To many a music fan Funko figures may seem as something very much peripheral to what these represent; to a lot of other listeners these are as integral part of pop culture as posters of one’s favorite artists. Whatever your personal verdict on that may be, though, it’s difficult to argue with the following fact: only highly recognizable – in visual terms – persons deserve to get a tangible representation of their likeness.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding with regards to this British group – which might seem natural for an experimental jazz-rock ensemble – but a lot of misinformation as well. Despite the fact that CATAPILLA were led, between 1970 and 1972, by saxophonist named Robert Calvert, it was not the future frontman of HAWKWIND – it was his namesake whose vision outlined what the band pursued on their two albums before splitting and seeing their leader play alongside Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth in various GONG offshoots. Still, the interest in his original collective never faded, which is why their 1971’s self-titled debut LP and “Changes” from the following year got reissued time after time, and no one could imagine further releases from the defunct – until now.
Progressive rock doesn’t have the most solid relationship with Christmas, Greg Lake‘s seasonal classic “I Believe In Father Christmas” serving as an exception to the rule – simply because the forward-facing musical genre fails to concentrate on something as transient as the winter holiday. However, Amanda Lehmann has convincingly buck this trend on her new single.
While some people might find the latter-day tendency of certain ensembles to include “’70s hard rock” in the description of what they do, MAD PAINTER go all the way with this stylistic colorization by not only taking a roaring Hammond and heavy riffs to the prog-tinged fore but also dressing the part. Masterminded by the music-from-the-past buff Alex Gitlin who mans the ivories, sings and writes most of the material, the Boston-based band are finally ready to deliver their second album – preceded by a couple of singles which have been rotating on numerous radio stations for quite a while and on which yours truly is a lyricist (watch the videos below).
Some may argue but most of aficionados would agree: 1976’s “No Heavy Petting” is UFO‘s finest hour in creative terms. With Phil Mogg and Pete Way applying pressure to the tunes that followed in the wake of “Force It” in the previous year and Michael Schenker delivering filigreed riffs under the watchful eye of producer Leo Lyons, the British ensemble decided to widen their aural palette and bring in keyboards and second guitar to the mix, and though Danny Peyronel who came on board to flesh out the quartet’s sound didn’t stay long, his influence would be felt for decades. The first platter of the expanded line-up turned out brilliantly, hefty groove of pieces like “On With The Action” and “Natural Thing” contrasting the heartrending serenade “Belladonna” and progressive panorama of “Martian Landscape” – with the cover of “Fool In Love” which Frankie Miller co-penned with Andy Fraser adding to the fun.