Sunday, April 2, 2023

Poobah - Steamroller (1979 us, solid underground heavy rock, 2005 remaster with xtra tracks)

The story of guitarist/vocalist Jim Gustafson is a long one. Poobah is his most famous band and this record was originally released on a small label in 1979. The band at this time was very hard working and dedicated and not only do we get the full record but also some extra live tracks from 1979. The booklet has some great pictures and a very nice long interview with Jim to compliment the music. Poobah was at this time one, if not the best underground US hard rock acts. 

Great guitar work and cool hard rocking songs….Jump thru the Golden Ring is a killer track with a great guitar riff and Jim’s high pitched vocals at times. He plays a ripping solo on this long 7½ minute track, which you also are treated to a more psychedelic live version as one of the bonus tracks. Integrated Circuit is a short instrumental work out that leads into You don’t Love me, which features a heavy bass line and some blasting guitar! No shortage of guitar solos in Poobah! I would not say that Jim is really into writing deep lyrics, just rock and roll ones about women, like the next number, She’s that kind of Lover, which features a long guitar workout. 

The title track is next and later is included a live well extended version that is even better. This is a slow paced track with heavy riff and nasty solo! Atom Bomb is an unreleased track from the 1979 recording session that made this record and it features the drummer on the piano. I can see why they left this one off the record as it is something really different and did not really fit with the rock tracks but it is still a pretty cool laid back track to start before it takes off into a jam with Jim playing that mean ass guitar. Frustration is a short 2 minute rock track and sung by the bass player Phil Jones. Don’t Change features 12 string guitar and is a quite cool special track. 

The regular album ends with Rock and Roll, a cover of the Led Zeppelin song. The 4 live tracks are also great with the band really jamming it out and it is more psychedelic than the actual record. Cool band…
by Scott Heller
1. Jump Thru The Golden Ring (Jim Gustafson) - 7:36
2. Integrated Circuit (Jim Gustafson, Judd Gaylord) - 1:43
3. You Don't Love Me (Jim Gustafson, Judd Gaylord, Phil Jones) - 3:53
4. She's The Kind Of Lover (Jim Gustafson, Phil Jones) - 5:31
5. Steamroller (Jim Gustafson) - 4:40
6. Atom Bomb (Jim Gustafson, Judd Gaylord) - 6:21
7. Frustration (Jim Gustafson, Phil Jones) - 2:17
8. Don't Change (Jim Gustafson, Phil Jones) - 6:29
9. Rock And Roll (Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant) - 4:20
10.Mr. Destroyer (Jim Gustafson) - 9:33
11.You Don't Love Me (Jim Gustafson, Judd Gaylord, Phil Jones) - 4:29
12.Jump Thru The Golden Ring (Jim Gustafson) - 7:13
13.Steamroller (Jim Gustafson) - 8:44
Tracks 10-13 recorded Live at Biggy's, June 30th 1979

*Jim Gustafson - Lead, Acoustic, 12 String Guitars, Organ, Vocals
*Phil Jones - Bass, Vocals
*Judd Gaylord - Drums, Percussion, Piano

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