Friday, January 20, 2017

Silver Metre - 1970 - Silver Metre

Silver Metre 
Silver Metre

01. Ballad Of A Well Known Gun 3:39
02. Naughty Lady 4:30
03. Gangbang 4:42
04. Country Comforts 3:23
05. Superstar 3:45
06. Sixty Years On 4:20
07. Compromising Situation 3:46
08. Cocklewood Monster 5:15
09. Nightflight 4:15
10. Dog End 3:52

Bass, Organ, Piano – Pete Sears
Drums – Mick Waller
Guitar – Leigh Stephens
Vocals – Jack Reynolds

Silver Metre was a short-lived, San Francisco-based outfit formed by Leigh Stevens, previously with Blue Cheer, and Mick Waller from the Jeff Beck Group. Together with Tom Cowan and Pete Sears, the band released one album in 1970. The album, recorded in England, is basic heavy rock with a spattering of psychedelia. A mix of originals and covers songs, it includes three Elton John/Bernie Taupin compositions: "Country Comforts," "Now They've Found Me," and "Sixty Years On." While the album did not make much impact upon its original release on the small National General label in the U.S., it is of interest to collectors because of the early Waller-Stevens connection. Stephens and Waller would later move on to the British-based band Pilot, a short-lived early-'70s outfit, while Pete Sears was later in Stoneground and Jefferson Starship.

I am not a big fan of the A side of this record. Elton John's "Now They've Found Me" is a bizarre opener and a bit boring. "Naughty Lady" picks up the pace a bit, but still leaves much to be desired. "Gangbang" would have been an okay track if it would have been edited. "Country Comforts" oddly enough sounds like it could have been on Blue Cheer's "Oh! Pleasant Hope," which is not a terrible album, but not a great one by any stretch of the imagination. "Superstar" might be even more of a bizarre cover than Elton John's "Now They've Found Me" and even less of a success. But...

The B side is killer! All is forgiven in my book with "Sixty Years On." I am a sucker for heavy psych ballads and this track is a smoker, even if it is an Elton John song. Not to mention that the lyrics seem much more convincing when sung by Jack Reynolds than Elton. Stephen's guitar work is on the money on this track too. The track ends all too soon leaving me wishing that the jam would have been stretched out across the entire A side.

"Compromising Situation" is a strong track with a punky glam edge to it. "Cocklewood Monster" is the second choice cut on the record. Its a good rockin' track with some tension and dissonance in the riffs which comprise the verses. Definitely one of the more unique songs on the record. "Night Flight" has some interesting syncopation going on in it as well. Stephens is rather contained on the track but it works. The closer, "Dog End" is really the only let down on the second side.

In all honesty, the record as a whole is probably really worth two and a half stars. It makes me wonder if the label wasn't pushing side A as a means to make Silver Metre a commercial success and limiting the band's input. The B side is just so damn good though that I gave it my rather biased four star rating. I like what I like, what can I say?

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