Saturday, November 26, 2016

Rust Underground - 1969 - Come With Me

Rust Underground 
Come With Me

01. Come With Me (Introduction) - ;36
02. You Thought You Had It Made (Jonny Thomas) - 3:34
03. Please Return - 2:37
04. Should I - 3:31
05. Think Big - 3:57
06. Rust - 3:33
07. Delusion (Jonny Thomas) - 2:45
08. Doesn't Add Up To Me - 3:36
09. Find A Hideaway (Jonny Thomas) - 3:38
10. Come With Me -  4:25
11. The Endless Struggle - 2:32
All songs by B. Hillmann, W. Monahan except where noted.

*Jonny Thomas - Guitar, Vocals
*Brian Hillmann - Drums
*Walter "Walt" Monahan - Bass

Not to be confused with a similar named Texas-based outfit, this short-lived late-1960s trio reflected the joys of multi-national cooperation - Brian Hillmann and Walt Monaghan were from the UK; Jonny Thomas was Australian and the trio somehow ended up recorded their sole 1969 LP for the German Hor Zu German label.

Featuring all original material (all three members contributed songs), 1969's "Come with Me" was interesting in a spot-the-influence kind of way.  The LP liner notes (printed in English and German) didn't include performance credits, but all of the singers were good with the guitarist displaying a nice penchant for fuzz guitar (check out the solo on 'Should I').  Musically the set wasn't particularly original offering up a period piece mixture of English R&B (the Cream-ish 'Delusion'), psych, and hard rock moves.  Moreover, whatever it lacked in terms of creativity was more than compensated for via the enthusiastic performances and an uncanny knack for catchy melodies.  Songs like the opening title track snippet and the rocker 'You Thought You Had It Made' should've appealed to both the underground crowd and top-40 radio.  The ballad 'Find a Hideaway' should have been a major radio hit.  The band were also interesting when they took off in a more experimental direction including 'Think Big' (offering up a weird mixture of effects and a Western epic feel) and 'Doesn't Add Up To Me'.  Elsewhere the psych touches embellishing 'Please Return' and 'Rust' would have sounded fine on a Small Faces LP.  One has to wonder what would have happened had they recorded for an American or UK label.   (Always loved the back cover photo of the trio posing on German police motorcycles.)

Rust is the real deal. Originally recorded in 1969, their album, Come With Me, is something of a lost mini-classic. Originally released on the independent German label Hor Zu, and bringing it to light in the early 21st century.

Great, psychedelic rock tunes are embellished with phased vocals, treated piano, samples of radio broadcasts, washes of organ, and electronic effects. Mind you, this isn't total freak out music, or anything. Songs like You Thought You Had It Made and Rust revel in blues licks, and rock with a genuine joy, even if the subject matter of their lyrics is somewhat pessimistic, and softer tunes like Please Return and the gorgeous Find a Hideaway are full of acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies.

For a reference point, listening to it I hear a lot of The Deviants, with touches of the 13th Floor Elevators. It's melodic rock that likes to experiment.



  2. I urge you to check out the 2 solo LP's by Creepy John Thomas. They're basically hard driving organic-sounding electric blues, and they're both absolutely fantastic from start to finish (I think Rust Underground pales in comparison). Cheers

    1. I got both albums by them... will add them to the must post list...