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Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Various Artists - The Electric Asylum, Vol. 4 (1970-75 uk, rare hard 'n' heavy freakrock)

The fourth volume in Past & Present's Electric Asylum series walks away from the psychedelic themes of the earlier installments in favor of U.K. hard rock singles of the early to mid-'70s, most hailing from the days before heavy metal had fully codified itself and sometimes betraying the influence of the working-class end of glam (think Slade, not Bowie). 

If there is a psychedelic angle to these tunes, it usually presents itself in the form of twisty melodies, the occasional lyrical eccentricity, or curious band names, but most of these 20 tunes are hard-stomping numbers full of big guitars, bigger drums, and growling vocalists, and acts like Incredible Hog, Wolfrilla, and Hard Horse deliver pretty much the sort of meat-and-potatoes hard rock thunder you'd expect. 

Seeing as '70s hard rock hasn't been compiled to death like a number of other genres, Rock Hard British Freakrock certainly has novelty going for it, and there are a few real gems to be found here -- Mustard's "I Saw, I Heard" is built around a brilliant chunky guitar sound and a superb throbbing bassline, Slowload's "Big Boobs Boogie" is as raucous as the title would suggest, "Red Shoe Trucken" by Bear Brothers sounds like some odd but fortunate cross between Deep Purple and Gary Glitter, Bubbles' "Zap n' Cat" has a sleazy swagger along with some great nasty guitar licks, and "Eagles" by Sundance suggests what the James Gang might have sounded like if they'd come from Birmingham and not Ohio. 

While not every track here sounds like a lost classic, and some of the source singles are noticeably worn, this collection is never boring, and the best stuff is choice beer-swilling, air-guitar mangling music that will get your denims dirty in no time flat. 
by Mark Deming

Artists - Tracks
1.Hector - Lady - 3:13
2.Slowload - Big Boobs Boogie - 3:08
3.Rog And Pip - Warlord - 3:28
4.Wolfrilla - Come Tomorrow - 3:09
5.Incredible Hog - Lame - 3:22
6.Smoke - That's What I Want - 2:25
7.Spunky Spider - You Won't Come - 2:44
8.Ning - Machine - 3:22
9.Quiet World - Rest Comfortably - 2:52
10.Turtle - You Turned Your Back And Walked Away - 2:46
11.Bear Brothers* - Red Show Trucken - 2:45
12.Hard Horse - So Long I'm Moving On - 2:42
13.Mustard - I Saw I Heard - 2:39
14.Tuesday - Big Mr. Little Man - 2:12
15.Godson - We've Not Made It - 3:01
16.Bubbles - Zap N' Cat - 2:33
17.Sunshine Kid - My Linda - 2:22
18.Clutch - Black Angel - 3:36
19.Jackal - Year Of The Tiger - 3:32
20.Sundance - Eagles - 3:11

The Electric Asylum series
1970-74  Volume One
1969-73  Volume Two
1970-74  Volume Three

other Past and Present compilations
60-70's  Floor Filler Killers / New Directions Vol. 3
60-70's  Mind Expanders Vol.2
1967-74  Psych Bites Vol.1
1968-74  Psych Bites Vol.2
1969-73  Up All Night

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