Saturday, 20 November 2010

Afterglow (US 1968 Psych)

An obscure psychedelic band based in Oregon, Afterglow released only one album in 1968 before vanishing. Afterglow's lone, eponymous release was sort of like a sampler of American psychedelic styles, featuring songs that recalled not only the Doors and Jefferson Airplane, but also the Byrds, Donovan and trippy garage-psychedelic bands like the Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Led by guitarist/vocalist Tony Tecumseh, the group formed in August of 1965 when Tecumseh was convinced by a friend to contact drummer Larry Alexander and a bassist named Mike. The trio, dubbed the Madallions, soon added vocalist Gene Resler and the band played several shows, usually at a local pizza parlor, before they went their separate ways to attend college. They re-formed in 1966, adding new bassist Ron George and keyboardist Roger Swanson. That fall, they began recording with producer Leo Lukla at his Golden State Recorders studio, but due to their studies, they were unable to complete an album until late 1967; the resulting eponymous record appeared early the following year on MTA Records. Afterglow was ignored at the time and the group broke up shortly afterward, but the record became a favorite of psychedelic collectors and was reissued by Sundazed Records in 1995.

Afterglow starts with "Morning," a gentle folk-rock song that finds the middle ground between the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane. Although there are a couple of tracks similar to "Morning" on the album, it is no more an indication of what's to follow as any other song on the record. Each song on Afterglow sounds as if it could have been written by different bands -- sure, there is the sighing "Mend This Heart of Mine," but it follows the downright bizarre "Susie's Gone," which, with its dissonant Farfisa organs and slide guitars, sounds like a space voyage gone bad. It's not particularly coherent but its nature as a sampler makes Afterglow a charming psychedelic relic.
AMG Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

02.Dream Away
03.Susie's Gone
04.Mend This Heart of Mine
05 Afternoon
06.Chasing Rainbows
07.By My Side
08.It's a Wonder
10.Riding Home Again
11.Meadowland of Love
12.Susie's Gone (altered version)
13.Chasing Rainbows (unissued alternate backing track)
14.Afternoon (unissued altered backing track)

susie's gone, lol