Okay, let's talk about reissues of extremely rare, highly sought-after, fetching big money on eBay from fanatical collectors & beatdigger type records. I sometimes tend to be suspicious of such items -- you know, certain "holy grails" of funk breaks that sport maybe a few good tracks, or maybe even only one? Sure, if I was a serious baller in such matters, I wouldn't be buying reissues, right? But fuck it. As it is, I've recently seen some 'diggers going after '70s stuff by the Second Chapter of Acts (explanation here) because their session drummer allegedly threw out the occasional quasi-decent break that hasn't been sampled. For those slightly less obsessed about such things (or who have only so much space for LPs), exercising caution tends to be a rule of thumb.
Take this one, for instance: a single-shot offering by some bunch of no-name teabags circa 1970. Killer cover, but song titles like "Past, Present and Future" and "Hymn To Mother Earth" might be warning enough to be wary; auguring as they do of some stereotypical bit of muddied-bellbottoms, free-festival fare of the In The Court of the Crimson King stripe. Sure, there's some of that afoot here -- but, fortunately, not in too heavy-handed of a fashion. Some of the portions with singing bare that trademark-of-the-milieu quasi-jazz flavor that brings to mind early LPs by the likes of Chicago. No great shakes in the vocal/lyrical department, mind you; but they know when to knock it off and break into some extended "jamming." These passages are the payoff, many of them tripping along on some latin-afrobeat type groove that features rolling, earthy sax work that's not a million miles away from some of Cedric M. Brooks's African-inspired work. Most of the tracks range from 8-10 minutes in length, which gives the band plenty of time to make short work of the weak lyrical parts before branching out into more expansive terrain. And they had the sense to kick the thing off with "Past, Present and Future" -- a long, slow instrumental groover that builds off some heavy, buzzing, almost proto-Black Sabb riffage that's almost as killer as the photo gracing the sleeve.
Earth-shattering or wig flipping? Well, no -- nothing on par with, say, Fifty Foot Hose or Kingdom Come or "Maggot Brain" even; but it sure beats the hell out of listening to some baroquely fey-ass drek like Yes. This one offers a decent enough ride through its full duration, and ranks as one of the best obscure one-shot reissues I've heard since that Bwana joint started circulating
Demon Fuzz-past, present & future
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