Monday, February 13, 2012

Devil's Anvil - Hard Rock From The Middle East - #68

Devil's Anvil - Hard Rock From The Middle East

This is not Hard Rock, nor is it from the Middle East. These are four guys out of the New York area who, with a little help from Felix Pappalardi, recorded and released this album in 1967. And it sunk like a stone with additional weight hanging from it. But I don't buy the story, that this happened, because the album was released the very same day the Israeli/Arab war started. This is a lot of warm air. Such an album would have sunk at any time during the last fifty years, never mind a war halfway across the globe. Don't forget, this was in the pre-internet days and there was no real time acting or instant opinions, as we know it today.

This LP was not meant to sell millions of copies, this was destined to the bargain bins from the word go. And hence to the waste dumps of your local community. Or did anyone really think, an offering with music that has more to do with Middle Eastern sounds than with Rock had any chance to survive out there? Even in the 60's when, according to a few selfstyled experts, everything was possible? Not this! Music with a leaning towards this corner of the earth never sold records by the truckload. This was always a genre not even on the fringe of popular entertainment, but very much confined to its native countries. And it didn't really change after all these decades. Just check the wares your local dealer has on offer and you're lucky, if you can find a few "Best Ofs".

Considering that these four guys were probably as American as Mr. and Mrs. Miller just across the road (notwithstanding any ancestry), they did an excellent job and this fake Arab groove really gets one going. There are faint traces of modern sounds in there, but it's mostly the Middle East without too much in the way. Despite the fact, that Mr. Pappalardi, lent his bass playing skills to one or the other track on this album, this is not for the Rock fan. But if you have a soft spot for music from this direction, even this secondhand stuff (as long as it sounds good), you're in for a treat. About fourty minutes will have you listening intensely to the tracks on offer (with a cover version of "Misirlou", but you might as well forget about the latter, even though the writer of the liner notes seems to think differently).

Very interesting album of a time when not everything was possible, but when they tried nevertheless. It's for rereleases like this (available on CD - Rev-Ola CR Rev 282), that I'm really grateful to a few labels, digging this stuff up. More of the same please!



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flied Egg - Good Bye - #67

Flied Egg - Good Bye

I was going to write some words about a band of which I bought two(!) CDs, barely on recommendation from a friend. And I wanted to name this the worst CDs bought this side of the year 2000. I'm not going to name the band, suffice to say, that the combo is wading deep in the mud and the singer seems to have hemorrhoids. But since I'm not going to say another word about this orchestra, here's something worthwhile.

Flied Egg is a band from Japan and "Good Bye" is their second (and final) album. The year of release was 1972 and, as far as I know, the album is available in several reissues on LP or CD. Just recently I managed to buy a 1997 copy (on Wa-Hanna Records New Zealand). Flied Egg are being put in the progrock corner, the dark one where the heavies are. And they do a great job. Side A is a live offering, while there's some studio noodling to be found on the B-side.

There are faint traces of Led Zeppelin and the likes to be heard. Of course, this is vintage stuff and can only have been recorded at the early seventies. Lots of attention is given to musical development and tight playing. Fine handling of the instruments with rather good vocalists. This is an album well worth checking out. Just a word of warning, there are a lot of negative reviews to be found on the internet. Don't believe a word these so called "experts" tell you and, especially, don't trust the more well known reviewers. I suppose, the bigger their ego, the more stupid their statements. Not that they just haven't the faintest clue about the Krautrock scene, they have also no idea about the Rock scene in Japan and yet, they believe they are god's chosen men to write about subjects that they think, they can push across at us. There is no 12 minute drum solo, even if a certain reviewer says so.



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pax - Same - #66

Pax - Same

A band from Peru sailing under the progrock flag, but this really has more of a hardrock leaning, although I admit, there is some fiddling and at times it gets all a bit much, with all the "serious" playing. I only managed to buy a counterfeit copy and I'm not even sure there's a legit release around. I've found another CD (named "Dark Rose") that looks as suspicious as this one here. The latter having less tracks and a completely different playing order.

The album (plus seven bonus tracks, among them covers of "Smoke Of(!) The Water" and "Radar Love") is actually quite good and enjoyable if, yes, if it wasn't for the sound, which is substandard, to say it as nice as possible. The songs have probably been lifted from a vinyl copy and "cleaned" from pops and clicks with all that the audio software could manage to throw at the computer. This makes for a very dull sound, so more or less there are no higher registers. Everything sounds like ten very heavy curtains hanging before your speakers.

The band (who, btw, recorded this album in 1970) is apparently one of only two hardrockbands coming from Peru during the early 70's, the other being Tarkus (their album can be bought as legit re-releases on LP or CD). I would recommend both combos, but for soundquality, I'd turn to Tarkus at any time.



Monday, February 6, 2012

Art 314 - Same - #65

Art 314 - Same

Finally, I made it. Another hole in my collection nicely filled. For those of you who don't know, this is the band, whose selftitled LP was produced by none other than Mr. Lee Brilleaux. I'm not sure wether Art 314 were from France or Belgium. Either one of those. There's even one song "Gun-Shots" co-credited to Lee Brilleaux. I believe the story how Dr, Feelgood's singer came about to produce this release is a bit hazy to say the least. I haven't seen it explained properly anywhere. Maybe he was just being asked and with some spare time on his hands, he might as well "produce" this album. Not that I believe for a second, that this was a proper production job.

If you are a diehard Dr. Feelgood fan, by all means, buy the LP (as far as I know, this is not available on CD), but don't expect to hear the influence of Lee Brilleaux (well, maybe you do a bit on "Stop Breaking Down"), But truth be told, this is a rather average piece of vinyl you are holding in your hands. You want this in your collection only because of the Dr. Feelgood connection. Released on Black Bird records DKF 3900 (France).



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Selling Your Record Collection - #64

Selling Your Record Collection

Ever wondered what your record collection would net, if you’d decide to sell it off either at the local flea market or on the internet? Dreamt about taking a trip around the world from the proceeds? Buying real estate and getting even richer? Invest in the stock market? Well your possibilities are almost endless … and you can forget them.

First of all, most of your collection won’t sell at all. Not on the internet (ever checked out auction platforms and realized that there are tons upon tons of the same record on offer and not a single one of them finds a new home?), nor at your local fleamarket (where you can only sell your stuff at almost next to nothing), nor down at your secondhand dealer, who wants to offer you for your 10’000 items plus collection (with all the mega rarities included and in top condition) a low four figure amount.

The market is plain dead. It’s worst with CDs and, even though you think they have great value, when you want to get rid of them, your best bet is the municipal dump in your hamlet. Very few CDs are worth your time and efforts to make a money on the things. It’s a bit different with vinyl, as there are more rarities out there, but even with them, you’re not going to make a killing. Comparing prices paid for certain vinyl only a couple of months/years ago, the market seems to be on the decline. Rare stuff that went for a couple of hundred Euros only recently, has halved its current going price.

I’m not sure wether this is, because physical carriers have come to a natural end (after all, who’s really collecting 78rpms anymore, save the very rich with their pre-war Blues collection, who can easily shell out thousands of Euros per item). Of course, vinyl is on the up, albeit on a very low level, and seeing the figures for the U.K. selling period 2011, this is a joke. Less than 300’000 LPs shifted. That’s not even a niche market anymore. But with so little being traded, there’s no real basis for a healthy collector’s scene. Sure, a few diehards keep the flag flying, but they don’t really dent the industry.

There’s an even gloomier outlook for CDs. With all the downloads going on, the digital format is going to be a memory stick or your hard drive. There’s no buying and selling of computer equipment, because you want a new file with the latest release of today’s star boygroup.

Of course, a certain kind of collector doesn’t care about the major labels claiming this and that in a few years time. For all that it’s worth, they can close shop any time. There’s going to be niche players releasing LPs, 7”s and CDs for a very long time to come. It won’t be a massmarket product anymore, but there’s a clientele to pull in new stuff. But just forget about early retirement or any other idea you had concerning the proceeds from your collection. The days, when your investment had a certain financial value, seem to be a thing of the past.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jimmy Keith & His Shocky Horrors - Hey Rock'n'Roll - #63

Jimmy Keith & His Shocky Horrors - Hey Rock'n'Roll

These guys have definitely a leaning towards Punk. Although I don't class them in this genre, but each to his/her own. I believe they see themselves more in the Rock'n'Roll lane. Hard, fast and with a no prisoner taken attitude. They have released quite a number of records (on CD or LP - even some on 7" vĂ®nyl), and you can't go much wrong if you happen to like good Rock music. I have to admit, I came by this CD just recently and only because I was checking some auction platform on the internet for Lee Brilleaux. And it did net me this very fine disc.

Nine tracks, each and every one of them (more or less) a Rock'n'Roll/Rock classic. I would have bought this CD anyway, but the whole thing is "dedicated to the memory of Lee Brilleaux". Well, that's enough for any Dr Feelgood fan to get a copy of this beauty. There's only one song from the Dr Feelgood oeuvre on offer here, naturally, this is "Milk And Alcohol". The minialbum clocks in at just under twenty minutes. All are speeded up coverversions and the likes of Me And The Gimme Gimme's need to take a backseat. Especially interesting are the songs "Living Next Door To Alice" and "Stand By Me". "Maybelline" (Chuck Berry original) is a bit off, but not bad at all. Thinking about it, everything is a bit off.

This has been released way back in 1995 on Tug Rec LC 7376.