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Clear Blue Sky - Clear Blue Sky CD (album) cover

CLEAR BLUE SKY

Clear Blue Sky

 

Heavy Prog

3.36 | 53 ratings

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Xonty
4 stars "Clear Blue Sky" is one of those albums that emerged from the virtually two-year-long period (1970 and 71) that presented us with a myriad of heavy psych/prog, most of which are still undiscovered. This record stands out because, despite the slight lack of musical prowess to bring them above their more renowned peers at the time, their ambition is undeniable. Right from the first moments of "Journey To The Inside Of The Sun", that signature guitar sound (reminiscent of "Sea Shanties") grips you. It's such a filthy, raw tone that beautifully misfits the pompous theme of the opener. Of course, it's almost certainly unintentional and just due to the absence of good recording equipment/instruments. Therefore, I suppose it's mainly an non-prevailing sympathy for the zealousness of this determined band.

Many passages can be as overwhelming as an early blues/metal song, and they probably take influences from groups like Led Zep and Black Sabbath. However, they are still ultimately stuck in the psychedelic 60s, not wanting it to end. Therefore, an oddly alluring combination of heavy rock and psychedelic music (ergo "heavy psych") is produced, but I think that Clear Blue Sky struck on just the right balance. Furthermore, their unsophisticated sound makes them kind of an underdog in the growing scene of the 70s, and listening to them take you to right into their perspective of music. Unfortunately, their potential was never explored, presumably due to a lack of funding from record companies.

"You Mistify" displays some surprisingly effective chord progressions and relatively intricate passages, contrasted with that raw timbre that the group brandish. The following track "Tool Of My Trade" is similarly lysergic, but overall demonstrates their numerous styles more vividly. The concisely rhythmic sections, and excellent moments of light and shade here take the band further in some ways, and keep the quality from deviating. "My Heaven" draws some folkier, or at least janglier acoustic influences. Again, the musical escapades the band undertake set them apart from their cohorts. "Birdcatcher" draws the album to a close. I think they're clinging onto the past a little too much with the fuzz guitars and Hendrix imitations, but experimentalism from the wistful flute solo adds some colour. Overall, "Clear Blue Sky" narrowly clinch a 4-star rating from me, but the more tangible personality of the band secures their place.

B(-): Certainly not a masterpiece, but a very much under-appreciated record in that swamp of heavy proto-prog. The essence of "Clear Blue Sky" offers an all-pervading sense of heartfelt freedom and a search for something great, which I find irresistible.

Xonty | 4/5 |

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