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Friday, May 18, 2012

C.A. Quintet - Trip Thru Hell (1968 us, impressive psychedelic rock with experimental prog touches, Sundazed bonus tracks edition)

The C.A. Quintet’s Trip Thru Hell is one of the most unique LPs from the 60s. It was a small indie pressing of under 500 from the Candy Floss label, making it a very rare 1968/1969 release. Originals will set you back a pretty penny (possibly over $1,000) but are worth it considering the CD version does not faithfully recreate the back side of the LP.

Prior to this LP, the Minneapolis-based C.A. Quintet had released a few respectable, though restrained, garage rock singles. Then something tweaked in the mind of Ken Erwin, the mastermind behind the Quintet, and the band’s frat rock would become infused with a dark, weird edge.  The Trip came housed in a classic, striking jacket and was a truly original acid concept album chronicling the hells of earth. It’s an album that takes you into another world, another mind, and there are some deep, lysergic excursions to behold.  

The title track is a 9-minute instrumental with a prominent bass groove, angelic and eerie background vocals, shimmering organ, a suprisingly effective phased drum solo, and demented guitar distortions. The track may not sound as demonic as its title implies, but  it was unlike anything recorded before or since, and certainly worth the trip.  ”Cold Spider” has Ken Erwin screaming his lungs out over some nice whacked out raga leads and Hendrix-style feedback. They bust out the brass for “Colorado,” “Sleepy Hollow Lane,” “Smooth As Silk,” “Trip Thru Hell (Part 2)” and “Underground Music,” which are dark oddities and compelling highlights.

Listening to this record may be an overwhelming experience for some, so in one sense it’s definitely an acquired taste. It’s pure psychedelia with a strong vision, and does not fit the ‘incredibly strange music’ tag at all. The C.A. Quintet were an engmatic band that was full of life but by the end of the 60s they faded into obscurity. 

1.Trip Thru Hell, Pt. 1 (Erwin, Reynolds) - 9:09
2.Colorado Mourning - 2:31
3.Cold Spider - 4:41
4.Underground Music - 4:43
5.Sleepy Hollow Lane - 2:04
6.Smooth As Silk - 2:12
7.Trip Thru Hell, Pt. 2 - 3:40
8.Dr. Of Philosophy - 2:09
9.Blow To My Soul (Sandler) - 1:59
10.Ain't No Doubt About It - 2:31
11.Mickey's Monkey (Dozier, Holland, Holland) - 2:26
12.I Put A Spell On You (Hawkins) - 2:47
13.I Shot The King - 2:22
14.Fortune Teller's Lie - 2:09
15.Sadie Lavone - 2:49
16.Bury Me In A Marijuana Field - 2:11
17.Colorado Mourning (Alternate Version) - 2:13
18.Underground Music (Alternate Version) - 2:08
19.Smooth As Silk (Alternate Version) - 3:20
All titles by Ken Erwin except where indicated.

C.A. Quintet
*Rick Johnson - Drums
*Jimmy Erwin - Vocals, Bass
*Ken Erwin - Vocals, Trumpet, Guitar, Bassm Keyboards
*Toni Crockett - Vocals
*Tom Pohling - Guitar
*Doug Reynolds - Keyboards
*Paul Samuels - Drums
*Rick Patron - Drums, Percussion
*Larry Honhart - Lead Guitar
*Tom Reid - Keyboards
*Donny Chapin - Drums
*Tony Wright - Keyboards
*Dan Zamanski - Bass

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  1. And thanks very much to Cor!

  2. Wow, that's a pretty big quintet... :-)

  3. Hi Remy,
    apposite remark, the first 5 members where on Trip thru hell recordings,
    the others just went in and out on the rest songs.

  4. Thanks for the info, Marios. I thought something like that or given the time period, perhaps fuzzy mathmatics...

  5. Great record ! This is an excellent edition from Sundazed. Thanks a lot...

  6. Unbelievable.Yesterday night I was trying to find this one but the links were dead or it was @256 and this noon I find here at my hands.Thanks a lot Marios and Cor for the share.I only had the vinyl without the bonuses...

  7. Have this one, great music.

  8. I've listened to this twice now. Great psych album! Thanks again, Cor and Marios.

  9. A Trip Thru Hell—a psychedelic holy grail that’s every bit as darkly terrifying as its title and apocalyptic front cover art imply. Although the band began as a standard-issue soul/R&B garage combo, by the time the LP was waxed the group’s music had mutated into a creepy, Doors-like cauldron of unnerving organ, blood-curdling screams, and lyrics about spiders, marijuana, and the devil’s domain. A Trip Thru Hell is frighteningly rare stuff—in more ways than one!
    Classic, very dark position considered by many to be the best / UNKNOWN title in the history of American psychedelia! Inspired by the work of a sense of The Doors album is a love almost all collectors of vinyl, in mint condition, reaching even the $ 3000 price! The attention is drawn particularly instrumental, 12-minute title track - a real 'journey through hell "... American CD contains up to 12 additional recordings - including the early singles and discards from session to LP!
    Thanks a lot!

  10. Thanks very much for this guys! @Cor: nice seeing you posting here - since most of us got shut out of phrock, we've been missing your great posts - appreciate it!

  11. yeah I appreciate you, posting here, is great to have you here, thanks guys !!!.

  12. wow thanks marios for posting this for me ,

  13. forgive me thanks to Cor,sorry.
    thanks much for sharing,

  14. Thank you Cor for sharing this lost gem. Glad to see you posting in Rockasteria, I hope you do this more often.

  15. God Bless You! I really enjoyed this one. Many Thanx, my friend and keep rockin' & posting great stuff.

  16. Fantastic, another on my wish-list!


  17. i heard thru the album and mus say: never heard such ugly music for so much money. Not worth the bug.

  18. Edit:

    Marios; you made a comment that the CD does not faithfully create the backside of the LP, yet you never explained why. Could you tell us what you meant?

    Steve Croxton, SW Missouri (help me...)

  19. Hi Steve Croxton,
    review is written by Jason Nardelli, from "Rising Storm" please add your question here:
    Thank you.

  20. DF links still alive. Amazing, thank you!

  21. Links are no longer active. Would be very grateful for a re-post of this psychedelic classic!

  22. .....The Quintet...Trippy....Links...

  23. Marios, thanks so much for your super-prompt response! Like Remy says, you definitely rock!

  24. took it in this same place years ago and happy to find that the link is not dead like my old hard drive
    Thanks a lot for this and many more
    antoine de Paris - France

  25. Is this blog still alive? 8 would really appreciate a reup of this. Thanks in advance.

  26. Jeru, "C.A. Quintet - Trip Thru Hell". repaired..