Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kristyl - 1975 - Kristyl


01. Together   
02. Deceptions Of The Mind
03. Like A Bird So Free
04. The Valley Of Life
05. Woman
06. Blue Bird Blu's
07. Morning Glory

Bob Terrell (vocals, rhythm guitar)
Sonny De Vore (lead guitar)
David Atherton (bass)
Bruce Whiteside (drums, percussion)

With a line up consisting of bassist David Atherton, lead guitarist Sonny De Vore, singer/rhythm guitarist Bob Terrell and drummer Bruce Whiteside, these guys were apparently from Louisville, Kentucky..  

First let me tell you that these guys were a Christian band and in spite of what you may have read elsewhere, their religious beliefs and themes were actually quite obvious (note the serpent covering the earth cover, let alone the majority of the seven song titles).  'Christian rock' certainly isn't something to be ashamed of, but I'd suggest "Kristyl" has succeeded in finding a non-secular audience due to the fact it largely avoids the annoying in-your-face proselytizing that plagues so much of the genre.  (As noted by Patrick "The Lama" Lundborg, it's kind of funny to note that the back panel features a picture of drummer Whiteside wearing a t-shirt with a cannabis image.)  Musically the collection gets high marks from most critics but I'll readily admit it took awhile for the album to reveal it's charms to me.  Featuring all original material penned by Terrell and De Vore, the seven tracks were all pretty strong from an instrumental perspective, though they tended to run into one another without a lot of distinction.  Tracks like 'Deceptions of the Mind' and 'Blue Bird Blues' showcased lots of tasty fuzz and wah-wah lead guitar from De Vore (I'm guessing much of it was double tracked since Terrell's credited with rhythm guitar).  At the other end of the spectrum Terrell's slightly flat voice and the band's equally flat harmony vocals take a bit of time to get accustomed to (check out 'Woman' to get an earful of their off-kilter harmonizing).  The one area where I'll agree with most other reviewers is the album sports a late-1960s sound and the performances showcase a sense of youthful optimism and energy.  I'll also warn you that what some folks find charming may simply prove irritating to others. Not for everyone, but will definitely appeal to some of you.  For what it's worth, reportedly only 200 copies were originally pressed.  Extremely thin vinyl was used for the pressings so most copies have a slight bowl warp that doesn't effect play.