Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gothic Horizon - The Jason Lodge Poetry Book (1970 uk, beautiful psychedelic folk rock)

The first of the two LPs by this obscure British group offers delicate folk and folk-rock, very much grounded in acoustic guitars, though some percussion and wind instruments are also heard on some tracks. It's not colored, however, with the traditional British folk slant identified with the most well-known of the U.K. acts in the style from the period. 

It's more pop-influenced than trad-influenced, emphasizing the group's high, quavering harmonies on songs that are both wistful and self-effacingly humorous. At their most serious (as on "Wilhelmina Before Sunrise"), they sound a bit like Fairport Convention did in their early pre-traditional folk-rock days (à la "Decameron"). 

At times, a Simon and Garfunkel influence becomes a little too obvious; "St. Valentine's Day Massacre," "Althea Williams," and especially "Pisces" can't fail to recall that celebrated duo, all the way down to Paul Simon-like bent note guitar flourishes. Just to mix things up even more, there are tunes with a somewhat vaudevillian good-time flavor, sounding a little like the Lovin' Spoonful, or Peter and Gordon in their "Lady Godiva"/"Afternoon Tea" era. 

While all of these bands and duos are good ones with whom to have similarities, the usual rule when such similarities crop up applies: Gothic Horizon themselves are not as good or identifiable as any of these apparent influences. It's on the slight and mild side, but nice enough as such second-and-third-tier rarities go, often bearing something of a sunny-morning-by-the-creek feel. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. The Jason Lodge Poetry Book - 4:20
2. Song For Susan - 2:49
3. Odysseus - 5:12
4. A.J.Lone's Dog - 2:52
5. Willow Tree Vale Song - 3:52
6. Six Summers Back - 2:09
7. Song - 3:58
8. Althea Williams - 3:47
9. Wilhelmina Before Sunrise - 3:17
10.St. Valentine's Day Massacre - 2:47
11.A Third For Jason Lodge - 2:09
12.Pisces - 3:48
13.A Farewell Ode To Port Sunlight - 2:34

Gothic Horizon
*Andy Desmond - Six, Twelve String Guitars, Vocals
*Richard Garrett - Vocals
*Mark Helme - Lead Guitar
*Ron Lawrence - Bass
*Gray Richardson - Percussion
*Ian Cameron - Flute
*Eli Bickerstaffe - Banjuele
*Jean Baptiste - Keyboard
*Mike Simmons - "Willow Tree Vale" Guitar
*The Yetties - Vocals

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