JOSEFUS - Dead Man
Released on HOOKAH REC. in 1969. This was the second and last record from this proto-Doom/Heavyrock group. Some people call JOSEFUS the BLACK SABBATH from Texas, but that doesn't fit well. JOSEFUS had a also a dark and heavy sound, but more simple and rougher than SABBATH. I would compare them with SEOMPI, another group that came out of Texas. JOSEFUS had a strong singer named Pete Bailey, who gives them a trademark with his vocal-style. "Dead Man" contains six songs and a excellent cover of the Stones classic "Gimmie Shelter". On the second side is the title track, a bluesy and heavy one that lasts 17:30, with a slight Psychedelic touch. The whole album has a melancholic atmosphere and I think it's beside the first HIGH TIDE album and the first BLACK SABBATH one of the heaviest at the end of the 60's. The cover is also very beautiful. It shows a black and white photo of a skull.....a dark cover for this time...! If you want to listen to other dark bands, that exists beside the famous Birmingham band, watch out for JOSEFUS. You can get a CD or LP re-issue on a record fair, I think.
MOSES - s/t
Released on SPECTATOR in 1971.This Danish powertrio is comparable to NOVEMBER and BLUE CHEER (the "Vincebus Eruptum" period!), but MOSES have no long guitar freak-outs like BLUE CHEER and they sound more "cleaner", not so aggressive and stoned. MOSES played heavy fuzzed-out Bluesrock, very solid and compact. I think this was the only album MOSES ever recorded. It's not really a masterpiece of an album, but a very enjoyable one, because it has a lot of groove and Blues and it's real heavy. In some moments the vocals are a little bit lame, but that isn't to hard. Sorry, I have no more informations about MOSES, but if you like groups like BLUE CHEER, this album must satisfy you. The original copy is impossible to find, but there exists a LP re-release on DRONE SYNDICATE.
STACKWADDY - Bugger Off!
Released on DANDELION in 1972. The roots of STACK WADDY lay somewhere back in 1965. Absolut raw, simple and ultra-heavy, this Manchester group rules. In 1970 STACKWADDY released the self-titled debut, also on DANDELION. With "Bugger Off!", the 2nd one, their sound was more agressive and heavier than on the 1st LP. It was produced by John Peel, who had shown interest in STACK WADDY. But not only the music was aggressive. They have gained quite a reputation of being agressive physically towards promotors and agents. So it must be hard in the 60's to handle this band. Back to the record, there are twelve songs on it and, like on the 1st album, they played a few covers like "Willie The Pimp", "It's All Over Now" or "You Really Got Me", but STACKWADDY filled these songs with an own vibe and so they sound like their own songs. For example, "Hoochie Coochie Man" is a monster of a coversong. I think, this is the heaviest version of this old Blues song, that a band ever had played. The vocals from John Knail are very impressive and they remind me to CAPTAIN BEEFHEART. At least, the rumours tells that STACK WADDY gigs in the early 70's were violent and if you listen to this album, maybe you can imagine why.
SOCRATES DRANK THE CONIUM - Taste of Conium
Released on POLYDOR in 1972. They are from Greece and play Hardrock in the vein of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD or BUDGIE. Maybe CREAM is a band that is in some moments also comparable to SOCRATES DRANK THE CONIUM. I got no informations about this band, but for every fan of early 70's Hardrock, this is a must-have. This trio have had the musical skills, especially the rythm-section is fantastic. They play with a great drive and energy and a little progressive touch. High recommandable for Heavyrockers.
TEAR GAS - s/t
Released on HARVEST in 1971. Members of TEAR GAS later joined THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND, which become famous in the later 70's for the song "Faith Healer". This is their only record and most of the tracks on this record are very good. Heavy rockin' stuff and a great cover of JETHRO TULL's "Love Song" are making this to a recommandable one for all 70's Hardrock Freaks. There are some weak tracks like the coverversions of two old R'n'R songs, "Jailhouse Rock" and "All Shook Up", but that's the only low point here. Songs like the opener "That's What's Real" make you forget this fact. A low and heavy bass-sound builds the basic for TEAR GAS Hardrock, and you can hear that they came out of the UK. The above mentioned cover version of JETHRO TULL is fantastic. It's harder than the original, but it has not lost it's soul. The guitarwork from singer Davey Batchelor and Zal Cleminson keeps the songs interesting, because they don't play endless boring solis. They were also responsible for most of the songwriting. TEAR GAS had some R'n'R influences like all of the bands, that came out of this era. All in all, check out TEAR GAS. You can find a vinyl re-issue on FIST 'N' EGG RECORDS.
WARPIG - s/t
Released on FONTHILL in 1969. Heavy organ-based Rock, with a lot of DEEP PURPLE influences (especially the vocals), but these Canadian band had worked out their own heavy style. WARPIG are darker and harder. Only a few bands today play this kind of Heavyrock, maybe BIGELF is one of them. The organ doesn't dominate WARPIGs music to much, mostly it supports the heaviness or it gives the songs a medieval touch. But in most of the tracks the band plays hard and energetic. As far as I know, this is the only album WARPIG released and the original record is hard to find, but you can get a re-issue with different or same cover. There are also slight differences within the sound-mixing, but that isn't really important. Maybe you need some time to find this record, but you won't be disappointed from this monster-album.
MASTER'S APPRENTICES - s/t
Released on REGAL ZONOPHONE in 1971. Australia had some good bands in the 70's like FANNY ADAMS, BUFFALO or BLACKFEATHER and MASTER'S APPRENTICES. They started in the 60's as a typical R&B band and at the beginning of the 70's they changed their sound more into Heavyrock direction. This masterpiece offers well-balanced Hardrock and for me, it's one of the best records that came out of this period. There's is no boring song and it's a great pleasure to listen to this album. It's a classic and the album sounds very timeless. An excellent songwriting and heavy riffs are making this record to a recommandable one for every Doom Metal and Heavy Rock fan. The cover was done by Hipgnosis (a group of artists) and it fits very well to the atmosphere of the songs. Hipgnosis had done a lot of cover-artworks, the most for VERTIGO, I think. After this album, MASTER'S APPRENTICES released the "Nickolodeon" live LP and in 1972 the last album, entitled "A Toast to Panama Red", but this one shows them in their finest hour.