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Groundhogs - Thank Christ for the Bomb CD (album) cover




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3.92 | 49 ratings

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4 stars An Escape from Blues Rock Mundanity is an Escape to Your Emancipation Apparently haha.

This, The Groundhogs' third album, starts off with a bombastic new confidence on the opener "Strange Town". This is 1970, and as we all know, there is just so much going on at this point in time. We are on the backend of Psychedelic Rock's most popular blast; and, with this album and many of its contemporaries, we see ourselves at the fore of more overtly "progressive" music (certainly as we currently understand it) coming to prominence. Especially across the European continent, Progressive Rock itself was then coming into further popularity. This song has an interesting mix of Artsy over their Blues Rock base. It's a fantastic song; a must-hear.

The Blues Rock is somewhat more strongly displayed on "Darkness is No Friend". Pretty decent melody, this'n, and it features a forward-driving rhythm. Hard to say exactly what it's most reminiscent of for me. "Soldier", then, has a beat that feels very very timeless; like something that could have happened in the late '80s or early '90s in Alt Rock [I take note of this feeling later on as well]. A compliment, I assure you. We're still in a Bluesy sort of jive, but this song has some special sauce for sure. Kind of Psychedelic, if I can say [and I shall]. The theme of war continues on the wonderfully-named title track, "Thank Christ for the Bomb". This song's first 2+ minutes is an acoustic-vocals-only ballad, of sorts. It shifts, more noticeably around minute 3, with quieter electric instrumentation, really to a very interesting effect. It builds on this section to heavier and heavier echelons with drums wildly rolling underneath the rest. Purty good. The ending... Now, that was unexpected. [And I meant it.]

Mid-album starts off with the bombastic, fun Art-Psych number "Ship on the Ocean". This song has an upbeat rhythm, a light Psychedelic feel (especially thanks to the wild drumming and the melodic bass). The guitar is twangy and reminds me of some of the best of The Kinks. It's at this point that I would like the say just how much stronger this album is than their first two... Just wow. Big jump in quality and focus. Big props. Up next, we have the quieted, reflective "Garden". The drums continue to roll and... the vocals are... Did Robert Plant steal this too?! This vocal melody is incredibly familiar. And knowing that the Groundhogs really are coming from a similar place/scene as Led Zep it makes me wonder all the more. I am blown away... Not surprised, but... Again, just wow.

Over a sweet and steady groove, "Status People" is a meditative number with still-rolling drums and a hypnotic layering of guitar riffage. Even in its simplicity, this is a great example of early Prog Rock. Fantastic. I like being impressed by... [what may on its surface appear] little haha. The main riff that opens up "Rich Man, Poor Man" is yet another moment that feels just plain timeless. This sh*t would live and breathe well in the Alternative scene of the mid-to-late-80s. I mean, it's just really interesting to hear this in 1970. Like a cross between late-60s Garage Rock and '80s Alt? I dig it. Finally, we have "Eccentric Man", the track that I very likely first heard from them. This features a very confident, striding group of concentric and overlapping riffs as well. Very cool, to say the least. No wonder, given the very riff-heavy instrumentation and the highly memorable vocal melodies, that this track is one that's perhaps better known than others. I would say, though, here and now, there is much more progressive and daring songs/compositions throughout this. Nevertheless, as implied, a great great song. Therefore, as I sometimes say elsewhere, a great album closer.

True Rate: 4.25/5.00

DangHeck | 4/5 |


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