Terry Brett (bass), Rick Donmoyer (vocals, guitar), Terry Hook (drums), Dana Snitch (keyboards, vocals, guitar)
1 Flaggit 3:10
2 Tough Nuts 2:18
3 Melody With Balls 6:02
4 Advance Am 7:30
5 Rock Star 4:11
6 Sunflight 4:30
7 U.X.I.B 7:39
8 The Moth 5:08
This Ontario act have the distinction of being one of the few bands to release the same album on two different occasions on two different labels (the London Records version the following year) with different covers with both being worth nearly identical pretty pennies. I can’t really name another band/album with that strange honor, so we’ll just call that the ‘fun fact’ of the review.
I’ve heard many different opinions about this rare album, mostly from people who were hearing it for the first time, spurting out influences from Deep Purple and Sabbath to Iron Butterfly and even Nektar. Honestly, I believe them to be a cross between Deep Purple and, during their faster moments, Uriah Heep. Perhaps it’s just the flowing, almost carefree vocals of Rick Donmoyer that remind me of UH. Maybe it’s the keyboard-choired hardness that is reminiscent of DP. At any time, these seven tracks (eight listed) can be ominous, then free-flying, and supposedly have sensitive lyrics (“…digging in the garbage heap…”, “…the dead begin to die…”).
“Flaggit” and “Advance AM” are speedy hookers that don’t have as thick a sound as Heap’s “Easy Living”, but are still great for blowing by station wagons on the highway. Threatening are the Sabbath-with-keyboards “Tough Nuts” and very Deep Purple-ish “Sunflight”. The wordless “Melody with Balls” almost harks ahead with a Handful of Rain-era Savatage sound at times, but the pre-80s keyboard twiddling brings it back into classic rock focus. “Rock Star” is a cool little number with a breaking melody nestled within an even-keeled rhythm, though they do overstate the chorus a bit. The finale, either “U.X.I.B.” or “The Moth”, is the true oddball of the group, swamped in sudden drum work, another ultra-breaking riff, and a bass-led melody that sounds like it’s running backward. Halfway through it bleeds into a very somber interlude that makes “Planet Caravan” sound energetic.
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)