ELLISON – Ellison

Trans-World 1971 / Guerssen 2016

ELLISON - Ellison

ELLISON –
Ellison

Hefty psych syncs with the times to result in obscurity for Quebec band who couldn’t find their place under the sun.

Today, Montreal is rather famous for its heavy metal scene, which wasn’t the case in the early ’70s when this group came up with their sole LP. Formed on the outskirts of Summer of Love, the quartet tried to bridge its innocence with a new era’s dark portent, the intent which could hardly provide a solid context for an album. Still, there’s perfect logic in placing the baroque blues of “Strawberry Rain” and the boisterous rockabilly of “Satanic” within a single platter, as wonder and sin often make great bedfellows.

That explains the raw, if relaxed, urgency in the LP’s grooves running from an insistent knock on the door that opens “Unchanged World” and bares the teeth of a riff, to the last incantation of “Freedom” where the instrumental interplay is painfully exquisite, and the aforementioned door gets shut. As Vincent Marandola’s jagged voice navigates the straits of Richard Arcand’s punchy bass and Christian Tremblay’s guitar, acoustic threads give the increasingly belligerent “Seal A Beam Bow” an anxious texture, while “Winter Slutch” has a clear psych edge. Yet “Untruth Story” marries the sharpness of delivery with a sneer, groove and catchy melody, and if there’s dope in it the more it turns the listener’s head.

Unfortunately, the foursome didn’t didn’t turn too many a head and went their separate ways in 1973. Too many varying strains failed to keep the group together, and their nuclear potential was never realized.

****

May 31, 2016

Category(s): Reissues
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