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Groundhogs

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3.29 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Light My Light 6.23
2. Free From All Alarm 5.14
3. Sins of the Father 5.29
4. Sad Go Round 2.55
5. Corn Cob 4.46
6. Plea Sing, Plea Song 3.43
7. Snow Storm 3.28
8. Joker's Grave 8.41

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Tony McPhee -
Gibson SG, Fender Stratocaster, Yamaha Acoustic, ARP 2600 Synthesiser, Mellotron, Synth Hi Fi, Audio Design Phaser,Vari-pitch Revox, Vocals.
Pete Cruikshank - Zemaitis Bass
Clive Brooks - Ludwig Drums.

All compositions published by Heat Music.
Co-ordinator Clive Jenkins
Photography - Gered Mankowitz
Design - Fabio Nicoli
Marketed by Phonogram

Releases information

LP WWA 004 (1974)
CD AKARMA 331 (2005)

GROUNDHOGS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


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GROUNDHOGS Solid ratings distribution


3.29
(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (50%)
50%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

GROUNDHOGS Solid reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars I was very pleased to see that The Groundhogs have been added as a "Prog Related" band here, a very worthy addition as although they were for much of their career a band in the classic power trio tradition, Mainman Tony "TS" McPhee liked to experiment with various guitar effects and sounds as well as the use of the Mellotron and Synths giving their music a progressive edge.

During the seventies the band released a string of very strong albums, Solid while not being one of their best does have moments that almost equal classics on albums such as Split and Hoggwash. Unfortunately though the momentum of the early part of the album is not kept up and trails off in quality for much of the second half.

Things kick off in fine style with Light My Light, an excellent up tempo rocker. McPhee as already mentioned was not averse to using plenty of effects for his guitar sound, here much of the time it's heavily phased. There's an excellent extended guitar solo, again heavily effect laden. Although the Groundhogs were primarily McPhee's baby Pete Cruikshank and Clive Brooks on bass and drums respectively provide simple but solid backing, essential to give McPhee the freedom to go where he wants at will.

Free From All Alarm starts as an acoustic guitar/vocal only blues composition until the band pile in full force making for a powerful second half. Sins Of The Father is a superb number, McPhee making plenty of use of the Mellotron alongside his guitar on another up tempo rocker. Sad Go Round is the least enjoyable track of side 1, simply being an okay mid tempo rocker.

Corn Cob, not surprisingly from the title is a bit of country blues, no drums but a few of McPhee's sometimes effect laden guitars. On Plea Sing, Plea Song, once again McPhee shows he's not content to just let a guitar sound like a guitar with hardly a natural sound present but turns out to be a bit of a mess. Snow Storm like Sins Of The Father makes plenty of use of the Mellotron alongside a cleanly picked guitar and finally the almost 9 minute Joker's Grave closes the album. Opening with an array of random synth sounds alongside electric guitar, the hi-hat and bass soon bring it into a steady rhythm. It then picks up with some fast picking from McPhee and bongos from Brooks but ultimately turns out to be a bit disappointing as so much more could have been made of this track, wandering along a little aimlessly as it does.

In some ways then a bit of a frustrating album. Despite containing some excellent moments, a good portion of the album, partly down to McPhee's insistence to experiment with effects comes across as a bit of mess. However such is the strength of the best bits it's still worth adding to your collection but not the best place to start for the uninitiated.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#202533) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 12, 2009

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Solid, but about to Split

Having got his solo album ("Two sides of..") out of his system, Tony McPhee reconvened the Groundhogs in 1974 with an unchanged line up. While two thirds of the trio remained faithful to bass and drums, McPhee continued to enhance his collection of instruments, adding the latest synths, while retaining the services of his trusty guitar collection.

The opening "Light My Light" finds the band in an upbeat mood, the track being based on phased acoustic guitar and a light infectious melody. There are strong similarities with the music of Family here, McPhee doing a good impression of Roger Chapman. The following "Free from all alarm" appears to be exactly the same song again, but with a more sparse acoustic accompaniment.

For the mellotron affectionados, "Sins of the father" has some great phased mellotron. The song itself is a bit messy, it reminded me of Hawkwind's work from around the same time, but somehow it all works. Once again, "Sad go round" seems like an extension of "Sins of the father".

"Corn cob" is a basic blues based affair. While I appreciate blues is where the band started, I had hoped they had moved on from basic fare such as this. "Plea sing, plea song" was clearly written as a single, and indeed was released as one (with a non-album B- side). The rather indistinct main melody was probably the reason it failed to trouble the singles chart. "Snow storm" finds McPhee sounding like the great Raymond Froggatt, his gruff tones being supported by some further fine mellotron sounds. At just short off 9 minutes, the closing "Joker's Grave" is the longest track on the album. McPhee continues with his rough, indistinct vocals on this heavy dirge which jumps around between styles and sounds without ever being convincing.

In all, an album which is not without its appeal, but which suffers from muddled production and poor arrangements. "Solid" could have been much better.

At the time, this appeared to be the Groundhogs final album, the band breaking up shortly after it was released. The reality is though that Tony McPhee was the Groundhogs, and he soon reformed himself with alternative backing musicians.

The remastered version has one short bonus track, "Over blue", but it will be of interest to collectors only.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#404623) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 21, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars 7/10 The 'Hogs pour out the pig iron. Hoofed-heavy, filthy, gluttonous and gloomy, so smeltering sloopy. Solid snorts out the eccentric, exitensial despair and the schizo side of "The 'Hog" (Tony McPhee). Just coming off his solo album from 1973, 'The Two Sides Of Tony (T.S.) McPhee', with h ... (read more)

Report this review (#603474) | Posted by cannon | Thursday, January 05, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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