Initially called The CAGE, this trippy West Coast psych band from the 60’s were quite sophisticated for their time. They started off in 1968 when keyboardist Bill Cosby joined forces with guitarist Dave Padwin and two female musicians, namely bassist Carolyn Lee and drummer Dora Wahl. All four were either classically trained or seasoned club veterans, Cosby himself being a UCLA music major. Evolving smack in the middle of the flower power era, they played their blistering rockers and wispy melodies quite convincingly, borrowing from jazz, classical music, avant-garde and rock. On the psychedelic side, they were definitely more song oriented than, say, early PINK FLOYD; although they did pour a mean dose of organ on their self-titled LP, released in 1969. Unfortunately, a year later Cosby got drafted and the band broke up.
Their album is a fascinating testimony of a different time and place. Highly organ dominated, it has just about everything one would expect from a late 60’s album: driving rhythms, heavy guitar riffs, trippy Farfisa organ and cool, groovy male/female vocals by Cosby and especially Lee who delivers her druggy, cosmic lyrics with style. Their solos are concise and they know how to lock into a groove without jamming aimlessly, as did so many bands of that era. They also know how to structure songs that best display their strengths although in retrospect, it is their softer tunes that seem to have aged better, especially those with a nice gothic/classical feel. The CD version, which was recorded from the master tapes, comprises five bonus tracks, all of them instrumental versions of songs from the LP.
CASEY COSBY organ, vcls
CAROLYN LEE bs gtr, piano, acoustic bs, organ, vcls
DAVE PADWIN ld gtr, vcls, acous bs gtr
DORA WAHL perc, drms
1. Nam Myo Renge Kyo (2:37)
2. Velvet Sunsets (2:35)
3. Prelude (2:07)
4. Catatonic Variations (1:58)
5. Times Like This (2:00)
6. Gentle Thursday (3:46)
7. Winds Have Changed (2:12)
8. Cage (5:09)
9. Sun Never Shines (4:01)
10. Day Of Wrath (3:25)
5 Bonus Tracks; From The Master Tapes
11. Nam Myo Renge Kyo - (previously unreleased) (2:41)
12. Velvet Sunsets - (previously unreleased) (3:08)
13. Winds Have Changed - (previously unreleased) (2:14)
14. Sun Never Shines - (previously unreleased) (4:04)
15. Gentle Thursday - (previously unreleased) (4:17)
Magnificent psych album - apparently recorded in 16 hours by male/female rock band. As heavy as Iron Butterfly and sweeter than the Mamas and The Papas. Quirky and brilliant. Recorded for Sentinel in '69 and very rare due to the fact that the die-cut gatefold cover was incredibly expensive and very few copies were subsequently pressed. I read a note in Acid Archives of Underground Sound where someone lucked out and stumbled across a 100 copies in a warehouse. Given that a sealed original can and does go over 4 figures, that fella won a lottery. Get the Sundazed reissue and save your wallet.
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)