Purple Pyramid 2013
Liquid metal turning gold to solidify the SF band’s mercurial message on their home turf.
No less glorified than their psychedelic California peers, QUICKSILVER remain less famous for their songs; more so, the band’s studio albums don’t reflect their on-stage brilliance. This one does, though, as it catches the quartet at the point when, having squeezed a debut LP out of their system, the collective reigned in their hippy nebula and opted for more ordered delivery with no detriment to the flights of improvisation. Here, kicking off with their first record’s opener, the sharply boisterous “Pride Of Man”, and closing with its finale, “The Fool”, the ensemble stretches the latter for almost 13 minutes but not before taking in most of the already released pieces plus a few yet to be cut – and cut it all fine.
While the microphones cut sometime, too, aural gaps do’t diminish the scope of guitar interplay between Gary Duncan and John Cipollina, tempered in Mose Allison’s “If You Live (Your Time Will Come)”, wherein David Freiberg chimes in with a bass solo, and incendiary in the chug of “Calvary”. They shape it most searingly groovy in Howlin Wolf’s start-stop “Smokestack Lightnin'” and most unhinged in other blues staple, Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?”. Yet if “Light Your Windows” is as translucent as the live shows allows for, their concert reading of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Codine”, despite its anguish, spreads the atomic momentum too thin on the ground.
This can’t be said of the second disc of the set that comprises only four tracks of which the wildly swaying “Back Door Man” is the shortest and “Acapulco Gold & Silver” the deepest, pulling the listener into one’s psyche with Greg Elmore drum feast for the release. As liquid as it gets, this is QUICKSILVER in their element: time to reappraise them.