Archive for March, 2007

Raw Material

March 30, 2007

Raw MaterialRaw Material (UK, 1970). While not as accomplished as Time is Rare, I’ve gradually come to favor this, Raw Material’s first of two releases. The balance of late ’60s melodic craft (“I’d Be Delighted”, “Fighting Cock”) with turn-of-the-decade symphonic ambitions (“Time and Illusion”) makes for a better clutch of individual songs, and their tunefulness is so tight that even a conventional blues rock ditty, “Pear On an Apple Tree”, can’t be deprived of a strategic key change, giving it a special ‘hook’ factor well outside the Mayall school (think of Rory Gallagher and his initial band Taste for further examples of tuneful, melodic blues rock.)
Raw Material


Room – Pre-Flight

March 15, 2007

Room Pre-Flight (UK, 1970). Bluesy structures, brassy arrangements and harmolodic interplay, replete with she-belter Jane Kevern, whose manly tone bore far more resemblance to her continental sisters like Inga Rumpf (Frumpy) or Floortje Klomp (Mr. Albert Show) than to any of her lithe compatriots. Admittedly, the first launch is a no-go, with the nine minute “Pre-flight part I & II” hitting turbulence after the promising riffs at the launch pad. Man’s triumph over nature does manage to prevail, however, when the second half of this disc soars sky high with “Andromeda”, ”War” and “Cemetery Junction (Part I & II)”.

Quarteto 1111

March 2, 2007

As with the contemporaneous one-off by Italy’s Gleemen, the 1970 long-player by Portugal’s Quarteto 1111 was a recent discovery that I initially a-listed due to its colorful cover art. Unlike Gleeman, however, Quarteto 1111 has stayed on top due to some wonderful music contained within. I’m inclined to say that this album betrays some strong national characteristics, but that may just be down to the vocals, which walk a thin line between spoken and sung. Musically, you get a mixture of fuzzy, Anglo-style popsike (“Uma Estrada para a Minha”), pieces that blur song form with sound collage (“A Fuga dos Grilos”), folky ditties with quirky accents on the melody (the whistle/organ jolts of “Pigmentação”), and a recurrent breeze of the Brazilian Tropicalia style.