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H.P. Lovecraft - Live May 11, 1968 CD (album) cover

LIVE MAY 11, 1968

H.P. Lovecraft

 

Proto-Prog

3.73 | 10 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Named after the famed horror author, H. P. Lovecraft were an overlooked outfit hailing from the outskirts of Chicago who produced a couple of affable cosmic pop albums during the late-sixties without garnering to much commercial-or-critical success. This live revue from 1968 finds the group reeling off what is to all extents and purposes a greatest hits set, recorded at that bastion of West Coast rock, San Francisco's legendary Fillmore West. And what a set it is. Kicking off with a powerful, ten-minute version of the folk-inspired piece 'Wayfaring Stranger', this live release thankfully captures H. P Lovecraft at their very best. It also showcases the group at their mos adventurous, with many of the tracks taken from their first two albums extended and augmented by a battery of trippy effects, glistening keyboards and gloriously harmonised vocals. In essence, this album is probably the closest many people will ever come to experiencing a full-blown gig from the 1960's counter- culture's peak, with H. P. Lovecraft plotting a much more psychedelic rock course than is evident on their softer-sounding studio efforts. Apart from the awesome - and very trippy - 'Wayfaring Stranger', other highlights include the group's spooky signature tune 'The White Ship', which is also given a muscular re-working, whilst the funk-clipped 'The Bag I'm In' positively drips with hip-shaking menace. With the double-tracked vocals of co-lead singers David Michaels and George Edwards and the ethereal, shimmering keyboards - also by Michaels - creating a highly atmospheric vibe, 'Live 1968' must surely rank as the finest evocation yet of this criminally-ignored group, showcasing both their deft songwriting touch and genuine instrumental talents to, at times, scintillating effect. A highly-impressive release, fans of all things cosmic should definitely seek this out.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

stefro | 4/5 |

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