Thursday, December 28, 2023

Asgard - For Asgard (1972 us, fascinating hard prog psych rock, 2023 remaster)

Asgard (initially known as Osgoode, named after the street where Blue Cheer had their headquarter) was a San Francisco band featuring ace guitar player Bob Hardy (a veteran of many Bay Area bands since the early 60s) and Jake ‘Gelon’ Lau (Gideon & Power, Mary McCreary, Tribe…) on electric violin and vocals.

“For Asgard” features nine original tracks, perfectly recorded and played, dominated by Bob Hardy’s outstanding fuzzy lead guitar and the cool touch of Gelon’s Lau electrified violin that recalls UK prog-psych bands like the similar named Asgærd or High Tide at times. Hard to believe that such a pro-recorded, top quality album like this was never released at the time. After playing a celebrated free concert at the Provo Park in Berkeley alongside bands like Mother Cat and Summerhill, the band slowly disintegrated. 
1. Carmen - 6:03
2. For Asgard - 5:13
3. Vespucci (The Dutiful) - 4:42
4. Fool (Gelon Lau, Phil Robyn) - 4:20
5. So Let Go (Bob Hardy) - 5:34
6. If I Had Anything To Say (Jack May) - 3:44
7. You Raise By Body Temperature, Baby - 3:50
8. Center of the Sky (Bob Hardy) - 5:49
9. Reflections - 5:02
10.Your Mouth Tastes Like You Just Woke Up (Bob Hardy, Harkens) - 3:26
11.Cradle of Love (Bob Hardy, Phil Robyn, Gelon Lau) - 5:10
12.For Asgard - 6:16
13.Reflections - 5:42
All songs by Gelon Lau except where stated
Bonus Tracks 10-13

*Phil Robyn - Bass 
*Steve Hall - Drums, Backing Vocals 
*Jack May - Electric Guitar 
*Bob Hardy - Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Piano, Pedal Steel Guitar, Effects 
*Gelon Lau - Vocals, Violin