to be heard and this new transfer I've done from mint vinyl should please fans and newbies alike.

Re-Upped: Trooper - Trooper (1975)

Trooper's roots trace back to 1965 in the fair city of Vancouver, BC, where Ra McGuire (vocals) and Brian Smith (guitar) honed their chops as the creative force behind eccentric rockers, Winter's Green. Though the band enjoyed success on a marginal level in their native region, it wasn't until 1974 that the duo's new group, Applejack, drew the attention of Randy Bachman. Bachman, having been a pivotal player in the success of numerous bands like The Guess Who, Brave Belt and BTO, was instrumental in giving the band its first taste of national exposure and also their subsequent record contract with his own label, Legend Records. That album was released in 1975, under the band's new guise, Trooper. Immediately the band were placed on high profile tours of the US with BTO, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC and the Doobie Brothers, which did little to bring crossover success for the band in the states. North of the border, however, was an entirely different matter as the band enjoyed two high charting singles and a Juno award that same year.

This success prompted MCA Records to step into the picture and for the next five years, the band issued numerous gold and platinum albums and singles, sold out venues from coast to coast and recieved multiple Juno nominations. It wasn't until 1980 that their success began to wane, which resulted in a revolving door of label deals, sporadic releases and lower profile tours over the next eleven years. Trooper, though in a largely different lineup, continue to tour sporadically in their homeland to this day with McGuire and Smith still at the helm.

This album, their eponymously titled debut, is an excellent introduction to the band. With a perfect musical balance of muscle and levity, "Trooper" is chock full of tasteful classic hard rock. With crunchy workouts in the majority here, the album reigns in the energy only a few times to allow the listener a glimpse at the band's subtle interplay. Highlights include rockers like "Roller Rink", "Eddy Take It Easy", "Baby Wontcha Please Come Home" and "Don't Stop Now", while "General Hand Grenade" serves as an interesting diversion in the proceedings. Of Trooper's recorded output, I consider this to be among the best work the band's ever done. Though there's nothing here that reinvents the wheel, McGuire's articulate raspy vocals and sublime melodies elevate this from plain to exceptional.

Newly ripped by me from an excellent quality copy of the LP. Considering the iffy production of the album, this is a fantastic and clear transfer. All the more reason for you to download and get hip to one of Canada's most beloved classic rock acts.

Re-Upped: Locust - Playgue (1976)

This extremely obscure proto arena rock act sprang from Iowa in the early 70's, becoming legendary in their home state while remaining unknown just about everywhere else. Their local fame brought them to Annuit Coeptus Records, who issued their sole release, "Playgue" in 1976. Though the band regularly landed supporting slots for many of the bigger acts touring through Iowa, they never managed to break through to very many other regions outside of the midwest.

So what about the music? Taking on a sound remiscent of Morningstar or early Styx, the band assembles an interesting batch of songs that seem complex in places, yet underdeveloped. With capable vocals, quirky melodies and pitch perfect harmonies, they certainly had the chops to do something spectacular. As it stands, though, "Playgue" is an unremarkably pleasant affair through and through. With lackluster production that sounds more like something engineered in the 60's, alot of the music here suffers from bad sonics. Had the production values been more contemporary, perhaps Locust could have developed their sound more elaborately. The band did split a few years later, frustrated by lack of visibility and not much is known about the members subsequent activities, though bassist Court Hawley would end up in macabre theatrical metal act, Impaler, almost a decade later.

Newly ripped by me from Mint vinyl. This is a huge sonic upgrade from the original posting. In any case, enjoy this HQ vinyl rip and sink your teeth into one of Iowa's few contributions to the AOR genre. Hope you dig it!

Next... - Dusty Shoes (1971)

Winnipeg's Next were an offshoot of regional heroes The Fifth. After a fairly successful run of singles in Canada, The Fifth split in 1970 with several members of the band defecting to other acts in the region. One such product of the split was Next. The band were quickly able to secure a contract with Warner Brothers and by late 1971, "Dusty Shoes" was released. With somewhat limited exposure and very poor distribution, the album sank without a trace and Next were history by the end of 1973. Members would later turn up in The Guess Who, Harlequin and The Litter.

"Dusty Shoes" is very much typical of the era from which it sprang. Overall, it's tastefully arranged organ/guitar driven pseudo hard rock that recalls Grand Funk Railroad quite a bit in places. With the soulfully gritty vocals of George Belanger, everything here has an edge which makes much of the material here sound harder than it actually is. That subtle dynamic is what carries most of this album and makes it a truly satisfying listen. Check out this obscure offering from Next, contributed by Orchman. Dig it...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cool Feet - Burning Desire (1976)

Cool Feet are unquestionably one of the most sought after acts from the 70's underground. In fact, their sole full-length release easily fetches a few thousand dollars each time a clean copy surfaces online. Not much is known about this band, but the quartet formed in the Gutland of Luxembourg sometime in the early 70's. One half of the band were German & the other half British. Their self-titled album was recorded at Dierks Studios. Issued in very limited quantities on the small Pallas label, the album virtually came and went without much fuss at the time, though over time it has gained a nearly unparalleled amount of attention due to its scarcity.

So does this album deserve the hype? Well, let's just say that it's most certainly not the masterpiece one might expect, but it's also much better than a good portion of the relics that collectors tend to lavish praise upon. With a sound that references alot of the early Scorpions material, there's some real worthy music happening here. The vocals are eerily quite similar to Birth Control's own Bernd Noske. It's almost uncanny, really. There's plenty of turbocharged hard rock among the batch of tracks presented, along with a handful of more introspective numbers. One such heavy standout is the ballsy "Hello Lucy", with fantastic vocals & perfect rhythmic pacing. If drawing comparisons is your preference, see bands like Doctor Downtrip, Bastard or Hairy Chapter for other points of reference. Whatever your angle, I'm sure many of you will find something to love about Cool Feet. While we wait for a much needed proper reissue, dig into this decent vinyl rip and hear what all the stir is about.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Roadmaster - Sweet Music (1978)

In this final entry for Roadmaster, we have the band's 2nd album "Sweet Music". This effort was the first to signal the band's change of artistic direction, which veered away from journeyman boogie to full blown AOR pomp. Nothing signifies this change more than the opening cut, "It Doesn't Mean a Thing". With hooks galore and syrupy synths and strings, it should've been a huge single. Oddly enough, that never happened and it's matters like this that help to explain why Roadmaster never really broke through to the mainstream. Poor promotion, lack of exposure and mismatched touring partners were all to blame and it's a real shame. Needless to say, in the ensuing years since the band's dissolution there has been an all-new appreciation for their music. Whether you dig hard rock, radio friendly ballads or full-blown AOR...Roadmaster had it all. Perhaps it's the bittersweet irony of Roadmaster's fate is what makes them so appreciated in retrospect.

In any case, dig this excellent rip from William and make your Roadmaster collection complete!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mother's Finest - One Mother To Another (1983)

This rare entry is from Atlanta's hard soul pioneers, Mother's Finest. After enjoying moderate success in the 70's as the most powerful multicultural hard rock act on the concert circuit, the band found themselves at a crossroads as musical climates changed in the early 80's. With the failure of 1981's "Iron Age" release and their subsequent ousting from Atlantic Records, the band reconstructed its sound with a decidedly more R&B slant. Soon Epic Records came calling & before the end of 1983, "One Mother To Another" was released. The album was met with indifference almost from the onset, while also suffering from distribution glitches that would essentially derail the band by the middle of 1984. Members went on to work with Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws as well as enjoying some success as solo artists. 1989 would see the band regrouping and over the next two decades, they've enjoying moderate success despite an inability to establish a solid musical identity.

For lovers of classic Mother's Finest, this album will surely be a real disappointment. This collection of songs rarely deviates from being straight up MOR commercial soul. No rock hard guitar fireworks, no dual vocals, no intense rhythms...nothing. For all intents and purposes, this is a Joyce Kennedy solo album. There are some moments of inspiration here, like "Take Me to the Middle of Your Luv", but for the most part what you find here is flat and devoid of the groove for which this band has always been known.

Due to its rarity, this album deserves to be shared, especially for completists who have never had a chance to hear the band during this transitional phase of their career. Thanks to Nuxx for sharing this ultra-clean vinyl transfer. Dig in and give "One Mother To Another" a spin.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Re-Up Shoutbox

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I've added a shoutbox at the bottom right margin of this page. Since many of the older links on this site have either been deleted by nefarious blog trolls or have simply timed out, I'm proposing the usage of this new feature to resurrect dead links. Many of the albums posted here in 2007 and 2008 are no longer in my personal library. This is due to both a data loss and simple inventory control on my part. I encourage visitors looking for re-ups to make their suggestions in the shoutbox. It will provide some of the regular contributors here an opportunity to possibly fill your requests. Fair enough? Let's try this experiment and see if we can make it work. Keep your eyes peeled for a new posting this week!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Child - Child (1977)

I have very little information about this obscure Seattle outfit, which consisted of Lance Baumgartel, Mick Flynn, Tim Turner and John O'Connor. The band formed in 1969 and spent quite a few years playing the club circuit before finally issuing their self-titled LP on Seattle label, Ariel Records. The band enjoyed local success and issued a few singles before dissolving in 1981. Members went on to production and session work, as well as some sporadic musical activities with bands like Cooltones, The Tim Turner Band and The Mick Flynn Band.

This is an obscurity that has often been sought by collectors over the years. Despite the esoteric cover art, this LP is a collection of strictly meat and potatoes rock. No swirling synths, no flashy organs, no acid drenched guitar tones, no wailing vocals. This is straight down the middle rock, folks. For me, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing but this batch of songs really just doesn't stand up on its own. Most of the writing seems half-baked and the vocals come across as a little lazy. There's pretty great guitar work but the weak arrangements fail to capitalize on the band's obvious musical prowess. There are a few uninspired ballads, a few blues workouts and a handful of rock/hard rock cuts. The harder material is easily the best here, particularly "I Just Want to Be With You" which beckons Artful Dodger or late period Raspberries.

I suggest you download this artifact and see for yourself. While certainly not bad, Child isn't exactly setting the world on fire either. Check this rip from virgin vinyl and give Child a spin.