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Guns And Butter - Guns And Butter CD (album) cover


Guns And Butter


Eclectic Prog

2.94 | 21 ratings

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3 stars This band from Boston had its seeds in late-60's with old-time friends Jeff Lyons (vocals), Peter Cohen (bass), Paul Cohen (guitar) and Peter Tucker (drums) jamming together and swirling around concerts of famous bands.In early 1970 they recruited Richard Ploss on flute/sax/clarinet and headed for a personal musical approach.Shortly after they were joined by Classical-trained violinist Lenny Federer.Federed, who has been travelling around the world since a little kid -propably due to his parents' occupations- had settled in Boston around the time and attended the Boston University.Tired of the Classical orchestrations, he searched for a new challenge and Guns & Butter was exactly what he was lookining for.Turning point comes, when the band was offered a set of lives at Lennie's on the Turnpike club, owned by Lennie Sogoloff.They came to the attention of Marshal Chess, business manager of the Rolling Stones, and they were offered a place in the list of Atlantic bands.They released their self-titled debut in 1972 on Atlantic's sublabel Cotillion.

''Guns & Butter'' has to be one of the most challenging albums of the premature US Prog scene of the 70's.While dominated by 60's Psych and Pop leftovers, it has a demanding instrumental background, not easily found in American groups of the time.They have been compared to British Prog pioneers EAST OF EDEN and this is a very good reference point.The omnipresent use of wind instruments and the Classical touches provided by Federer's impressive violin executions led to series of complicated and intricate arrangements with a rock attitude, but influenced by the principles of Jazz and Classical Music.The vocals are like coming from a mid-60's Psych Pop album, clean, expressive, but not quite suitable to the irritating musicianship.On the other hand the instrumenal passages are pretty fascinating, featuring endless interplays between sax, flute, guitar and violin, containing lots of unexpected breaks and often opening the doors for a more guitar-driven Psychedelic Rock style.The atmosphere is dominated by a rich palette with plenty of driving violin parts, jazzy sax solioing and some very good flute work.Anywise they have been very much influenced also by the early albums of JETHRO TULL.I am surprised that these guys surpassed the standard bluesy values of US Rock and their style was rather ahead of its time.

They have dissapeared like falling in a black hole after this album.Many years later Jeff Lyons was detected in the line-up of a Power Pop band called Angry Young Bees, with whom he played in a sole single around 1981.

Rich, emphatic and quite innovative early-70's mix of Jazz, Classical and Rock Music, showered consistently by psychedelic influences.Warmly recommended, especially taking the country and time of realease into consideration.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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