Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dwarf -Another Chance

Dwarf -Another Chance/Perfect Pair -Merlyn 3380 (1977 US)

Onwards and forwards with the third release by Michigan teen sensations Dwarf. We are now 2 years on from Gotta Get Louder
and the boys would soon turn into men, but were still a long way from being drink legal. Nick Piunti’s Another Chance has a certain air of disillusionment about it. Although a vibrant and a great Proto Punk’ tune, you could initially be led to believe that the boys were nearing burn out (at 17!!!). However, the song itself was more about not fitting in and a plea to be heard above Disco and the Prog AOR morass prevalent at the time. Nick explains: “I wrote that song because Disco was in full tilt and I thought that rock bands were being replaced by DJ.'s, hence we weren't gigging as much as we would have liked… I think the band was in a bit of a lull because we didn't sound like any of the bands that were on the radio at the time. Boston, Kansas, Journey, we didn't connect with that kind of thing. And it was before I discovered Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and others that I could relate to…” Melodic and riff strong the single is further enhanced by a sublimely chaotic delay that provides an interesting mish-mash of sounds and makes it quite unique.

Hear a full version of Another Chance

Nick has just released a solo album that is now available on vinyl
 The lead track 13 In My Head is superb and harks back to his days in Dwarf. I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially on vinyl!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Terry Williams -Wig Wam Bam

Terry Williams -Wig Wam Bam/Where Did All The Good Times Go? – MGM K14611( US 1973)

I don’t know what’s more absurd – the fact that this solo effort by the lead guitarist from KENNY ROGERS & THE FIRST EDITION exists OR the fact that it’s so good. …cos it’s both: extant, absurd and beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt essential. Ex-NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS Terry Williams, by 1973, after more than five years of touring and mind-boggling strings of consecutive hits, had begun to show ‘signs of middle age with weight gain and patches of gray in his beard…Although he made up for it by wilder dress and hair.’ Not my words, people, but the words of Wikipedia dot com. So, in whatever burrito-truck-funk Williams found himself in, he – after releasing a few other solo singles – found himself in the sunken-living-room clutches of perpetual KIM FOWLEY companion, MICHAEL LLOYD. One can only guess that it was Lloyd who initially hipped Terry to THE SWEET’s year-old hit; perhaps suggesting that it might go down a storm with the hot-panted and panting jailbait crowds crowding the miniscule mirrored dance floor at Rodney’s English Disco. In any event, he was wrong and it didn’t and Terry went back to Kenny Roger’s Roasters where he continues to check in on what conditions audiences’ conditions are in to this day. That said, this song more than belongs in the pantheon of great U.S. Glam Rock-n-Roll with great Skydog FLAMIN’ GROOVIES’ guitar and exquisite production by Lloyd. If you thought THRILL’s take on LOU REED’s ‘Hangin’ Round’ was a reductive improvement, then ladies and gentlemen welcome to Heaven.Oh. I didn’t include the 45’s b-sde as it’s a soppy ballad later covered by DONNY OSMOND (real talk). You’re welcome!

Hear a full version of Wig Wam Bam

Thanks to infrequent collaborator Collin the enlightened and inspirational scribe for digging this one up and writing about it so eloquently. Visit his blog

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Drive –Castle in The Sky

I Drive (Superstar) –Castle in The Sky/Coming on Home –BN 45-114 (1974 Spain)

I Drive were an Altringham based band who took a trip to Germany and ending up staying there when their van broke down! As I Drive they had a collectable LP released on Metronome in 1972, then for some reason two band members  relocated to Spain where this fine single was recorded and released. Castle in The Sky has a bit of everything, but somehow doesn’t lose its sense of direction. It has a firm identity and features great playing with ample riffage. Of particular note is the lead guitar sound which has a nice slapback delaywhich really comes into its own over the two sides. Castle in The Sky is probably the stand out part Hard Rock, Glam (you can just about hear the eye make-up) with a sprinkling of not too invasive prog. Coming on Home is a sturdy T. Rex type rocker again featuring fine guitar and some Move-like bass lines.
Read the story here

Hear a full version of Castle in The Sky

Hear a full version of Coming on Home

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Desperated Company –Higher

Desperated Company –Higher/Can Somebody Tell Me –Foon F4535026 (1977 Belgium)

Higher was the first of the two singles that Belgium’s Desperated Company released in 1977, but Higher is their stand out moment being a prime example of 60s Beat influenced Powerpop sounding like something that could have easily been released on Titan (or on Outrage) at the time. The B side is also cool, melodic but with a more straight ahead Boogie flavour. At least 2 members of the band are still active today as Desperated Company still ply their trade as a cover band servicing the local Belgian population at private functions, clubs and other forms of merriment…

Hear a full version of Higher

Hear a full version of Can Somebody Tell Me