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Acid Archives 2nd Edition Updates
25 December 2013
Beverly Hills Baba & Lite Storm
Now Playing: Buddy Holly
Topic: New review

Here's a real review of a placeholder in the AA book, after I finally located a copy; both this and its predecessor are rarely seen.

LITE STORM (CA)
God Is Truth 1974 (Sai Sound Samitee 10-50)
The second of two albums that the hippie-rockers Lite Storm recorded under the aegis of their Hindu guru Satya Sai Baba, who appears on the cover and is heard throughout the record. The old Acid Archives review suggests that this sequel is similar to the preceding God Is Love, and while they have much in common, there seems to be a certain development in process. The unusual mix of embryonic new age (eerie electronics), liturgic Eastern chanting, and trippy CA folkrock is recognizable, but here given a further spin as Sai Baba picks up the mic and sings a few songs himself--not just the kirtan chanting, but real pop songs. One of them sounds more Bollywood than CA guru music, but the bulk of it is typical '70s hippie-folk with a light rock setting, atmospheric keyboards & wordless vocals, and Sai Baba and the Lite Stormers (male and female) sharing lead vocals, often by trading lines. It's kind of catchy, and fun to hear traces of old '60s sunshine lyte-psych mutated into this unorthodox spiritual music. Whatever Sai Baba's game was, he clearly had no objection to the disciples' Western musical activity. Compared to God Is Love I think this is a more consistent and finalized album that plays through like a charm, but the kirtan curveball gives the psychedelic/new age aspects of the music an ethnic pop sheen which needs to be weighed in. Well-written songs and arrangements with some spooky psych passages and nice female vocals, and as a crossover item it finds its inbetween-ground in a fairly unique spot. [PL].


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 22:31 CET
Updated: 25 December 2013 22:54 CET
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13 June 2013
Bureman & O'Rourke & Post #100
Now Playing: Terminator Salvation
Topic: New review

Post #100 will cause no particular celebration, but for the record I might observe that the AA Updates concept has worked out pretty well. Feedback is sporadic but good, and I can tell from e-mails and other comments that quite a few people read these pages. The blog format is convenient in some ways, but the lack of an A-Z index is annoying. I'll see if I can fix this somehow. And now...

BUREMAN & O'ROURKE (Kansas City, MO)
Strawberry Pickin's 1974 (Pearce 42550)

This is a fairly well-known title among private press rural rockers, yet listening to it I think it deserves a little more attention. It's simply a good, enjoyable album that could well have come out on a real record label. Music-wise it's bluegrass-oriented roots sounds, utilizing a standard rock setting plus banjo and mandolin. It's not a hippie barnyard thing like Sodbusters, but a more genuinely dedicated effort that reminds me of the Brown County Band. Side 1 is more traditional, while side 2 leans more towards rural rock with a possible New Riders Of The Purple Sage influence. That said, "Genevieve" on side 1 is the strongest track of all, an excellent original that could have come from the Modlin & Scott LP. Covers include a fine "Mr Bojangles", "Love Song" by Loggins & Messina, and a couple of trad numbers. While not quite up there with Cambridge or the Black Canyon Gang, Strawberry Pickin's (it's their apostrophe) plays through like a charm, and will appeal to anyone with an ear for rural rock, country-rock and modern bluegrass. This used to be in 'The Attic', but both quality and recent going rates promotes it as a matter for the main Acid Archives. The duo had at least one more album. [PL]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:24 MEST
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3 May 2013
Tourniquet
Now Playing: Tourniquet
Topic: New review

This obscure late '70s release on the haunted RPC custom label appears in the Acid Archives 2nd Edition with what is basically a place-holder entry, as we were unable to find a copy or dub thereof. At long last a helpful collector forwarded me a rip, so here goes:

TOURNIQUET (NJ)
You never know what you're going to get on RPC, and if anything the diversity among the releases seemed to get ever greater as the years passed. From the final days you have things like fringe boner Tone The Bone and the seriously timewarped MHS Rock, and you also have the oddly named Tourniquet. It took several plays for me to wrap my head around this album, not because it is particularly strange, but because it doesn't sound like a custom label disc at all. To begin with, it sounds fairly professional; not quite major label-worthy, but with more time in the studio these guys could probably have worked out the wrinkles (some weak vocals and less than ideal mixing). For the most part Tourniquet sounds like one of those new wave-era bands who could pull almost anything out of the hat and sneak it past the trend jury, as it was modern and genreless enough to seem "OK". So, depending on your politics and mood, Tourniquet sound either like a  melodic AOR band or ambitious power-poppers. There's plenty of guitar in the mix, some of it pretty edgy, and also strongly late '70s/early '80s-flavored keyboard (and synth) used mainly for embellishments to the succinct, guitar-driven tracks. The vocals, some solo and some ensemble, are generally pretty good and adequate to the musical style. The lyrics have enough quirky personality to grab your attention after a few plays (I particularly enjoy the second track and it's sugary "You're boring, boring" chorus), and give a certain identity to a disc which runs the risk of sounding like an imitation of a trendy major label band, c1979. My mind wanders towards things like Sniff'n The Tears or the Motors, but it's more a generic period style than anything else. What confused me most were a couple of tracks that sounded quite different from the rest, such as a '60s-flavored number with fine female vocals that pops up out of nowhere (Blondie-inspired?), and two heartfelt ballads with keyboards upfront. The diversity briefly had me thinking of a various artist album like North County Rock Association, but ultimately I think it's clear that Tourniquet is the product of 2-3 guys in New Jersey, who may have recorded this primarily as a demo album; at least that's what it sounds like. One of the main guys apparently received some encouraging feedback from hip UK record label Stiff, which seems reasonable given the modern (for the time) sound and respectable songwriting heard on the album. Some interest in the power-pop/new wave axis is required; despite its utter obscurity there is nothing psychedelic or underground about this. [PL]

---

Together with a local NYC collector I've attempted to contact the Tourniquet guys, and while they all seem to live in the New Jersey area, no response came to our inquiries.


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:21 MEST
Updated: 7 May 2013 23:28 MEST
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31 March 2013
Spanky & Johnny
Now Playing: Perry Leopold
Topic: New review

One of the more expensive tax-scammers gets a real review, replacing the brief entry in the AA 2nd Ed.

SPANKY LEE & JOHNNY LEE ( )
Spanky & Johnny c1977 (Tiger Lily)

There really are a lot of very good albums on Tiger Lily, but listening to something like this makes me wonder how collectors would have responded to it if it had been the major label release the band probably intended. (A good example is Michaelo/Michael O’Gara, or the Steve Drake albums, where collectors ignored the cheap and easy-to-find major label copies of the very same music.) This is an odd and highly professional mix of soft rock and funky rock, with jazz flute (occasionally echoplexed) on some songs. There were some mainstream bands that sounded like this in the mid-'70s, and I can think of one collectable that resembles it at least a little bit (the album by Hollins & Starr), but this is still pretty distinctive. So, maybe collectors would have picked up on it even if it wasn’t on a collectable label. “Superstar” and “Winter’s Mourning,” in particular, have a cool dreamy soft-rock vibe that is in the same realm as some 70s psych bands, and there’s a pretty stunning little bass break in “Morning Song.” Two songs rock reasonably hard. There’s also some nice understated synth work in a few places. Overall, this is a strong album for sure, if you can swing with the cheesy bits. Lyrics range from the ethereal to the horny to one Christian song. I think they were just a step away from going disco, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I don’t believe this is the same Spanky Lee who made a terrible AOR/metal album in the 1989. [AM]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 01:07 MEST
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28 March 2013
Cellutron & The Invisible
Now Playing: Trees "Christ Tree"
Topic: New review

Here's a real review of Cellutron, replacing the incomplete one in the Acid Archives book.

CELLUTRON & THE INVISIBLE (Northfield, VT)
Reflecting On The First Watch, We Uncover Treasure Buried For The Blind 1978 (Green Mountain Records)

This weird synth experiment can be most closely compared to the work of Nic Raicevic. It has the same basically random sound to it, and while it is more varied than Raicevic's work, it's also less hypnotic. The record is comprised of four "songs," which don't sound any more planned out than George Harrison's Electronic Sound album, but do have enough odd noises, and enough of a psychedelic atmosphere (lots of fading in and out) to make it pretty fun to listen to. Yeah, probably any of us could have done it, but it's still cool enough. The best moment is a bit near the middle of side two when the synths unexpectedly speed up. A bit of guitar varies the mood some, but this is still about as pure as synth music can get. Only one song has any vocals, and those are spoken. Though this dates 1978 , it definitely sounds more like a psychedelic record than anything else. There's absolutely no new wave influence here. It doesn't really hold up for 35 minutes, especially since there's no musicianship or melody to speak of, but a bit at a time, or as something that you let drift in and out of your consciousness, rather than listening to intently, it's more entertaining than a lot of equally inept albums by singer-songwriters or bands. [AM]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:55 MEST
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10 June 2012
Chris Ducey tax scam LP review
Now Playing: Croatia-Ireland 3-1
Topic: New review

See further down for release data and brief background, here's Aaron's review:

Chris Ducey: I Am A Rock (Krios, c1977)
This tax scam release is by the real Chris Ducey, the guy who was supposed to record what ended up being the Chris Lucey album.  It's a well-produced set of 70s pop (including orchestration), sounding like it was intended to be a major label record.  It's a far cry from his soulful DUCE OF HEARTS album (from 1975), and his voice here is a whole register higher than it is there.  Tax scam labels have been known to pull all kinds of tricks, but I do think it's him, as his work with Penny Arkade sounds reasonably similar to this, if quite a bit less sappy.  This evidences definite songcraft and has several catchy songs, but even when there's a lot of lead guitar (some with wah wah and fuzz) and some hip Latin rhythms, it's awfully sweet sounding, not miles away from fluffy bands like The Partridge Family.  How much you'll like this will depend on your sweet tooth.  I'm a big fan of power pop and even quality soft rock, but this stretches it a bit too far for my tastes.  Based on the production and Ducey's singing (assuming it really is him), I'm guessing it was recorded around 1973 or so, if not earlier.  There's no date on the record, but the tax scam time period is 1976-1977, so this probably sat in the vaults for a while. [AM]


Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 23:49 MEST
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14 April 2011
Too Smooth album review by Aaron M
Topic: New review

TOO SMOOTH
 (Tiger Lily)
One of the rarest and most sought-after Tiger Lily albums is this cool southern rock album, which treads the line between major label competence and garage-band ambience.  Lyrics are druggy, guitars are swampy, and, in most cases, the vocals are appealingly snotty.  The songs with a more harmony-oriented approach are less distinctive, but they shift from soft to loud, soft to heavy, at the drop of a hat and nothing here is wimpy at all.  There’s plenty of lead guitar everywhere, peaking with a killer solo on “You Say When”.  This record has a definite 70s feel to it, but doesn’t really sound like any particular band I can think of.  I would guess fans of bands like J. Teal or Nitzinger and would like it more than, say, Allman Brothers or Outlaws fans, since songs are compact, not overly bluesy and have no country influence.  This isn’t as good as the very best Tiger Lily albums, but it’s quite solid, surely better than the vast majority of private press rarities and is a heck of a find for genre fans. [AM]

Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 21:08 MEST
Updated: 18 April 2011 16:52 MEST
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