Distortion 1996 / Out-Sider 2016
Out of NYC obscurity, a slice of late ’60s orch culture from a long-forgotten singer-songwriter.
Never a part of a Brill Building collective, Paul Myerberg could have easily blend in with their talent, as he didn’t let his imagination be restricted by budget, and a series of singles the artist recorded as Paul Martin in 1966-1967 is a confectionary mix of various era-typical strains. Cutting into experimental times, garage-like jagged guitar riff may clip the fringe of “Echo” and acid-drenched organ may project psychedelic fuzz onto the perky title track, but there are deeper, if less playful, pieces such as strings-enhanced “What Good Is Your Love” that shows Paul as a crooner with a velvet vocal, or baroque-tinctured “More Than Me” – with a lysergic raga of “All That’s Left” dragging not so far behind.
The singer is soulful in “You Don’t Seem To Understand” and dramatic in “This Is The End” that adds a piano solo to a lachrymose performance, although his voice sounds the best on “The Last Remains Of Our Love” with its raw rhythm-and-blues edge. There was no escaping Dylan influence, of course, and “I Want You” is a good example of its refraction through Martin’s lens, while his own character shines ever so brightly on the previously unreleased autobiographical composition “The Children” where orchestra waves provide an impressive backdrop whose glitter wouldn’t feel out of place in the ’70s.
Yet that wasn’t to be as, despite his ability to fashion well-arranged compositions, the artist vanished into obscurity. Under his real surname, Paul worked as a recording engineer at Bell Sound in 1968-1970 and laid down a fine smattering of demos which make the bulk of this compilation, so he might still be somewhere out there, with possibly more gems.