It's time to start the third round of the '60's/70's Roots' with ten new jewels of forgotten heavy-psych groups. Once again Rolf and I have picked out ten rare items for your pleasure to broaden your musical horizon and to show that this inspiring period had more to offer than the well-known giants which have left their footprints in musical history. And this isn't the end of our explorations into the rare and obscure..... If you have any questions, please mail to the usual Cosmic Lava or contact Rolf at: rolf-kowalski (at) web (dot) de
BRAIN POLICE - s/t
This were "San Diego's Only Psychedelic Cops" and this is exactly the right term for the music of BRAIN POLICE that is a mixture between the Beatles and Steppenwolf. Sometimes with a lot of melody and then very hard and heavy and bluesy. The guitarwork is raw and the organ sounds dirty and greasy. Sometimes it reminds me to a dirty version of Cream, while a song like "Gypsy Woman" is very close to heaviest Blue Cheer. Another fine song is the beautiful "I'll Find Love" with its crazy organ sounds where one don't need to take any drugs because the "Psych Cops" have dosed you already. You can't reach a higher level and you stick under the ceiling of your room, because the music is the drug. But don't try to smoke it! A great re-release by Shadoks Music including nine bonus tracks, because the original album is too rare and expensive somewhere about 1000 $. The CD contains a nice package with extensive linernotes. Buy and get high!
BUFFALO - Dead Forever
Released on Vertigo Records in 1972, this was the first Australian band in the Black Sabbath mould, with touches of Free thrown in for good measures. The band wasn't as heavy as on the legendary follow-up "Volcanic Rock" and apart of the deadly cover-artwork with a huge skull it offers tracks like the superbly crafted "Bean Stew" that belongs to one of my favourite tracks of all times. "Dead Forever" stood the test of time well. After the third album BUFFALO decided to turn into an average mainstream 70's Rock group, but this a strong powerful debut and an advice to all listeners of raw and basic Sabbath-tinged heavy rock. (KK)
FUSE - s/t
Rick Nelson and Tom Petersson, who founded Cheap Trick in 1976, were still around in 1970 with FUSE who releases on album on Epic. In opposite to Cheap Trick, FUSE are playing 70's Hardrock, maybe a bit influenced by Deep Purple, and Rick Nelson is also playing organ and mellotron. It seems as if they had listened to a lot of English bands at that time and vocalist Joe Sundberg owns a rough and powerful voice. As far as I know, there exsists no official CD re-release of this album, only a bootleg. What a pity, because this a very recommandable Hardrock jewel! The album contains eight tracks that are enjoyable from the beginning to the end.
JOSEFUS - s/t
As far as I know, one can get the first JOSEFUS only as original LP or as a bootleg CD on Red Fox Records. It's sad, because it's a very good album with a good-looking psychedelic cover-artwork. This album isn't as heavy as "Dead Man", but songs like "B.S.Creek" or "I'm Gettin' On" could've been on "Dead Man", too. "Jimmy Jimmy" is another example of beautiful Acid Rock if you're like variety. "Feelin' Good" is a bit more progressive and the longest running track here that clocks in 6:10 minutes. I can only say that you should lay your hands on the first album of JOSEFUS, because it's well worth. Here are heavy guitars and guitarplayer Dave shows what he's capable of, like the other guys of this group.
KOPPERFIELD - Tales Untold
Now a few words about a band from Michigan, USA that was formed in 1971 by keyboarder Keith Robinson and bassplayer Jerry Opdycke. Other members were Jimmy Robinson on lead-vocals, Paul Decker on keyboards and Tom Curtis on drums. From 1972 until 1973 the band was constantly on tour and the absolutely highlight for KOPPERFIELD was a show at a Blues Festival in front of 10.000 people. Shortly after, the first album followed that is simply a pure masterpiece, comparable to the heaviest material of Grand Funk. It's wouldn't be fair to pick out single tracks, because the album kills from the opener to the last power-chord. Record collecters are paying about 1000 $ for this item, but who cares because Gear Fab had done a CD re-release with nine bonus cuts from 1972 and 1975. If you're searchin' a vinyl re-release check out the 2LP edition on Akarma (on CD, too!). But back to history! After this debut album KOPPERFIELD have supported bigger acts like James Gang or Kansas f.e, but sadly the band split-up in 1975, although they've planned to record the second album, but as so often musical differences were the reason for the finish. Keith Robinson formed a new band named Razmataz that released an album with the title "Dancing Madly Backwards", but it's still unknown to me. But I like to recommend this album to you. At least, the cover-artwork is beautiful but very trashy. A warrior is fighting against a dragon and in the background one can see a castle. Great!
MIKI CURTIS & SAMURAI - s/t
Released in 1971, this is a Japanese heavy progressive outfit, supported by Miki Curtis on vocals and flute, Joe Dunnet on guitar, John Redfern on organ and Graham Smith plays the mouth harp. The SAMURAI line-up was Hiro Izumi on guitar and koto, Tatsu Yamanchi on bass and Yuji Harada on drums. I have very less informations about SAMURAI, but I know that this is an outstanding CD, reissued by 8-Vine Records. The songs are very varied from pure heaviness ("Green Tea") to very mellow ("Four Seasons"). That's something, Japanese groups were very well-known for and for beautiful hooklines. My favourite song is "Eagle's Eye who started in the middle its development to a heavy Blues track with mouth harp and extra-thick guitars. A recommandable album that has been also re-released as a semi-official 2LP set.
SHAGGY - Lessons For Beginners
Here comes SHAGGY from Sweden with their album "Lessons For Beginners", released in 1975, and I can only say that this were the hardest and heaviest band Swedish band together with Solid Ground and November! The price of the original vinyl pressing is now about 300 $, but only a very few have seen it, and I only own a bootleg CD. I think, there has never been an official re-release until now. The line-up was Thomas EngstrÃ¶m (killer vocals!), Jan Gustavsson (bass), Jan 'Fidde' Rognas (lead & killer guitar!), Kurt KÃ¤stner (drums) and Thomas J. Ryan (organ). The group has been released only this album and nothing else.
First off, here's an excellent cover-artwork that shows a naked woman, lying under a gallow with a sunrise in the back. Beside there's the band playing, surrounded by mountains and Ufo's. Everything is painted very childlike, but that's what I like! But now more facts about the music. The album kicks off with "Destination Nowhere", a superfat opener with killer-guitars. Another extrem hard track is "Bitch", while the title track "Lessons For Beginners" is very organ-based. "I Can Feel" shows Fidde's talent of handling the acoustic guitar and the album closes with "Brink Of Nowhere", a progressiv Hardrock track very dreamy with Fidde's long guitar-solos and supported by the hammond organ towards the end. This is the longest track here with 7:30 minutes. If you find the album somewhere on CD take it, although the quality isn't the best but it's a killer!
San Francisco's SHIVER - s/t
Founded by drummer Don Peck in 1969, this band build up a strong following among the Hell's Angels and the Hippies. For this period of time, this group played pretty extrem, comparable with the heaviest material of Blue Cheer or very early Budgie, only with aggressive vocals. That means that SHIVER were loud, heavy and aggressive to the bone. This recordings here have never seen the light of days at that time and Rockadelic Records had released them for the first time in vinyl, followed by the Shadocks label who are responsible for the CD edition. The material is from the summer 1972 and is absolutely brilliant, and I guess that everyone who digs old brutal Heavy Rock will love this. A must-have! The songs were recorded live in the studio and that's how it sounds. A track like "Alpha Man" (14:29 min.) is a total crusher. At first there's an instrumental jamming over 6 minutes - than silence - the song starts mellow just to explode again. Awesome! The CD includes four bonus tracks that aren't worser than the other tracks. At least one statement: SHIVER are kicking everyone's ass and are a powertrio par excellence.
STONE GARDEN - s/t
During the group's lifespan, the USA band STONE GARDEN had released only one 7" ("Oceans Inside Me/Stop Me Thinking") that is included on the reissue CD on Gear Fab Records. As additional bonus "Oceans Inside Me" is here to find as a 'ripcord' version. whatever that means. In the Gear Fab booklet one can read the information that this group is comparable to the Rolling Stones, Cream and Jimi Hendrix but I can't agree to this. I would file them next to Steppenwolf, Grand Funk and/or Iron Butterfly. The outstanding track here is the 8 minutes long "Woodstick". After the organ-based opening the track turns into a real rocker with roaring wah-wah and fuzz guitars and a psychedelic part in the middle, while the ending is again full of heavy and spaced-out guitarwork.A true smasher! What I know to appreciate about this album is the guitarsound - very loud, distorted and on top of the entire mix. How sad that this band never released an album, but gladly Gear Fab Records is responsible for this CD that I like to recommend to everyone, although the sound isn't the best. The only lowlight is "SF Policeman Blues" that is totally different from the other tracks - what the hell is going on here!
THE OLD MAN & THE SEA - s/t
This Danish band released the album in 1972 and they are playing progressiv Hardrock. Due to the excellent guitarwork this band shouldn't be missed in this Cosmiclava section. This group was a fourpiece where sometimes the organ dominates the music. The album cover shows a shark and is nice to look at. The original vinyl edition is very expensive and collectors are paying about 250 $ for it. But Dunk Music is responsible for this reisuue, so better save your money. Outstanding tracks here are "Living Dead" (top-notch guitarsolo!) and "Going Blind". Very recommandable for people who like to listen to Hardrock with strong hooklines!