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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Buffalo - Volcanic Rock (1973 aussie, loud, heavy, energy aggressive rock, Aztec digi pack issue)

God bless Aztec Music for re-releasing this. Volcanic Rock's first official release since 1973. Aztec have dug up the 32-year-old original studio tapes and have done a fantastic job on the remastering (some other reissue labels could take a lesson from Aztec ...yes, making your cd SOUND good is important !).

Fans of 1970s pre punk high energy rock need this album pronto!..It's loud, heavy and very aggressive!..Try and imagine the energy levels of Cactus, Black Sabbath, (early) Grand Funk, MC5, and Sir Lord Baltimore etc..add to that some very sinister hard rock riffling, Dave Tice's white version of Howlin Wolf voice, Pete Wells punchy bass styling sounding not too dis-similar to the sound that John Stax got on those early Pretty Things singles plus Jimmy Economou whose drumming recalls the great hit the entire drum kit style of John Bonham and Keith Moon (legend has it that Economou could also rival the two mentioned drummers in the partying department as well)

A Lot of Australian records from this era sounded weak and empty, possibly deliberately with thoughts of radio airplay. "Volcanic Rock" is probably the toughest album to come out in Australia during the early 1970s, certainly beating Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Lobby Loyde's Coloured Balls.

Buffalo's secret weapon was their ability to ignore the 12 bar blues/boogie that most hard rock bands of the time favoured and instead opt for creating powerful and sinister sounding hard rock riffs .

This is not to say this album is one-dimensional. For example "Freedom" is a slow heavy track which embraces the spirit of some of those pre rock 'n' roll voodoo blues records (while avoiding the standard 12-bar chord progression) and "Till My Death" is slightly psychedelic Hendrix sounding. It and "Shylock" will both blow your head off with high-energy rifforama.

In a era where Zeppelin , Deep Purple and Sabbath were having chart success it's a damn shame that the opening track on this album "Sunrise (Come My Way)" couldn't do for Buffalo what "Whole Lotta Love" , "Black Knight" or "Paranoid" did for their overseas contemporaries i.e. escalate the band to the worldwide stadiums.

As for the bonus tracks we get a 7" mix/edit of "Sunrise" plus a lo-fi but meaty live version of "Shylock" which despite lack of sound quality would still sending 99 percent of todays mall-metal kiddies running for mummy.

The packaging on this is also excellent: a great triple fold out cardboard cover with a fat 22 page booklet featuring a stack of vintage photos, posters and some informative liner notes from Ian McFarlane. 
by Steve Danno-Lorkin

1. Sunrise (Come My Way) - 4:58
2. Freedom - 9:02
3. Till My Death - 5:38
4. The Prophet - 7:24
5. Intro: Pound Of Flesh (Baxter, Peter Wells) - 4:33
6. Shylock - 5:52
7. Sunrise (Come My Way) - 3:42
8. Shylock - 6:01
All tracks written by Dave Tice and John Baxter, unless noted.
Track 7 Single Version
Track 8 Live Recording - Sydney Spring Festival 1973, Hyde Park, Sydney

*Dave Tice - Lead Vocals
*Peter Wells - Bass
*John Baxter - Guitar
*Jimmy Economou - Drums

1972  Dead Forever

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Heavy Cruiser - Lucky Dog (1973 canada / us, strong heavy space psych rock with blues drops)

Neil took the band members from Mama Lion into a studio to demo some songs.They recorded half-dozen songs and a few days later, Mama Lion went on a tour and wound up in New York City to play Central Park with Billy Preston.

The engineer in LA made an acetate of Neil’s songs and sent it to Neil in care of Famous Music. The band went to a meet and greet at Famous Music and Neil played the acetate at the party. The head of A&R loved the music and bought it from Artie Ripp.

Neil called the project “Heavy Cruiser”. When Mama Lion returned to LA, Neil took the band back into the studio and they recorded a few more tracks to complete the “Heavy Cruiser” record.

Artie Ripp stopped the band from putting their names on the record cover because he didn’t want it to interfere with his main act, Mama Lion.

The same thing happened when Neil did more of his songs with the band and produced a second “Heavy Cruiser” album called “Lucky Dog” – band members’ names were left off the cover.

1. Everytime I Hear Your Music - 2:41
2. Mirrors In Your Eyes - 3:55
3. Where You Gonna Run To - 3:06
4. Gotta Get Away - 4:23
5. Open Your Eyes - 3:38
6. You Really Got Me (Ray Davies) - 2:49
7. Freefall Glider - 5:34
8. Concrete Jungle - 3:44
9. Supergirl - 3:52
10.I'll Receive You - 3:11
All songs by Neil Merryweather except where noted

Heavy Cruiser
*Neil Merryweather – Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
*James Newton Howard – Organ And Piano
*Coffi Hall – Drums And Percussion
*Alan Hertz - Guitar

1971  Neil Merryweather And Lynn Carey - Vaccum Cleaner

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