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!



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