Saturday, April 8, 2017

Gun - 1968 - Gun


01. Race With The Devil 3:40
02. The Sad Saga Of The Boy And The Bee 4:15
03. Rupert's Travels 2:30
04. Yellow Cab Man 4:50
05. It Won't Be Long (Heartbeat) 4:30
06. Sunshine 3:30
07. Rat Race 5:30
08. Take Off 12:30

Bass Guitar – Paul Curtis
Drums – Louis Farrell
Lead Guitar – Adrian Curtis

The long and winding tale of the two brothers involved in the making of this record (Paul and Adrian Gurvitz) begins here with this fuzzy and  weighty record. While there is plenty about this record to like, there are a couple of caveats. The band were coming off the tail end of the British Invasion, a time when record producers had more say than bands on how their finished products sounded. Thus there’s some  meddling with horns and strings that are wholly inappropriate for a band with power trio aspirations. Opener “Race With The Devil” is one of the damaged goods, a riffy and quick number that’s poisoned with brass interludes (not unlike Uriah Heep’s disastrous “Salisbury”). Nevertheless it was a sizable British hit and has received retooled versions aplenty. The same problems affect the next two cuts, but by “Yellow Cab Man” things get more under control, being a fuzzy and driving number with some very cool guitar handling from Adrian Gurvitz. “It Won’t Be Long (Heartbeat)” works in much the same way only more trippy, while those in love with long psych freak outs will favor the 11 booming and swirling minutes of “Take Off.” It’s interesting to dig the Eastern flavor of this track, the boys perhaps having bent an ear to what Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had been bringing to the Yardbirds guitar-wise. And while this record is not as brute volume wise as we’d like it to be, that’s more a problem of limited technology and production control. Louder and bass and drums could make this a far more revelatory heavy experience, which makes me ponder if any live recordings of this band were made. Anyways their second 1969’s Gunsight was more mature in many ways and less beholden to outside meddling. It’s also more acoustic, darker and varied. It’s good stuff, but this one will perhaps find the most favor with reverential metal heads in search of the music’s embryonic slime.

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