Wednesday, 24 November 2010

***Mandrake Memorial s/t -US 1968 -Brilliant debut Psych album feat. electric harpsichord!!***

The interplay between the amplified harpsichord and electric guitar in this gem of a psychedelic group is worth the price of admission alone.

There is no air between the tracks so a seamless dance spins hypnotically for 38 minutes through a variety of moods and tempos.

Chord progressions and musical structure sound a wee bit simplistic and dated on this first outing, but nothing grates and the vocals are silky and soothing.

The musicianship is excellent though slightly constrained in the studio, compared to their live concerts.

Mandrake Memorial seemed to play constantly in the Philadelphia area when I was groping my way through adolescence.

I saw them three times without really trying, they just showed up where I happened to be, from Beach Haven, NJ to my high school auditorium at Conestoga in Berwyn PA.

On stage they didn't jump around, they weren't flashy like Nazz, or obtuse and humorous like Lothar and the Hand People, (two other regional groups Mandrake were friends with) -they just played really fine rock.

Music that moved but was also poetic, ethereal and dreamlike--their sound defined a very rich, turbulent and painfully short era (1968 through 1970) for those who came of age in that time.

Today Mandrake's music is still refreshingly cheerful, introspective, warm and innovative. They are also overlooked and unknown on a national scale.

Mandrake Memorial was a cherished group by those who grew up with them. They were the tangible and accessible underground alternative to commercial top 40 radio.

I know friends who kept their Mandrake albums into the 1980's and were delighted when they finally reappeared on cd. After 9/11/01 I sought the selective comfort of nostalgia and the smiling sounds of forgotten friends. Mandrake Memorial's first album fit the bill perfectly.

I started listening to these guys in the late 60's and to me this album is timeless.

I actually heard them for the first time in 68 when they played on the same card as The Doors! They stole the show that night. A sold out arena and they got a standing ovation! I immediately became a fan!

If there is a question in your mind don't hesitate to GET THIS CD!!!! (by Das Organic Impressionist).

01. Bird Journey
02. Here I Am
03. Rainy May
04. This Can't Be Real
05. Dark Lady Listen
06. House Of Mirrors
07. To A Lonely
08. Strange
09. Next Number
10. Sunday Noon

Mandrake Memorial:
*Craig Anderton (guitar, modulator)
*Randy Monaco (bass, vocals)
*Kevin Lally (drums)
*Michael Kac (keyboards, vocals)

Price at Amazon:
3 new from $199.00, 5 used from $127.50 (!!!!!!)

Here i am


zappahead said...

thanks for sharing this....never heard of them before so looking forward to it....nice write-up....much appreciated....cheers.

zappahead said...

Thanks for putting this up...really good early 60's sounds....much appreciated....cheers.