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Friday, October 18, 2013

Cartoone - s/t

Name: Cartoon
Album: s/t
Year:1969
Style: Folksy Pop/Rock
Similar Bands: Tremeloes, Mercybeats, Hollies, Beatles, Bee-Gees, Kinks, Colin Moulding's XTC songs
"One-Word" Review: Late-60's-catch-all
Based Out Of: Glasgow, UK
Label: Atlantic
 Cartoon - Cover, Back, Record
Cartoone - Liner Notes, Lyrics, Record
Cartoone (1969)
  1. Knick Knack Man 3:50
  2. Withering Wood 2:24
  3. The Sadness of Toby Jugg 2:39
  4. Penny for the Sun 3:06
  5. I'll Stay 2:07
  6. Girl of Yesterday 3:10/
  7. I Can't Walk Back 2:52
  8. Let Me Reassure You 2:20
  9. Mr. Poor Man 3:43
  10. Ice Cream Dreams 2:47
  11. Doing What Mamma Said 2:39
  12. See Me 2:05
Album Rating (1-10): 6.5

Members, Other Bands:
Derek Creigan - Bass, Vox (Chevlons)
Mike Allison - Guitar (Chevlons)
Charles Mo Trowers - Guitar (Chevlons)
Chick E. Coffils - Drums 
Jimmy Page - Guitar
John Cameron - Orchestral Arrangements
Dave Siddle - Engineer
E. Offord - Engineer
Brian Humphries - Engineer
Mark London - Producer
Duffy - Album Photo
Peter Dyer - Album Design

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band. But from the style of the pictures on the front and back, I’d assume they are a late 60’s Rolling-Stones sort of band. I like the band name and logo, so I figured I’d give it a try. Can’t pass up on a band called Cartoone, when I enjoy dark, carnival-style music.

Album Review: Cartoone’s biggest claim to fame is that they employed Jimmy Page as a session guitarist while Led Zeppelin was recording their first album. But the style of this band is nothing really like their Zeppelin label-mates.

“Knick Knack Man” begins with whistling and a chime-sounding guitar strum. Then, a slightly off “Ah-Ah-Ah” harmony introduce the basic melody, and a very soulful and light Neil Young-ish voice sings, leading into the chorus of Hippie and Bob Dylan-like metaphor and word-play.  The song finds its groove early and does not detract from the one dimensional psyche vibe.
“Withering Wood” has a very earthy folk feel to it, started with a rollicking slow vocal melody. It follows up with a renaissance minstrel like tone, anchored by echoing flute notes, haunting harmonies and it floats along in a daze.
“The Sadness of Toby Jugg” sounds just like a Colin Moulding XTC song for the chorus. It then evolves into a fun southern-rock Kinks, complete with an alcohol soaked brass section, and wavering dream sections.
“Penny for the Sun” is a slow, swaying, raspy crooning love ballad. A little like Tom Jones without the confidence or swagger. Actually, what it would sound like if Cat Stevens covered Tom Jones. I’ll go with that.
“I'll Stay” starts with A Hard Days Night chord, and then the song takes a lazy turn to more relaxed swamp rock.
“Girl of Yesterday” has the light and airy atmosphere of the Bee Gees from the late 60’s period, where the vocals glide over the melody of the strings and instrumentation which is an early incarnation of a Disco-Love song with one two feet planted in the folk community, but opening the door to the Disco nightclub (in production only, not in danceable melody).

“I Can't Walk Back” reflects thoughtfully on growing up, but the song’s style is like many of the young college-touring boy vocal bands of the 50’s.
“Let Me Reassure You” finally gets to the rolling stones Rock & Roll vibe, but the vocals are less experienced and don’t hold any sort of punch. The music is fun and entergetic.
“Mr. Poor Man” falls back to the Stevens on Jones style of crooning folk ballad.
“Ice Cream Dreams” is appropriately dreamy and fluid. This has the most echoy prog-classic rock style vocals to tie them to Led Zeppelin. It also includes lots of Bomp-Bomp-Bomps in the background of the chorus, functioning as a complement melody. The construction of the song is somewhat like Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds.
“Doing What Mamma Said” falls in line with the light, flittering vocals that straddle the border between soulful blues, and Bee-Gees folk-pop style. The strings are featured prominently in the background bringing up the intensity when it is needed in the bridge and chorus.
“See Me” also feels like a Moulding XTC song in melody. It has a nice catchy groove, and more good usage of Bop-Bop-Bops. 

Stand-Out Track: The Sadness of Toby Jugg

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