Friday, 6 August 2010

The Spoils of War (Self-titled -1969) -FANTASTIC ELECTRONIC TRIPPY PSYCH RARITY!!

Little is known about this late-'60s psychedelic group, except that they were dominated by James Cuomo, who wrote all of the material in addition to producing it. From Urbana, IL, they recorded an album's worth of unreleased tracks in 1969 which finally saw the light of day as a very limited edition German LP in 1998. The record is interesting as an early example of a rock band making heavy use of experimental electronics. These augment, and occasionally overwhelm, Cuomo's rather fragile and spooky songs, which are often real songs, despite the overlays of and detours into effects and noise. It's somewhat in the style of the United States of America or Fifty Foot Hose, although it certainly isn't as excellent and innovative as the U.S.A., nor as conversant with the potential of electronic equipment as Fifty Foot Hose. Worth hearing, though, if you're into that vibe, Cuomo sometimes exhibiting a spacier and folkier sensibility than his counterparts did. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide


-You know from the very start you're in for something extraordinary. With its wailing feedback, layers of spaced out effects and weird-as-weird-can-get lyrics, it's easy to describe The Spoils of War as a psych outfit, and in many ways they are. To do so, however, would short change them. Psychedelic is chiefly a phenomenon of the 1960s and this album was recorded in that headiest of eras, but it sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. We've all got a lot of catching up to do, to keep up with what these guys were doing 40-odd years ago! There are strong jazz and folk influences, as well as gestures to the modal arrangements of the more experimental classical composers. But in truth, there is no adequate way of describing this recording, due to an absence of referents. It really is that original. Perhaps I should just call it Art and leave it at that. I think that'd be doing it an injustice, though, as The Spoils of War are ultimately listenable. No matter how avant garde they get there is always structure and melody. The group were a short-lived entity, only producing one studio album, and it's hard to determine if the extremely high quality is due to brilliant musicianship, intuitive genius or inspired production. All three are present in abundance here. Add to that a cover that is pure sci-fi nightmare kitsch and you've got something special indeed.

-this is truly one of the greatest pieces of music i ever heard! so freaked out and/but on the other hand it all comes together with harmonies and sections, raw recording,(sounding like it was done in a bathroom...) man this is just wonderful..! i really cant say how happy i am after hearing this! it was missing from my collection for a while, i found the lp and now got a mint copy on disc, if you are lookin to expand your head/collection then get this.. or even if you look for the next thing, this will come as a great surprise..

This has not aged at all. super weird and it hits all the right tones. get freaked and get your head laid! if i only ever had to have one piece of music with me then this would be it.. i love to freak y'see!!

this is a personal lp, it will take you there! i thoroughly recommend this piece of genius!

Track Listings
1. Walk In Walk Out
2. First Love Last Love
3. E-Thing
4. You're The Girl
5. Now Is Made In America
6. Rit Yellow Of The Sun
7. Crimson Uniform/Jena's Score
8. Record Rejects/After The Party/Lonesome Is A Truer Word/End
9. What Happens Now/Now Is Made In America/Henry T. Joseph
10. Void Of Mystery/Greyness Moves In Quietly
11. Susan Never Smiles
12. Ring Magic Telephone Ring
13. Victoria Falls



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Anonymous said...

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zappahead said...

Well, if its anything like there later lp...part 2...then this is one hell of a trip......thanks for sharing this gem....much appreciated...cheers.

Doktor Alphonzo said...

Mama Mia!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for this! great stuff.