Saturday, February 24, 2024

Songs - Vertigo (1973-75 us, exceptional west coast acid folk psych rock, 2023 remaster)

Bob Hardy and Cristopher Quinn met at River Junior College in Sacramento in the late sixties and formed Good Medicine in 1969, with which they played in their area and on the radio. Years later they joined Tim Timmermanns in 1973 (drums, flute, guitar...) and created Songs. Bob played guitar, bass, synthesizer, and sang, and Christopher Quinn was lead vocals. This trio recorded these songs between 1973 and 1975, which are collected for the first time on an album, released by Guerssen with the generic title of "Vertigo". 

Already in the eighties, Chris and Bob were part of bands called The Impulse or The Power. Tim continued to collaborate with Craig Chaquico’s band and John Cipollina in the late seventies. Hardy is currently recording songs under the name Forth Dimension Meditations Sounds that you can hear on his bandcamp while he claims to recover his beginnings. The Songs album is remastered from the original tapes, with photo inserts and liner notes.

Album begins with “Vertigo” between sound effects that lead us to a display of acoustics, powerful drums and enveloping vocals halfway between folk and acid rock with an abrasive guitar solo. Next, we hear “No Time Out For Blues” with Arthur Juncker on piano. Song with a notable presence of guitar plus voice dialogue with lysergic phrasing with the support of drums and bass. “Songs (for Chris)” follows with a moving piano entry plus synthesizer covering a passionate lead voice that is supported by the flute and the plucking of the acoustic. A more progressive part with flute solo is included. The side ends with “We Are” based on an atmospheric synthesizer and ethereal vocal games that fill the space with sound beauty with a rough guitar ending.

“Too Much, Too Fast” with Bob Bryzandine on bass. A tough psychedelic song with powerful guitars, an intense solo, great voices, sound effects and sharp drums. It continues with the melodious “Song For Me” with acoustic guitar, voice and flute accompaniment. The drums incorporate a jazzy air that is perfectly complemented by the folk, vocal and instrumental arrangements. There is also no shortage of acid guitar phrasings that perfect, even more so, such a suggestive song. The album closes with “On This Day”, a sensitive framework of synthesizer, guitar plucks, effects and ethereal voices that are combined with great skill and abundance of emotion. A song that advances inexorably with the refined presence of the flute, the flowing lines of the synthesizers, the weightless vocal experiments, and the ingenious rhythm of the percussion.
1. Vertigo (Craig Chaquico, Tim Timmermans) - 3:41
2. No Time Out For Blues (Arthur Juncker) - 2:03
3. Songs (For Chris) - 4:14
4. We Are - 5:04
5. Too Much, Too Fast (Chris Quinn, Bob Hardy) - 5:07
6. Song For Me - 4:39
7. On This Day - 7:29
Songs written by Tim Timmermans except where stated

*Christopher Quinn - Vocal
*Tim Timmermans - Acoustic Guitar, Flute, Drums, Piano, Vocal, Bells
*Bob Hardy - Electric Guitar, Bass, Vocal, Synthesizer, Effects
*Arthur Juncker - Piano
*Bob Byzandine - Bass

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