Although it is a compilation of bands (Fury, Distance, Liquid Diamonds, Testors) which all had Sonny Vincent, the proper curation made the record consistent yet varied enough not to ever become boring. Sound-wise the tracks are on the edge of psychedelic rock but no real chaotic mumbo-jumbo, rather large, extended solos. Everything is sweaty-face-in-trance-desperation tight, mostly mid tempo and big riffs accompany male sorrow.
The atmosphere of the record is dirty, tired, coming down from a trip and looking either for epiphany while staring into the rising sun or for scavenging for an early breakfast before fainting onto a dirty mattress. It is closer to Rocky Erikson than to Stooges, definitely not glam at all and also distant from the proto-punk art rock of the Velvet Underground. In case you are done with the one-finger solos used on two-thirds of your hardcore songs, here is a whole catalog to lift ideas from, or in case you like to consume weed and get lost in classic sounding but still rocking albums or to be a rock dad with obscure knowledge, this can be your pick. It’s a fun listen.
by Viktor Vargyai, April 2020
Sonny Vincent is a true punk pioneer, we all know that already. But did you know how deep this man's well of punk madness really goes? Well, I guess it's taken seven long years since we made that statement, but luckily, here we are with a full LP's worth of those recordings we'd wondered about, providing a pivotal glimpse into one of NYC's most shadowy figures of the underground. It's almost incredulous that his rock n' roll lineage goes back this far, with his first recording made while home on leave from the Vietnam War, and yet he was still a part of the first wave of '70s punk.
If you remember the Fury 7" we released, along with this massive interview, it was apparent that there was more to dig up, and luckily our engineer was able to shine up these riveting primitive proto-punk monsters into reality. Distance were in a primordial heavy psych state on their earliest recording here from 1969, but the voice that you know so well is already in place, and cuts through the foggy throb like a knife's edge. Distance was Sonny's first active band, and were known to have opened for The Dogs & Suicide in 1973, as per the two incredible handmade flyers included on the back cover, and as the liner notes can attest, provided a real-life slice of shock-rock insanity.
On this archival LP, you're treated to three previously unreleased Distance studio tracks from 1969-71, along with a 1972 radio advertisement for a FURY show at Greenwich High School, as well as both FURY tracks from HZR-125 remastered, plus the alternate version of 'Flying.' Possibly the best intersection of The Stooges, Budgie, and Black Sabbath we've ever heard. The second side kicks off with three Liquid Diamonds tracks, both 1973 tracks from HZR-155 remastered here, as well as a sizzling previously unreleased studio demo from 1974, right when the band was starting to lean into Testors territory. Speaking of which, the latest recording on the LP is from one of the earliest Testors recording session, a 1976 studio gem called "Scary" which appears here for the first time anywhere, and provides the bridge from the later Liquid Diamonds sound, into the grittier Testors tonality. And the interview liner notes, are nothing short of a revelation as well. RIYL: Stooges, Black Sabbath, Budgie, Edgar Broughton Band, early UFO, Hawkwind, Motorhead, Pink Fairies, MC5.
1. Distance - She's Like Hiroshima - 3:09
2. Distance - Indecision - 3:47
3. Distance - Lament - 3:12
4. Fury - Radio Advertisement - 1:05
5. Fury - Flying - 3:53
6. Fury - 100% Proof - 4:35
7. Liquid Diamonds - Aw Maw - 3:40
8. Liquid Diamonds - Long Ago - 4:32
9. Liquid Diamonds - All Day - 2:44
10.Testors - Scary - 4:34
11.Fury - Flying - 3:05
*Sonny Vincent - Vocals, Guitar
*Chris Gedney - Bass
*Victor Gonzalez - Drums
*Sonny Vincent - Guitar, Vocals
*Bob Brown - Drums
*Doug Harvey - Bass, Vocals
*Sonny Vincent - Vocals, Guitar
*Gene Sinigalliano - Guitar
*Jeff West - Drums
*Kenneth Brighton - Bass