Sunday, June 25, 2023

Madder Lake - Butterfly Farm (1974 australia, excellent psych prog glam rock, 2008 remaster and expanded)

Here we have the second album from Melbourne prog-rockers Madder Lake, remastered to pristine clarity and assembled with some live bonus tracks for the fans. There is a particular honk to the vocals of Mick Fettes that is unmistakably Australian, and these tales of misplaced fairy-folk and rogue travellers are such an endearing postmark of 1970’s prog songwriting that it’s hard not to get a bit sentimental. 

The pub-rockier moments are perhaps the less appealing here – the unglamorous Rodney’s Birthday and the cheeky cheese of Booze Blues, perhaps don’t translate too well to the modern listener. However, witness the moog and organ-soaked tripper Mothership, daringly long at 7 minutes for the second track;  an intriguing and serene ghost ride through the bones of Pink Floyd and Jon Lord. 

Perhaps the best track is the final of the album proper – Back Seat Song, a jaunty glam rock stomp, with Grateful Dead harmonies punctuating the simian growls of Fettes. All in all, this is a difficult album to love – with little of the subtlety or majestic musicianship of their clear muses of the time, but as a piece of rock history it holds true as a glimpse into an era of Aussie music.
by Aidan Roberts, 9 June 2009
1. Rodney's Birthday - 3:01
2. Mothership - 7:42
3. Booze Blues - 2:56
4. Ride On Fast - 4:27
5. One Star And The Moon - 5:21
6. Butterfly Farm - 3:34
7. Slack Alice - 5:10
8. Back Seat Song - 3:28
9. It's All In Your Head - 3:54
10.I Get High (Don Nix, Jimmy Hill, Tommy Adderley) - 3:28
11.Rodney's Birthday - 2:57
12.Lizards - 5:06
All songs by Mick Fettes, Jack Kreemers, Brendon Mason, Kerry McKenna, Andy Cowan except track #10 
Reacks 1-8 from "Butterfly Farm", March 1974
Track 9 Single A-Side November 1974
Track 10 Single A-Side July 1976
Track 11 From "Garrison The Final Blow Unit 1" October 1973
Track 12 From "Highlights Of Sunbury '74" May 1974

Madder Lake
*Mick Fettes - Vocals
*Jack Kreemers - Drums
*Brendon Mason - Guitar
*Kerry McKenna - Bass 
*Andy Cowan - Keyboards
*John McKinnon - Keyboards (Track 10)
*Ian Holding - Bass (Track 10)