söndag 15 februari 2009

Quicksand - Home is Where i Belong (UK Progressive 1973)

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230:- PASSA PÅ PRIS (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition, utgången utgåva)

Quicksand were a melodic psychedelic/progressive rock band from South Wales. I am part Welsh myself, and on my first of two visits to Cardiff 5 years ago I found this album. I had heard it before and it had gone over my head, but since hearing it back then with "fresh ears" this has come to be one of my very favourite albums. I would even go as far as to say this is the best album the interesting Dawn label put out, then go even further to say they are the most unheralded treasure Wales ever produced. So what made them so intriguing? For starters, the guitar is soaring, snakey, and brilliant throughout the album and dominates the instrumental sound.

The keyboards are tastefully used including some synthesizer, but mainly piano and a bit of mellotron. The music does lean heavily towards the guitar, though, both acoustic rhythm and electric lead/rhythm. Add to the guitars a professional sound and great harmony work from all four members and you have already a great album. What really pushes Quicksand into the upper echelon are 3 things: (A) Fantastic songwriting (B) Strong, yet warm lead vocals (C) Well written introspective lyrics.

Each song tries something a little different, but there isn't a problem of the record being over-eclectic. For the most part, this is very melodic and could be described as a cross between The Parlour Band and Help Yourself, the latter are a Welsh band, no surprise. "Hideaway My Song" and "Sunlight Brings Shadows" begin the album on an impressive note with subtle progressive moves in a melodic psych context. Both are driving and cosmic. The rest of the album includes two medleys that go into intergalactic overdrive, and there is a lot of "space rock" on this album without any trace of that genre's penchant for self indulgence.

This is a song oriented album, not a solo oriented album. Despite the late recording date it sounds much earlier and is more likely to appeal to fans of harmony rich melodic psych than full blown progressive. Like The Parlour Band, Fantasy, and Help Yourself the songs are the main focus here, but unlike Fantasy virtuoso guitar work dominates the music rather than keyboards. That makes this one a bit different. The heavily phased sections and inclinations towards drugged out late night folky progressive rock also are different. This is a favourite album of mine, and for anyone with an open mind and love for the best music of the late 60s to early 70s this is thoroughly reccommended. Also, they look way stoned on the cover!

Track Listings
01. Hideaway My Song (3:11)
02. Sunlight Brings Shadows (4:22)
03. Empty Street Empty Heart (3:44)
04. Overcome The Pattern (8:16)
05. Time To Live (3:30)
06. Home Is Where I Belong (4:58)
07. Seasons - Alpha Omega (8:23)
08. Hiding It All (4:13)
09. Alpha Omega
10. Hiding It All

Total Time: 40:37

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