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Writing on the Wall - Power of the Picts CD (album) cover

POWER OF THE PICTS

Writing on the Wall

 

Heavy Prog

3.72 | 19 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars POWER OF THE PICTS is the one-and-only studio album from the little-known WRITING ON THE WALL, an intense, organ-dominated prog/psych-rock group hailing from Scotland and active for a brief-but- brilliant while circa 1969. The line-up consisted of Linnie Patterson(vocals), Willy Finlayson(guitar), Jake Scott(bass), Billy T. Scott (keys), Jimmy Hush(drums) and Alby Greenhalg(wind instr). The group found their first strains of fame, when, after the usual bout of incessant gigging, WOTW travelled down to London and managed to secure themselves a residency at the famed Marquee Club, subsequently wowing the packed arena with a series of wildly exciting live shows. The reward for their exceptional live peformances was a record-deal with the newly formed Orc Records, and soon the six- piece had the difficult task of translating their live brilliance onto tape. POTP was the result and, remarkably, the bands heady brew of blues-drenched, wigged-out guitar-and- organ groove-psych-rock is captured with all it's blazing, barnstorming beauty in-tact. Soundwise they resemble the likes of Hawkwind, May Blitz, Cream and Steppenwolf, but with a uniquely fuzzed-out sound all of their own, with the album boasting 11 ballsy, tripped-out rockers with Billy T. Scott's Organ and Linne Patterson's vocals the dominant forces. Opening track 'It Came On A Sunday' immediately sets out their sonic stall; bluesy guitar-tones, fuzzed- out organ and deep, throaty vocals divided between fast-burning rock numbers and mellower, organ-led pieces that sound like they were thought-up during the wee, small hours of the night. By the time album-closer 'Lucifer's Corpse' is beginning to fade, the listener would have been on a seriously-psychedelic journey through late-sixties, spliffed-up rock accompanied bymanic-yet-expert instrumental verve and whacked-out lyrical looniness. Sadly though, this would be WOTW's moment in the sun, with poor album-sales and, eventually, the theft of almost all their equipment, contributing to their eventual dis-banding. They left behind one excellent album, and one wonders what more they were capable of if given the chance. The late sixties and early-seventies are filled with talented psych/prog groups that failed to make it big despite some innovative LP's, and WOTW unfortunately fill that unlucky clutch of groups. However, in recent years, this wild Scots six-pieces debut album has found a following and is finally been given the attention and ciritical accalim it deserves with renewed interest leading to a new fans website and two new CD reissues of this album hitting the shops. This reviewer loved POTP; It may be obscure, but it's a great example of hard-edged sixties acid-rock and a genuine, bondafide, sparkling hidden gem.

***The current Orc Records reissue comes with a bonus album entitled 'Buffalo' that was apparently left unfinished. Incredibly, it's musically as good as POTP. The sound-quality, however, is not the best. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2009

a venue seen as the six-piece soon startedfound their niche with a series of rip-roaring shows, briefly gaining them a reputation as a top underground live act. The band's heady brew of wigged-out guitar- and-organ psych-rock drenched in heavy blues suited the live-scene of the era and their fame and reputation inthsi medium secured them a residency at the Marquee Club in London.

stefro | 4/5 |

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