Friday, August 31, 2012

Fifty Foot Hose - Cauldron (1968 us, perfectly arranged dark experimental psych rock, Big Beat bonus tracks edition)

This is a true forgotten classic. Out of the great San Francisco acid wave, bassist Louis “Cork” Marcheschi -- along with husband and wife, guitarist and Slick vocalist David and Nancy Blossom, bonus guitarist Larry Evans, and Kim Kimsey on drums -- produced but one album in 1967, then basically faded away into normalcy. At the time, critic Ralph J. Gleason said, “I don’t know if they’re immature or premature.” I believe history has proven them to be the latter. 

While the razor-bladed blues rock fuzz and love laden “I’m just trying to free my mind” lyricism may have been par for the course for that era, the Blossom’s jazz influences met with Marcheschi’s homemade Radiophonic synths and Theremins to create a sound tragically ahead of its time. Acid Mothers Temple makes a decent living these days doing basically the same thing, touring with a Roland synth, but, since Cork made his own, the aural electricity smothering Cauldron in space sounds is just too fantastically dirty and totally original.

Each Doctor Who warp and UFO multidimensional warble is a Technicolor snowflake caught in a notion where time is no longer relevant, totally unable to be absorbed by a mind without blowing it. These remarkable noises augment a solid base of haphazard prog-blues and Nancy’s dispassionate vocals to make an undeniably classic and deservedly legendary LP, easily on par with the greatest works from the Elephant 6 catalogue or anyone who played at the only good Woodstock. I can see why the ’60s generation may not have dug it, though. 

The synthetic opening “And After” sounds like a broken stylus making a feeble impression of a healthy needle as it digs deeper and deeper into the virgin vinyl. Many copies were probably returned on this notion, let alone the fact this is the next level shit today. When this album came out, it was like showing a Shatner-era Star Trek fan The Matrix. They couldn’t really form a full idea as to what they really had in front of them. You sure missed out, 1967.
by Alan Ranta

1. And After  (Marcheschi) - 2:06
2. If Not This Time (Blossom) - 3:39
3. Opus 777 (Marcheschi) - 0:22
4. The Things That Concern You (Evans, Evans) - 3:30
5. Opus 11 (Marcheschi) - 0:26
6. Red The Sign Post (Blossom, Roswicky) - 2:58
7. For Paula (Marcheschi) - 0:30
8. Rose (Blossom) - 5:07
9. Fantasy (Blossom) - 10:14
10. God Bless The Child (Herzog, Holiday) - 2:36
11. Cauldron (Blossom, Kimsey, Marcheschi) - 4:55
12. If Not This Time (Demo) (Blossom) - 3:39
13. Red The Sign Post (Demo) (Blossom, Roswicky) - 2:17
14. Fly Free (Demo) (Blossom) - 2:41
15. Desire (Demo) (Evans) - 11:39
16.(The Ethix) Bad Trip (33 RPM) (Marcheschi) - 3:21
17.(The Ethix) Skins (Marcheschi) - 2:24
18. (The Ethix) Bad Trip (45 RPM) (Marcheschi) - 2:03

Fifty Foot Hose
* David Blossom - Guitar, Piano
* Nancy Blossom - Vocals
* Larry Evans - Guitar, Vocals
* Terry Hansley - Bass
* Kim Kimsey - Drums
* Cork Marcheschi - Electronics, Sound Effects
The Ethix. (Tracks 16 to 18 ) The line-up was possible 
* Cork Marcheschi - Bass
* Bob Noto - Guitar
* Bob Gibson - Vocals
* Gary Doos - Drums

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