Honestly, there are probably better songs to post from Truth and Janey, but their 1976 rendition of I’m Ready is just too funny. They were a heavy psychedelic rock band, bluesy but with early heavy metal levels of distortion. You might call them proto-metal, as they’d been working on this way-too-loud sound since 1969, managing to press a couple 7” singles in the years before this LP’s release, and sound similar to High Tide or early Judas Priest.
The solo on this is pretty ridiculous. The guitarist gleefully set up his amp poorly and so there’s a lot of runaway feedback, with which he just tears into a wall of blues chords. I guess it gives it a neat effect, but I bet he and everyone at the band’s concerts has wicked tinnitus now.
Flied Egg was a short-lived Japanese psychedelic rock band that released just two records, this heavy psychedelic gem and another album featuring mostly live songs from their farewell concert. Their drummer, Hiro Tsunoda, had also played in Strawberry Path, one of my favourite Japanese groups, but other than that I don’t know anything interesting about this band. If you like crunchy guitar, give this a try.
Apparently I’d never posted off of Wo Fat’s first album, Psychedelonaut. I think I probably did on my old blog. This is a band I would go out and see in a heartbeat. If you’re looking for some good distorted grooves, this is the group you’re looking for.
Wo Fat is an American band that plays super distorted, psychedelic rock. I don’t like getting overly specific with music genres, but this is sludge rock. They describe themselves as spiritual successors to heavy 70s bands like Leaf Hound, and being able to drop that name wins them serious brownie points.
Cirith Ungol was an American metal group most active during the 80s that started off sounding like a 70s hard rock act akin to early Judas Priest. They weren’t really revivalists, though; they’d formed in the early 70s but just didn’t manage to score a record deal until 1980. I think the album’s cover is the perfect level of corny for a record like this. It matches the band’s constantly over-the-top vocal and guitar theatrics that make their songs so fun to listen to.
Lucifer's Friend - In The Time of Job When Mammon Was A Yippie
Happy Record Store Day! I celebrated by picking up an original copy of Lucifer’s Friend’s self-titled debut. These Germans are probably my favourite of the country’s hard rock acts. Their later releases became more oriented toward jazz-rock, like a lot of German and Eastern European bands’ material became in the late 70s, but this first album was all about heavy, distorted riffing. This is the album to listen to if you’re interested in the pioneers of heavy metal.
Stray’s 1971 effort, Suicide, didn’t stray too far from material covered in their debut, but who would really want them to? This album is British hard rock at its finest: lead guitar domination, hoarse vocals, heavy rhythm section, and blown-speaker distortion. This is the album’s title track, an 8 minute long riff-fest. Sabbath and Judas Priest fans should enjoy this a lot.
It almost seems irresponsible to not post Iron Maiden’s cover of Stray’s All In Your Mind. As with everything Iron Maiden, it’s nothing but pure class. Originally this was the B side on their 1990 single, Holy Smoke, but I don’t have that.
Stray was hugely influential 70s psychedelic rock band that hailed from Britain. They get lumped in with guitar-focussed progressive rock bands like Captain Beyond and Wishbone Ash because some of their songs are similarly sprawling, but they just often wade through heavy blues riffs using as much distortion as possible like Toad or Leaf Hound. Iron Maiden fans might recognize this song, All In Your Mind, as the metal band did a cover of it on their Holy Smoke single, later included as a bonus track on No Prayer For The Dying’s reissue. This is the full on, 9 minute long meltdown version that kicked off Stray’s 1970 debut (Maiden covered the much shorter single version).
I never seem to post songs in the right order. Here’s the cover of Black Sabbath that I mentioned yesterday, done by the Flower Travellin’ Band on their 1970 debut. Apparently it was the very first cover done of Black Sabbath’s work. The band all posing nude for the cover stirred up quite a bit of controversy at the time.