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Plain and Fancy

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sainte Anthony’s Fyre – Sainte Anthony’s Fyre (1970 us, heavy fuzzed drenched psych)

Legendary proto-metal/psych private press side: released in 1970 this is a classic wasted thug-punk album with a ton of fuzz, crude riffs and a totally crunching rhythm section giving way to doofy harmonies and endless murky distorto solos. The amazingly named Greg Ohm handles guitar and vocal duties and his approach is totally first Blue Cheer album in terms of its ambition and inability to match Hendrix in terms of third stone sonics. The lyrics are classic Bonehead about getting good loving and being turned on but most importantly the songs are simple excuses, mere vehicles, for total six string scorch. 

The band have an amazing shuffling boogie style that trades doomy atmospherics for get-down dynamics and amphetamine breakouts in a way that has something in common with the early MC5’s testifying style but there’s something a little more crude and basement-blunt about Sainte Anthony’s Fyre that ‘does it’ that bit better.
by David Keenan

Gonzo, hard-rockin' madness! We're Definitely feeling this one - it's like Marty McFly time-travelled back in time and created a band that was executed per our exact taste! The "Hard Stuff", with a hint of bluesy rockin, but with a definite proto-punk attitude and swagger that elevates this above your typical Seventies hard stuff. These guys had to have had their ears on the Motor City back in the day - we're hearing the unmistakable testosterone-fueled influence of the MC5 or The Rationals, as well as the sinister oil-caked, cabaret feel of Alice Cooper too. 

These dudes were apparently courted by the bigs back in the day (Felix Pappalardi even offered to produce, but ultimately wanted too much moolah) and was a hair away from signing with Atlantic, but ultimately facing restrictions that would dictate their sound, decided against it, and recorded/released this one themselves. Fuck yeah! The "rough" sound of the record really is an asset to the overall feel and probably ups the aggression and sinister feel overall, with the guitars fuzzed out and pushing the red zone to the maxx, bro. If you dig Pentagram, Blue Cheer, Grand Funk, or even newer, backward-looking bands like Graveyard, Witchcraft and Fuzz, then prepare to feel the Heat.
Acid Archives

1. Love Over You - 4:54
2. Get Off - 3:10
3. Summer Fun - 3:38
4. Star Light - 5:36
5. Lone Soul Road - 4:43
6. With Your Beau - 3:10
7. Chance of Fate - 4:09
8. Wet Back - 3:02

Sainte Anthony’s Fyre
*Tom Nardi - Vocals, Bass
*Gregory "Greg Ohm" Onushko - Vocals, Guitar
*Bob Sharples - Drums, Percussion

Free Text


adamus67 said...

"Official reissue of ultra-rare 1970 wasted underground hard rock monster! Wild, loud, raw New Jersey hard psych beast that’s been a favorite target of record collectors, dealers and swamp dwellers for the past two decades, originally released on the Zonk! label .This album is bleeding with that authentic dirty basement sound built around a solid set of catchy heavy weight tracks influenced by the holy trinity of Cream, Blue Cheer and Hendrix! The bible of underground psych rock, Acid Archives, says this about it: “This legendary private press is rated as one of the ultimate local basement hard rock blowouts by many connoisseurs. Released as early as 1970, the end result has some similarities to MC5′s hallowed Kick out the Jams, but I find this a superior and more powerful album."

In 1969 SAINTE ANTHONYS FYRE was the ultimate hardrock powertrio from Trenton, New Jersey. Band leader, guitar wiz and vocalist Greg Ohm was heavy into music since childhood, having played classical music in elementary and high school (1st violin Trenton High’s Orchestra). He also took some music classes in college and ended up with the group Peter's Precious Soul, who were very popular locally. But Greg grew tired of playing Top 40 cover songs and decided to start his own band. While cleaning his grandmother's attic one day in 1967 he found an old newspaper with the headline, "Ste. Anthony's Fyre Strikes French Town." A wheat crop had developed ergot, which is a fungus disease that affects rye and other plants, and was contaminated. The wheat was used to make bread and sent the whole town on an LSD-like trip that lasted nearly three weeks. This was the perfect name for the group Greg had in mind and thus Sainte Anthony's Fyre was born.

Greg recruited two skilled local musicians, and friends of his; Tom Nardi (previously in the bubblegum band Marshmallow Way) on bass and vocals and Bobb Sharples on drums. In 1968 they started rehearsing in the cellar of a boutique in downtown Trenton called the Hip-Pocket. Greg was extremely innovative and played weird positions, inverted chords, and off-key tuning on his customized Gibson Firebird guitar. He would only use Marshall’s, three 100-watt heads with six cabinets. Greg also considered himself a fashion plate and always wore a grey felt cowboy hat, a scarf tied around his left knee, and bedroom slippers when he played. Tom used a Sunn 2000S with four 15'' JBLs, four Sunn 412S cabinets with two Sunn Sorado heads, one Sorado head with a 610 cabinet, and one 15'' cabinet, to blow eardrums left and right. He also sported a cartridge belt around his waist. Bobbie always had a double bass drum set. This was a real power trio.

adamus67 said...

One of the owners of the Hip-Pocket and his business partner decided to manage the band and used the profit from the clothing store to promote them. They started Zonk Productions and managed to get Sainte Anthony’s Fyre booked as an opening act for bands like MC5, Wishbone Ash, Grass Roots, Rare Earth, Fleetwood Mac, and Joe Cocker. About this time they met a black promoter named Dickie Diamond who wanted to bankroll them. He said he knew everyone and would take care of everything. He was putting on shows with black acts and had the band opening for them. They also had to fill in as backup players for an impressive rooster of artists like James Brown, Jackie Wilson, the Coasters, the Drifters, the Four Tops, Kool and the Gang and others!

As Sainte Anthony’s Fyre’s fan base grew Zonk Productions decided it was time to put out an album. It was recorded around the end of 1969 in a studio in Pennsauken, New Jersey which was run by the bass player from the Lovin' Spoonful. Unfortunately he had no idea how to record this loud bunch. They refused to go directly into the board or use small amps so the sound board kept blowing up. Then finally they just set the amps up facing the back wall and hung two microphones on the far wall. They did some overdubbing at Nise Studios in Philadelphia and after mixing, the tapes were sent to Motown for pressing, who according to the band totally screwed it up. United Artists then pressed about 1000 copies of the Zonk. Because the record was an independent release no radio stations would play it.

In the meantime Dickie had some crazy schemes going. He wanted to put them on tour as Led Zeppelin (he called them "Zefflin"), he said no one would figure it out because Zeppelin was from England and nobody knew what they looked like. He also started booking shows, selling the tickets, and then canceling the shows. Nobody knew what they were doing but Dickie said he would make it up to the band. So he got some time at Electric Lady Studio in New York to re-record the album in January 1971. But before Chris. Ultimate wasted slimy speed freak vortex of polluted psychedelic hard rock from the greasy wasteland of inner city Jersey. The most wicked manic garage power trio to end them all. Raw gnarly drugged guitar, cavernous bass, drums beat to a pulp and psychotic vocals. Beyond early Blue Cheer, this record is so wasted, toxic and heavy! One look at the pictures will tell you how they sound. A highly sought after collector piece.

Thx Marios!

kobilica said...

Great powertrio,with killer music.Thanks...

guinea pig said...


Smokee Monkee said...

This is better than I could have ever possibly hoped!
Thanks to whoever finally dug this up and released it and thanks to Marios for getting it into my ears

Sergey said...

thank you very much!