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Pussy - Plays CD (album) cover

PLAYS

Pussy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.73 | 18 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Despite the scandalous (for 1969) title, this is a fairly pedestrian pop-psych album by a band whose reputation has persisted far longer than they have. The original Morgan Blue Town vinyl release is considered quite a rarity in collector circles and brings high three- figure prices, although thanks to a mid-90s HBG reissue on CD along with several subsequent releases the music itself is pretty easy to find today.

The band members themselves have been considered a mystery for years despite the names of several of them being identified in the songwriting credits, including Barry Clerk (guitars), Ron Regan (bass) and the late Danny Beckerman (piano). The band photo on the cover reveals the rest are most likely Keith Giles (drums) and Rod Creasy on organ. The record is an offshoot of the b-list band Fortes Mentum, who apparently issued a handful of singles back in the day before going their separate ways.

The music itself is prototypical psych of the latter sixties with bleating organ, a persistent bass line, somewhat fuzzed guitar and spaced-out, abstract lyrics. For the most part I'd place this closer to much of the heavier pop music of the day than progressive or even very serious psych, although there are some notable moments. The opening "Come Back June" for example includes a tasty organ break that is punctuated by Berckerman's quite competent piano tinklings, and the laid-back "Tragedy in F Minor" features a lengthy treatment of muted saxophone that offsets the (electric?) piano quite nicely.

Elsewhere there are Sgt. Peppers-influenced moments including the trippy "We Built the Sun" and "G.E.A.B.", along with heavier stuff like the fuzz-drenched "Comets" and "The Open Ground" (which includes spoken-word passages made popular by the Moody Blues around the same period).

The band dips ever-so-briefly into prog territory with a tempo-shifting psych dirge on "Everybody's Song", but otherwise this is mostly 'traditional' post-beat psych delivered by fairly savvy journeymen musicians.

And while I have to admit to shotgunning a bit of reefer into my cat's nostrils back in the seventies, I would have never considered getting a feline as hopped up on acid and/or shrooms as the one drawn on the cover appears to be. While the album title would have raised eyebrows back in the sixties, today the animal abuse suggested in the sketch would certainly draw the ire of Sarah McLaughlin at least. That's one messed-up kitty!

In all this its a decent period piece, but given that the music has been made widely available in recent years it no longer has the ability to hold the sort of mystique that surrounded it back in the days when discontinued albums has to be found in their native form to be enjoyed. Worth three stars out of five for sure and still recommended even if it isn't a lost masterpiece, for the fine quality of play and decent engineering if nothing else.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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