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Friday, July 5, 2013

Athanor - Flashback (1973-81 us, wonderful folk psych inspired vocals blended with a tighter melodic sensibility, 2013 release)

Chicago, early 70s. Greg Herriges is obsessed with Lennon, 12- string guitars and far- out psychedelic sounds. Rick Vittenson is a Beach Boys- Hollies- Who fanatic who writes for Crawdaddy! magazine. Both had previously played in several garage- college bands during the 60s. 

Combining their mutual love for Sixties music, Athanor was born. With the help of top studio musicians, they recorded and self- released three 45s between 1973 and 1975 (the first one produced by Mark Breyer, with whom Rick had played in pre- Skooshny band Brevity) which are now highly sought- after by fans of obscure psychedelic pop. 

All of them are featured here in stellar sound taken from the master tapes along with previously unreleased studio tracks and superb sounding home demos (1973- 1981), plus a new song recorded in 2006 in the same vein as their vintage recordings. 

Athanor’s music features impressive songwriting & musicianship, a collision of Beatlesque harmony vocals, Rickenbacker and Guild 12- string guitars, occasional fuzz- wah leads, Fender Rhodes, studio effects. Psychedelic proto- power pop highly recommended to anyone into Lazy Smoke, Badfinger, Only Ones, Emitt Rhodes, Rockin’ Horse, Creme Soda.…

1. Graveyard - 4:48
2. Inner Space - 3:03
3. Urizen (Your Reason) - 4:43
4. I Don't Mind - 2:34
5. Habits - 3:59
6. Read Me - 2:38
7. Rock Me, Roll Me - 3:06
8. Hidden Monsters - 4:22
9. Memory (Don't Fail Me) (G. Herriges, R. Vittenson) - 3:57
10.Wonder Why I'm Sick - 4:12
11.Like A River Flows - 3:11
12.Inner Space (Previously Unreleased Mix) - 3:07
All songs by Greg Herriges except where noted.

*Greg Herriges - Vocals, Guitar
*Rick Vittenson - Vocals, Guitar
*Mike Miranda - Lead Guitar
*David Winogrond - Drums
*John Bunkelman - Bass
*Cara Herriges - Vocals

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Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink (1971 uk, fantastic progressive rock, canterbury scene, japan SHM-CD remaster)

In the Land of Grey and Pink is considered by many to be a pinnacle release from Caravan. The album contains an undeniable and decidedly European sense of humor and charm. In addition, this would mark the end of the band's premiere lineup. Co-founder David Sinclair would leave Caravan to form Matching Mole with Soft Machine drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt in August of 1971.

As a group effort, In the Land of Grey and Pink displays all the ethereal brilliance Caravan created on their previous pair of 12" outings. Their blending of jazz and folk instrumentation and improvisational styles hints at Traffic and Family, as displayed on "Winter Wine," as well as the organ and sax driven instrumental introduction to "Nine Feet Underground." These contrast the decidedly aggressive sounds concurrent with albums from King Crimson or Soft Machine. In fact, beginning with the album's title, there seems to be pastoral qualities and motifs throughout.

Another reason enthusiasts rank this album among their favorites is the group dynamic which has rarely sounded more singular or cohesive. David Sinclair's lyrics are of particular note, especially the middle-earth imagery used on "Winter Wine" or the enduring whimsy of "Golf Girl." The remastered version of this album includes previously unissued demos/alternate versions of both tracks under the titles: "It's Likely to Have a Name Next Week" and "Group Girl," respectively.

The remastered disc also includes "I Don't Know Its Name (Alias the Word)" and "Aristocracy," two pieces that were completed, but shelved in deference to the time limitations imposed during the days of wine and vinyl. The latter composition would be reworked and released on Caravan's next album, Waterloo Lily. The 12-page liner notes booklet includes expanded graphics, memorabilia, and an essay penned specifically for the reissue.
by Lindsay Planer

1. Golf Girl - 5:05
2. Winter Wine - 7:46
3. Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) - 3:06
4. In The Land Of Grey And Pink - 4:51
5. Nine Feet Underground: - 22:40
...Nigel Blows A Tune
...Love's A Friend
...Make It 76
...Dance Of The Seven Paper Hankies
...Hold Grandad By The Nose
...Honest I Did!
...100% Proof
6. I Don't Know Its Name - 6:12
7. Aristocracy - 3:42
8. It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week - 7:48
9. Group Girl - 5:04
10. "Dissassociation/100% Proof" (New Mix) (D. Sinclair) 8:35
All tracks by R. Coughlan, P. Hastings, R. Sinclair, D. Sinclair except where noted.

*Richard Sinclair - Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Pye Hastings - Electric. Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*David Sinclair - Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Harmony Vocals
*Richard Coughlan - Drums, Percussion
*Jimmy Hastings - Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Piccolo
*David Grinsted - Cannon, Bell, Wind

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