Pegasus 1971 / Esoteric 2016
Bullets flying again: upgraded firearm of heavy psych goes straight for the heart.
When THE GUN folded with “Gunsight” in 1969, it wasn’t the last time the fans heard from the Gurvitz brothers – bassist Paul and guitarist Adrian. After separate stints on the side, they regrouped two years later with a prospect of creating music for the ’70s and, with Mike Kellie on drums – out of the timely disbanded SPOOKY TOOTH and soon to step down for Tony Newman whose arrival made the trio a viable live proposition – delivered this album. It’s a complex work of immediate catchiness, and it’s impossible not to be won over by the vocal harmonies of “Three Man Army” which are wrapped in a delicate instrumental attack.
The same tight tangle of guitars elevate the country rock of “Another Day” to a different, less down-to-earth and more spacious dimension, where Wil Malone-arranged strings wash over tender acoustic lace of the title track, a meditation on time passing by. But opening the record that fleets from funky to fabulously lyrical in the blink of an eye, and setting its frantic aural panorama is “Butter Queen” with Adrian’s old taskmaster Buddy Miles driving the infectious, insistent beat to add, further down the line, organ to the bluesy “Midnight” – eloquent without a single word and given a flamenco curlicue at the end – and bass to “Nice One” which anchors its heavy fuzz.
“Daze” may fold out in hushed tones, yet its unhurried splashes pack a powerful punch on subliminal level before expanding the amplitude and gaining speed, as does the lighthearted, if nailed to a heavy riff, “See What I Took” when the band surf a dynamic wave, while the strum of “Agent Man” is spiked with acid-kissed slide, as befits one of a few true-to-life rock ‘n’ roll tales on display. And if “Together” graciously gallops from a gentle ballad to a full-on cinematic wonder, non-album sides “Travellin’” and “What’s Your Name?” show the playfully raucous aspect of the ARMY men’s approach. There will be more shots from them, with Ginger Baker joining the Gurvitz brothers later on, but it was the first that broke the silence to echo down the years