EMI 1968 / Esoteric 2013
A supergroup that never was try their embryonic might – now in stereo and mono mixes.
Mostly remembered nowadays by URIAH HEEP fans for having Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake in the ranks, THE GODS’ line-ups also included Mick Taylor and Greg Lake, but when they entered the studio to shape up their two albums, the organist and drummer’s core was rounded off with future JETHRO TULL bassist John Glascock and guitarist Joe Konas. Not that the talent onboard mattered much on the band’s debut, as “Genesis” follows the VANILLA FUDGE heavy template too closely without the instrumental brilliance of DEEP PURPLE who ran in parallel. Yet ambition is there, very clear in the Hendrix-inspired heaviness of “I Never Know” and the psychedelic colorization of it all with sound effects, very palpable in a mono version of the record, which takes a whole disc in this definitive reissue.
Still, much more attention is paid to arrangements than to the tunes here, albeit there’s a fine complementarity in the harmonic rise of “Towards The Skies” and guitar battle in “You’re My Life”. But if the Hammond roar and falsetto of dramatic “Looking Glass” and “Time And Eternity” pave the direct road to the ’70s, and “Radio Show” nudges the future MOR sway with its brass, the acid-burnt riffs keep “Misleading Colours” firmly in the ’60s bubble, as does the sitar-spiked pop-operetta of “Farthing Man”. Such an approach works well on bonus, single cuts like the effusive “Baby’s Rich” and the brass-shiny cover of “Hey Bulldog”, while it’s the energetic hard rock of “Somewhere In The Street” that shows how special THE GODS could be when they took a path of their own. Genesis it is.