Thursday, April 6, 2017

Giant Crab - 1969 - Cool It... Helios

Giant Crab
Cool It... Helios

01. The Invasion Of Helios
02. Cool It
03. Hello Yesterday
04. Trust Somebody
05. Don't Make Me Leave You
06. What Became Of Yesterday's Hero
07. Welcome To The World
08. Help Yourself
09. It's Getting Harder
10. Who Can Teach A Sondbird How To Sing
11. Everything Comes Sooner Or Later
12. Cleo
13. Don't Jump To Conclusions
14. Popcorn Double Feature
15. Walking In Different Circles
16. I Don't Want To Live This Way

Ernie Orosco (Lead singer, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, 12-string guitar, vocal harmonies)
Raymond Orosco (12-string, dry box, and bass guitars, clavinet, special effects, and vocal harmonies)
Ruben Orosco (Bass guitar, drums, saxophones, special effects, and vocal harmonies)
Dennis Fricia (Drums, horn (instrument), special effects, and vocal harmonies)
Kenny Fricia (Organ (instrument), piano, clavinet, horns, vibes, special effects and vocal harmonies)

Released the following year, "Cool It ... Helios" found the band opting for a concept piece.  Apparently based on Greek mythology, the plotline alluded us.  Like the debut, the album started out with another Johnny Fairchild rambling leadoff narrative.  Unfortunately, "The Invasion of Helios" didn't do much to explain what was happening.  Overall the band's pop-rock sound remained largely unchanged, though horn-propelled numbers such as "Help Yourself", "Hello Yesterday" and "Welcome To the World" continued the band's drift towards a less attractive MOR sensibility. Elsewhere, with it's sitar lead, "Who Can Teach the Songbird How To Sing" was among the few numbers harkening back to their psychedelic roots. Curiously, while the debut was largely self-penned, here not one of the 16 tracks was an original. (The fractal cover was kinda' neat.)

Consistent follow-up by late sixties soul drenched sunny popsike crew.
With eight short FM-formatted songs per side this seems like their ultimate (or desperate) grasp for stardom. Except for the 1st narrated 'soundtrack' intro, the songs definitely sound chart-friendly and obviously bear strong hit-potential; some tracks should have been, some might have been, but most simply weren't, which is a shame because they're all compact and cleverly composed. The main themes emphasise won and lost love and the obvious sikedelik escapism from it all. A big plus goes to the vocals which are crystalline clear, powerfully strong and lavishly arranged.  A professionally produced and remarkably fresh sounding album.

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