Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Bigroup - Big Hammer (uk 1971)

The Bigroup - Big Hammer (uk 1971)

Label: Peer International Library Limited - PIL 9009
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: UK
Released: 1971
Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul

A1 Big Hammer
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A2 Annapurna
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A3 Devil's Stronghold
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A4 Rolling
Written-By – Johnny Scott
A5 Beat Norm
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B1 Heavy Lift
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B2 What's Coming?
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B3 Blow-Suck Blues
Written-By – Anthony King
B4 Gentle Swell
Written-By – Johnny Scott
B5 Bombilation
Written-By – Johnny Scott

 Peer International Library Limited was a London based production music library company that was established in the late 1960s by Dennis Berry (aka Peter Dennis). It was closely affiliated with the other library company Southern, - which was also run by Dennis Berry. They often shared releases and that’s why certain titles appear on both Peer and Southern catalogue. This album here, called Big hammer, was credited to a band called The Bigroup, but without a doubt it was some studio musicians group with a made up name for the album. And it was also released on Southern.
The opening track “Big hammer” starts the album strongly. It’s a banging midtempo psych funk track with a hint of oriental vibe every now and then. A stronger oriental vibe comes with the next one, a downtempo sitar and flute driven mellow groover “Anna purna”. I’m not exactly sure if it actually is a sitar but sounds a lot of it. After the dramatic “Devil’s stronghold”, comes “Rolling”. It starts promisingly with a nice break, but then turns into a melancholic midtempo groover. Next up are two quite heavy downtempo psych funk tracks called “Beat norm” and “Heavy lift”. After them comes one of the best tracks on the album, “What’s coming”. It’s a strong upbeat track with heavy breakbeat drums and some wailing melodies on top. Then there’s again two mellow but psych heavy tracks called “Blow-suck blues” and “Gentle swell” before we get to the last track, “Bombilation”. “Bombilation” is a great midtempo organ driven psych funk groover with some electric guitar work (I’m still not a fan of those) and banging beats. All the songs are relatively long for a library record, all the tracks except one are over three minutes what makes it a more pleasant one to listen.
 ~ Written by Mista Tibbz.

In today's culture, one might presume the Bigroup to be some sort of avant garde transsexual troupe. But most likely in 1971, it stood for nothing more than "The Big Group". Then again, they do have a composition entitled 'Blow-Suck Blues', so perhaps they were ahead of their time after all? Musically, however, they sound more like a late 60s group than a pioneering cutting edge post-Swinging London progressive band from 1971. "Big Hammer" is, in effect - if not actually the case - an all instrumental film library psychedelic album with copious flute, sitar, surf guitar, and roller rink organ. There's not much in the way of compositional development, which would be typical of the incidental film music genre. Somewhat similar to the groups like Blue Phantom, Hungry Wolf, The Underground Set, Psycheground Group, or Fourth Sensation. Great stuff!
 ~ ashratom (RYM).

 Underrated jazz prog from 1971. “Big Hammer” is an all instrumental exploitation psych album features fuzz and wah-wah guitar, organ, flute and sitar. Musically, they sound more like a late 60s group than a pioneering cutting edge post-Swimming London progressive band from 1971.
Big Hammer has been much in demand by progressive rock collectors and one listen to it will tell why – pretty much every track is a killer !
 ~ Doug Larson Imports.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Afton - First Day of Summer (us 1977)

Afton - First Day of Summer (us 1977)

Formed: Danville, VA, United States

* Dane "Do Do" Williams (electric guitar, vocals),
* Jim Dooley (keyboards, saxophone, acoustic guitar, vocals),
* Donnie Hughes (bass, vocals),
* Robert Campbell (drums, percussion, vocals),
* Skipper (percussion, vocals),
* Jeff K. Baldwin (string arrangements, keyboards, vocals),
* Mike Ketchum (acoustic guitar, vocals),
* Boo - (banjo).

Label: Lark Records - LRLP 2288
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1977
Genre: Rock
Style: country rock, southern rock

A1 Life Light 5:42
A2 Sara 3:58
A3 Henry 5:13
A4 Summer Night 2:00
B1 Hitchhiking 4:45
B2 Younger Days 3:17
B3 Never Trust a Woman 5:15
B4 On the Way 3:33
Total length: 33:43

From Danville, VA, Afton was Dane Williams - elec. gtr, vocals / Jim Dooley - keyboards, sax, acoust. gtr. / Donnie Hughs - bass, vocals / Robert Campbell - drums, vocals / Skipper - percussion, vocals / Jeff Baldwin - keyboards, arrangements, vocals / Mike Ketchum - acoust. gtr, vocals / Boo - banjo. Their sole album was released in 1977, and is very rare nowadays. It is fairly polished, country flavored southern rock, with a slick vocalist and great guitar on most cuts. Their sound is often reminiscent of The Charlie Daniels Band (if they were any good), and containing elements of Lynard Skynard and Molly Hatchet as well. This record [i]is[i] good, and consistently so. Finally reissued to boot!
~ tymeshifter (rym) Oct 24 2009 3.50 stars.

Download Link:
Afton - First Day of Summer (us 1977)