martedì 19 marzo 2013

Under Milkwood - Under Milkwood 1970

Under Milkwood's sole, and rare, album is -- like so many obscure late-'60s psychedelic records -- a pretty aimless, scattershot effort that tries to cover too much ground and ends up running aground, though there are hints of good ideas from time to time. Heavily derivative of bigger and better California acid rock bands, it stumbles hardest the heavier it tries to get, some of the songs coming close to drowning in overwrought bluesy improvisational passages. Weirdly, they devote equal or greater attention to bittersweet, acoustic-flavored folk-rock -- equally derivative as their hard rock flights, probably, but much more pleasant on the ear. The female vocals, and occasionally the male-female harmonies, are heavily indebted to Jefferson Airplane in particular, and also at times to the much lesser known (at the time) Fairport Convention, who coincidentally or not were also on A&M. Yet the pretty folky songs -- "Changing Seasons" and "Lost Youth," for instance -- aren't so pretty or outstanding that they demand a hearing by Airplane or Fairport fans, and while the occasional classical melodics (on "Parade") and jazzy saxophone add unexpected spices, they're not so imaginative or well-integrated to be worthy of high praise.
First legit issue of this good-to-pretty-good-to-almost-great underground rock album from 1970 (previously bootlegged as just "Milkwood" by the ever-doomed Fanny organization). Beautifully presented in one of Arkama's new LP-styled mini gatefold jackets. "Reissue of a fantastic Californian psych-based only released in 1969 as test pressing (was planned to be released on A&M label but never came out); it had this real 'west coast' guitar-sound like Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, some folkrock passages ala Fairport Convention but also some exotic hippie atmospheres ala Traffic Sound; great alternate male/female vocals not unlike Balin/Slick but also crystal vocal passages ala Sandy Denny.

01.Empty Room - 4:56
02.Changing Seasons - 4:23
03.Tell Me - 5:33
04.Forgotten Bridge - 3:49
05.Parade - 2:44
06.Sandwiches Rock'n'Roll - 3:30
07.Lost Youth - 1:30
08.Ballad of the Spirit of the World - 6:21
09.Final Song - 6:11

Under Milkwood :
John Thornam - Guitars, Vocals
Stephen Mallory - Guitars, Vocals
Robert Mickalsky - Drums
David Turner Jr. - Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
Clara Miles - Lead Vocals, Percussion
Mike  Lewthorne - Tenor Sax
Alphonse Barnet - Trumpet, Flute, Harpischord

Flac + Complete Scans 239 Mb
Pass : SDB

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