понедельник, 22 октября 2012 г.

Sweet Toothe - Testing 1975 ℗ Dominion Records

Artist: Sweet Toothe
Album: Testing
℗ 1975 Dominion Records
Catalogue#: NR 7360-2
Produced by Benny Quinn & Patrick Glossop
Nashville -based
Printed in US
Genre: Heavy, Fuzz, Psychedelic Rock
Total Time: 00:36:06

"Testing" - очень редкий альбом. В 1975  его записала совершенно неизвестная американская группа Sweet Toothe из небольшого города Блуфилд в Вирджинии. В середине 70-х провинциальная группа пережила несколько минут славы, разогревая публику перед концертным выступлением воссоединившихся Iron Butterfly. Ожидавший своих любимцев переполненный зал рукоплескал и Sweet Toothe. Знатоки ценят альбом как раритет, но справедливо считают его крайне неровным. Есть ещё одно издание альбома с немного другой обложкой, вероятно бутлег, а также небольшой, но вполне законный тираж лейбла "Void". Опус Sweet Toothe может нравиться или нет, но он фигурирует в каталоге Ганса Покоры "1001 Record Collector Dreams". Лучшими треками альбома считаются "All The Way Home" (психоделия) и "Karen" (образец мелодичного поп-рока). Известно, что Эмерсон Конли в 1992 г. издал сольный альбом "The Power of Love".

Produced by Benny Quinn and Patrick Glossop, 1975's "Testing" was \ released by the small Nashville-based Dominion Records. Interestingly, on those rare occasions it shows up on sales lists, the LP is frequently billed as psychedelic. It isn't. Sure, thanks in large measure of Conley's fuzz guitar, there were occasional psych touches, the most notable being the lyric to 'All the Way Home', but the majority of the album offered up more conventional hard rock structures. Propelled by Hopkins' attractive voice and Conley's nifty fuzz guitar, tracks such as 'Karen', 'Music's Gotta Stay', 'You Know How To Love Me and 'E.R.' sported great melodies and a sense of enthusiasm that must have made these guys a great live act. Even their isolated stab at country bar band material ('Wind and Water') was likeable. True, there wasn't anything particularly original, or earth shattering across these ten tracks, but the performances were uniformly energetic and enjoyable with some roaring lead guitar. Even more impressive, for a small private pressing, credit producers Quinn and Glossop with giving the album a wonderful, deep and full sound. Played loud on a quality stereo system, this LP rocks !!!

Opening up with some of the prettiest fuzz guitar you've ever heard (not a description you normally associate with the effect), 'Karen' was a breezy, bluesy ballad with some highly eccentric sci-fi-ish lyrics. I've listened to the song dozens of times and don't have a clue what it's about ... The song was also tapped as the 'A' side for a promo single.
       - Rating: ★★★★ stars
More cowbell please ... 'Music's Gotta Stay' found the band taking a step toward being funky ! No you weren't going to mistake them for The Ohio Players, but the song actually had a enjoyable slinky feel. Conley and David Leedy turned in some fantastic dual lead guitar work.
      - Rating: ★★★★ stars
Kicked along by some great harmonica (and I'm not a big fan of the instrument), 'Wind and Water' found the band switching musical gears, offering up a likeable slice of country-rock. Great melody that I unexpectedly find myself humming on a regular basis.
      - Rating: ★★★ stars
Like most mid-1970s bands, I have absolutely no doubt that these guys got screwed over royally by everyone they dealt with in the music business. Those experiences seem to be the basis for 'Live In Concert' and it's dark and cynical the-music-business-sucks narrative. Kudos to the band for including an anti-drug stance in the lyric when it wasn't a very popular thing to do, and to P.D. Bratton who turned in some amazing bass work.
      - Rating: ★★★★ stars
Not exactly a pop tune, but buoyed by some surprisingly attractive harmony vocals (and killer lead guitar), 'You Know How To Love Me' was definitely one of the album's more commercial numbers.
      - Rating: ★★★★ stars
'Just Loved Look' opened side two with a hard core blues-rock number ... very Allman Brothers sounding. Great if you liked Duane and Greg, but may have been a bit too pedestrian for others.
      - Rating: ★★ stars
Another change of pace, the mid-tempo ballad 'In the Beginning' was the most conventional and radio-friendly number. Pretty melody, uplifting lyrics, and it closed out with some of Conley's most energetic playing. What wasn't there to like on this one ?
      - Rating: ★★★★ stars
I have no idea who 'E.R.' was, but powered by Bratton's bass, this was one killer rock track. In fact my only complaint was the song's abrupt ending.
      - Rating: ★★★★ stars
'All the Way Home' offered up a likeable slice of Foghat-styled boogie rock. Another personal favorite with Conley and Leedy just tearing the studio apart and the band again demonstrating some surprisingly sweet harmony vocals.
      - Rating: ★★ stars
'Swamp Fox;' was another boogie track with a slinky edge.
Fun, though the falsetto harmonies were a bit shrill.
      - Rating: ★★ stars.

There was also a limited edition promo single. According to one of the band members, only 200 copies were pressed: 1975's 'Karen' b/w 'Music's Gotta Stay' (Dominion catalog number NR7224-1)
Reportedly only 1,000 copies were pressed, going a long way to explaining the high prices original copies fetch.
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             ♪ Side 1
            1.) Karen - 4:47
            2.) Music's Gotta Stay - 3:21
            3.) Wind and Water - 3:04
            4.) Live In Concert - 5:06
            5.) You Know How To Love Me - 3:28

             ♪ Side 2
            1.) Just Loved Look - 3:55
            2.) In the Beginning - 4:23
            3.) E.R. - 4:00
            4.) All the Way Home - 3:11
            5.) Swamp Fox - 3:14

Bass Guitar – P.D. Bratton
Drums – Michel Chilco
Guitar – David "Blue Eyes" M. Leedy
Lead Guitar – Emerson R. Conley
Vocals – Michael Hopkins

Also, Album a legitimate 400 pressing run by the small Void label (with altered cover art and pressed in white, red, and green vinyl). Guitarist Emerson apparently remastered the tape for the reissue project.  
Conley apparently remained active in music, and reappearing under the name 'Emerson' with a 1992 album on the small LGM label ("The Power of Love" catalog number 2222).
The band has a small website at: http://www.sweettoothetesting.com

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2 комментария:

  1. Класс! Мощно ты информации пораскопал. Отличная раздача! Там, кстати пишут, что не догадываются,что означают буквы "E.R.". А я знаю - это ж инициалы соло-гитариста Конли!

    1. Ха-ха.))) Точно! А я тож думал про эти две буквы.))) А оказалось все так просто.)