Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stone Harbour - Emerges (1974 us, rough basement acid psych)

Stone Harbour  are two multi-instrumentalists creating a melancholic dreamlike state with songs fading in and out of the speakers, cavemen drums, primitive electronics and murky fuzz lurking in the background. The best tracks go into places no other albums reach. 

Actually closer to the heart of psychedelia than most other records listed here.' Acid Archives of Underground Sounds 'What's a boy to do? It's 1974, you're young and have a head full of Hawkwind and Roky and the Elevators, and old brutalist blues in the Hound Dog Taylor/Fred McDowell backwoods whisky-fucked mode; you're stuck in Hicksville, USA; the music scene sucks: glam's dead or dying slowly; punk is a good year or so from even starting to get itself born. 

Town's too damn small to even muster up a band. It's just and your buddy and that's it, man. So you grow your hair and wear satin, wander wide-eyed and tripping across small-town railway tracks and hang loose at the weekend in your basement. You gather a bunch of cheapo instruments on the never-never and you start cutting low-fi bedroom demos. Stone Harbour were Ric Ballas and Dave McCarty, and out of nowhere and nothing, at entirely the wrong time, they cut an LP that will blow your head clean off. This is a trip into the true dark heart of psychedelia! 

The music? 'You'll Be a Star' shimmers and aches in the midnight; cymbals wash over you, Dave McCarty's vocals emerge from some subterranean cave, as the keyboards flicker, flicker, flash across the periphery of the song; 'Rock & Roll Puzzle' is dark, twisted fried garage punk blues brutality, pre-empting The Gories and Pussy Galore by a good ten years! Songs fade in and out; finger-picking blurs into screaming squelching synths; guitars melt in the mid-summer heat. 

'Grains of Sand' frazzles like The Stooges through a fucked-up amp and filtered through a transistor radio with the valves burning out, whilst 'Summer Magic is Gone' is the most haunted, haunting song in many a long strange moon. Shimmers like stars in the 2 am fog and haze, and bleeds lost and lonely and bruised into the heat-warped dawn. You're still awake, although the brain doesn't work like it used to. 

Blurred and bleary and exhilarated and stoned to the very core of your soul.' Booklet includes lyrics and notes; disc has a handful of previously unreleased tracks from 1975 sessions as bonus tracks.
1. You'll Be A Star (Ric Ballas, Dave McCarty) - 4:34
2. Rock 'n' Roll Puzzle (Ric Ballas, Dave McCarty) - 3:16
3. Grains Of Sand (Ric Ballas, Dave McCarty) - 5:14
4. Summer Magic Is Gone - 3:15
5. Stone's Throw - 1:25
6. Thanitos - 1:48
7. Still Like That Rock 'n' Roll - 4:02
8. Ride - 3:30
9. Dying To Love You - 3:24
10.Workin' For The Queen - 3:05
11.Taurus - 4:15
12.Wonderland (Ric Ballas, Dave McCarty) - 3:58
13.Witch To You (Ric Ballas, Dave McCarty) - 4:37
14.BattleAxe - 3:17
15.(Untitled) - 1:00
All songs by Ric Ballas  except where noted

Stone Harbour
*Ric Ballas - Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
*Dave McCarty - Vocals, Drums, Percussion

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