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Friday, July 19, 2013

Bloodrock - 3

Artist: Bloodrock
Album: 3
Year: 1971
Style: Hard Rock, Psych Rock
Similar Artists: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Iron Butterfly, AC DC, Deep Purple, Santana, Ted Nuget, Doors, Led Zeppelin
"One-Word" Review: Psych-Prog Shuffling Jive
Based Out Of: Fort Worth, TX
Label: Chung Sheng Records, CSJ Records (Taiwan)
 3 - Cover & Record
3 - Back & Record
3 (1971)
  1. Jessica 4:40
  2. Whiskey Vengeance 4:12
  3. Song for a Brother 5:15
  4. You Gotta Roll 5:05/
  5. Breach of Lease 9:05
  6. Kool-Aid Kids 6:12
  7. A Certain Kind 4:12
  8. America, America 1:20
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
Rick Cobb - Composer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Ed Grundy - Bass, Composer, Vocals (The Naturals, Crowd +1)
Stephen Hill - Keyboards, Vocals (Crowd +1)
Hugh Hopper -Composer
Terry Knight - Producer (Grand Funk Railroad)
John Nitzinger - Composer (Nitzinger, Alice Cooper)
Lee Pickens - Guitar, Vocals (Crowd +1, Lee Pickens Group, Easter Island)
Jim Rutledge - Composer, Vocals (The Naturals, Crowd +1)
Nick Taylor - Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals (The Naturals, Crowd +1)

I’ve never heard of this band. But I found it sitting in a dollar bin of a record shop in New Orleans, and I could not pass up the Americana cover, dripping in patriotic blood. This seemed like as good of a localish southern rock style as what I could expect. Furthermore, this was a Japanese pressing, with most of the text in Asian characters (except for the lyrics to their album-ending track), so i'm thoroughly confused. I can only assume it is going to be some racist country rock.

Album Review: So nobody too famous had a hand in this band, but they were an early band that came from the Fort Worth Texas area, and at the height of feel good folksy music, they were making something else entirely, blending fast metal-like riffs, psychedelic production and prog sensibility.

“Jessica” has a dark bouncy bass beat to open up the album, followed by psychedelic organ and guitars. The tambourine and upbeat rhythms remind me of pop 60’s beatnik numbers. The vocals are somewhat deep and haunting, think Screaming Trees. It has a definite psych vibe to it, but it really drives and rocks as well. There is an ambulance siren urgency in the instrumental section that makes up the vocal less chorus. After the second incarnation of the chorus, the instrumental is extended with even more psych organ and progressive guitars.
“Whiskey Vengeance” Continues the urgency right off the bat with a forcefully aggressive and fast melody. The psych chorus echoes, reminding me of Black Sabbath or something equally dark. The organ in the background gives it a psych pop anchor. This too, has instrumental jazzy freak out sections like Jessica does. This seems to have a similar melody, just a stripped down, and slightly sped up, simpler version. It ends with a long, repetitive yet interesting instrumental.
“Song for a Brother” slows down the sprint-paced songs to a piano rock song that oscillates between thoughtful slow psych southern rock to jazzy/classic pop instrumental verse, akin to the Doors. The slow down, slow-motion head banging chorus sections are actually pretty great.
“You Gotta Roll” has a grand Beatles-like intro, but quickly rolls right into a rollicking southern rock song, somewhat like the Blasters. It has a good build, and the follow through is rewarding with lots of vocal energy. The backing rhythmic beat is very bouncy, as the melody continues to roll over; scale after repetitive building scale. And just when you think the song might end, it extends itself for 2 extra minutes of bop-doo-wops and a minute long crunchy guitar solo that somehow stays within the boundaries that the song has created.

“Breach of Lease” is a super long 9 minute song, that rolls up quietly and ethereally. Echoing spacey guitar notes build a new-agey soundscape that is blurry off in the distance. Crooning vocals are added, showing their range and note holding ability, then like a sludge wash, heavy dark chords, akin to Iron Man or War Pigs, erase the ethereal scene, if only for a minute, only to vanish again, like they never happened. The succession repeats again, and the power chords come back, only this time to join and reshape the song’s structure. They meld classic rock and prog together very effectively. This is music you can really appreciate, even if you don’t like it. The guitar solo and heavy chords balance out each other gracefully in the instrumental at about 5:30. The song is then born anew, reverting back to the quiet, peaceful stage we were first introduced to. The song could be the soundtrack to a short film, complete with three acts of climactic struggle. This is their War Pigs. And it is good, ending with a cymbals and a single heavy chord.
“Kool-Aid Kids” brings it back to the Doors-like classic rock and shuffling jive pop rock…reminding me a bit of The Monkees “Goin’ Down” if heavied up a bunch. It slows down to a near stop, in some sort of tripping freak out, the voices echo and seem to spin around, as if the song was at the floating point of a trip right before sickness. It twitters and tinkers with melody thanks to the organ, and kicks back in with guitar solos over top the same jittery psych organ. Right before the instrumental section at 5 min, there is a great evil carnival-like section scaling down, and is piercingly bold.
“A Certain Kind” starts off as a piano ballad, Think of Steve Perry with more grit and honest feeling. The sad melody continuously rolls along with very little down time, and is aided with a sax more associated with cheesy 80’s production. The familiar organ is added, and the song picks up the mood, but continues with the same tempo. The song ends with piano only, with a melody that is so familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it (a song that is conventionally poppy, that breaks form and just has a tinkling piano bit for a short section.)
“America, America” is a sad, folksy reflection on America and how it was in 1971 compared to older, forgotten days. The song is still relevant, and could ironically compare how things are today to back in 1971. It is slow and stops very abruptly, as if the record has been cut off right at the joys of living. Life apparently has stopped for Bloodrock in America, and that is the image the song projects. These are the lyrics that appear on the back of the record.

Stand Out Track: Jessica


1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say that I enjoy your site and reading about your finds. Your efforts are appreciated!!