Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Euphonious Wail - 1973 - A Euphonious Wail

A Euphonious Wail 
A Euphonious Wail

01. Pony
02. We've Got the Chance
03. Did You Ever
04. When I Start To Live
05. F#
06. Chicken
07. Night Out
08. Love My Brother
09. I Want To Be a Star

*Suzanne Rey (percussion, vocals)
*Bart Libby (organ, piano)
*Steve Tracy (guitar, vocals)
*Gary Violetti (bass, vocals)
*Doug Huffman (drums, vocals)

Heavily influenced by San Francisco bands (Big Brother and the Trucking Company and The Jefferson Airplane quickly come to mind), the Santa Rosa, California-based A Euphonious Wail was roughly five years behind creative and popular tastes. Not that it seemed to matter given a financially struggling Kapp Records went ahead and signed the quintet to a recording contract. Built around the talents of drummer Doug Hoffman, keyboardist Bart Libby, singer Suzanne Rey, singer/guitarist Steve Tracy and bassist Gary Violetti, the band's self-titled 1973 debut teamed them with producer Brian Ingoldsby (Lowell Levinger of Youngbloods fame reportedly also helped out). While "A Euphonious Wail" had a couple of nice moments, for the most part the LP was surprisingly lame and uninspired. As lead vocalists Rey and Tracy had decent, if unexceptional voices (though Rey tended to screech in the higher registers). The same type of limitations were true of the band as songwriters (all but Hoffman contributing material). Taken individually guitar and keyboard propelled rockers such as 'Pony', 'We've Got the Chance', 'When I Start To Live' and 'F#' weren't bad, but stretched over an entire album, there simply wasn't much that really stood out. The band were even less successful when they tried slowing things down - check out the lame ballads 'Did You Ever' and 'I Want To Be a Star'. (The Michael Hawes cover drawing was interesting. Depending on how you looked at it you saw something completely abstract, or possibly obscene.) Needless to say, the album vanished without a trace, followed in short order by the band.

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