World Wide 1991 / Sommor 2015
Obscure, if promising, heavy psych trio from the U.K. reveal the late ’60s and early ’70s fringes of their sole record.
Cut from the same cloth as GUN, this band didn’t dent into charts, but though their edge was dimmed on the ensemble’s only album, out on Transatlantic in 1969, Peter Green knew better to join, albeit briefly. Much rawer, their pre-LP demo preserved the trio’s – then known as PURPLE HAZE – full might and would be a prototype for LFR’s 1971 tapes destined to be a showcase for Robert Stigwood, yet that deal never materialized. Now, all those tracks, laid down before and after their records, are here for tracking down the group’s evolution.
The development is most obvious, and delicious, on “Evil Woman” which moves from the acoustically driven soul number, high on naïveté but given a manic propelling by Paul Varley’s drums – soon to be heard in all their power on THE ARROWS’ “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” – to the serrated pop-psych number that’s sprinkled with African percussion. The germ of this gloom is obvious on an early take of “Dream” that Peter Illingworth’s guitar and voice dampen in proto-punk, while the solo passages of the otherwise-restrained “Blud” come full of acid-kissed energy. It turns into a heaviness for the latter-day “Big Bird” whose transparent middle section is cut up with a slider, and spills into an insipid funk for “Money On Your Mind,” yet it’s the lysergic samba of “Tiego” that ups the tension to the max.
Forestalling both BAD CO and CARMEN, the trio had clearly been ahead of their time, so “Time Is Of No Consequence” seems to get prophetic in its crazy, Latinesque jive. Time to reassess this blissful gem of a band.