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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guns & Butter, USA

Guns & Butter - s/t. 1972 Cotillion.

I've had this one buried in the collection forever. It was one of those albums that in the back of my mind I knew was better than I'd ever given it credit for. If I could just get some time with my turntable.... And indeed this last listen proved my instincts were correct. Wow. Really wow.

Boston based Guns & Butter may be the best example, from the early 70s United States scene that is, of the UK progressive rock movement as headed by the Dawn, Neon and Transatlantic labels. Even the vocals have a certain English affected smoothness to them. The lead instruments are primarily guitar, violin and saxophone (with some additional flute), and the compositions are very complex yet compact. There's a distinct psychedelic aura around this, and it sounds more like a 1969/70 release than anything from 1972. I'm most reminded of the first two East of Eden albums, though I also hear bands like Diabolus and Raw Material creeping in. Side 1 is magnificent, while Side 2 is merely great (though it features the best song on the album 'Lady Grey').

Even today, this is a relatively common record and it isn't expensive. If you still have a turntable, then this is a must buy. Even though they're American, this is the perfect fit for a label like Esoteric (who have released US albums before).

Priority: 1

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