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SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Spontaneous Combustion biography
SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION is another obscure late Psychedelia British band that would have been forgotten if Greg Lake wouldn't have produced their first album, not because they were bad, by the contrary they were pretty good, but they joined in 1971 when adventurous listeners were expecting something more than just the old formula of British Psychedelia .

Face it guys, the classic LSD Psychedelic sound was dead in 1970, serious musical fans were searching for more adventurous music, by 1971 most of the big Prog bands like ELP, Genesis, Yes, Kings Crimson or Jethro Tull were miles ahead and the mainstream fans as always were searching for something simpler that could top the charts, the sad thing is that not even in the 60's SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION would have reached the peak because there were too many similar acts with at least the same musical quality, like Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, The Bonzo Dog Band or Arthur Brown, so this guys were condemned to oblivion or at least to fight for a place.

The band was formed by Tony Brock (Drums), Gary Margretts (Guitar - vocals) and Tristian Margretts (Bass, vocals), they released three 45 RPM (Lonely Singer/200 Lives/Leaving in 1971; Gay Time Night/Spaceship and Sabre Dance Pts 1 & 2 in 1972) plus only two LP's, the first one was the self titled produced by Greg Lake (Who probably expected more from them) in 1972 and the second one was "Triad" released in 1973.

Don't let you fool by most sites that include in their discography an album named "Come and Stick your Head In" released in 1969 - 1970, because that was a Blues band with the same name formed by the drummer Gary Coleman.

If I had to say something short about SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION would have to be honest and accept they were really good, but they joined 5 or 6 years after the time when the music they played was in the peak. If you like Psychedelia, this is your band, but don't expect something spectacular and different o what most bands were doing around 1967.

Iván Melgar Morey - Perú




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Good Psychedelic/Progressive band produced by Greg Lake, interesting for collectors and fans of early stages of Prog.



Discography:
Spontaneous Combustion, Studio album (1972)
Triad, Studio Album (1973)

Spontaneous Combustion official website

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Spontaneous CombustionSpontaneous Combustion
Remastered · Import
Esoteric 2012
Audio CD$11.42
$11.43 (used)
TriadTriad
Remastered · Import
Esoteric 2012
Audio CD$11.39
$16.25 (used)
Spontaneous Combustion / TriadSpontaneous Combustion / Triad
Import
See for Miles UK 1997
Audio CD$18.09
$15.00 (used)
TriadTriad
Harvest
Vinyl$188.00
rainy day / chessboard 45 rpm singlerainy day / chessboard 45 rpm single
HARVEST
Vinyl$9.99 (used)
love comes and goes 45 rpm singlelove comes and goes 45 rpm single
ROD
Vinyl$15.00 (used)
Spontaneous CombustionSpontaneous Combustion
Capitol
Vinyl$59.99 (used)
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SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 11 ratings
Spontaneous Combustion
1972
3.93 | 6 ratings
Triad
1973

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 3 ratings
Spontaneous Combustion / Triad
1997

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spontaneous Combustion by SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.17 | 11 ratings

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Spontaneous Combustion
Spontaneous Combustion Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars As the years go by, the prog-rock reissues get ever more obscure. Having already remastered a mass of classic and not-so-classic albums from the glory days of progressive-and-psychedelic rock, Mark Powell's otherwise excellent Esoteric Recordings imprint here offers up the debut album from British outfit Spontaneous Combustion. Released in 1972 and produced by none other than Greg Lake(King Crimson, ELP), this self-tiled affair unfortunately belongs in the 'obscure for a reason' category. A short-lived trio featuring drummer Tony Brock and brothers Tristen and Gary Margetts on bass and guitar respectively - they share the vocal duties - Spontaneous Combustion blend jerky guitar riffs, odd psych-pop time signatures and a slightly arty sensibility into a sound that resolutely fails to cook up any memorable tunes. Technically, the threesome obviously have their talents, yet despite the undoubted instrumental proficiency showcased across this album's six lengthy tracks, there's a palpable lack of melodic invention. The real problem, however, is the fact that the group's sound falls flat somewhere slap bang between the worlds of post-sixties psychedelia and jazz-tinged guitar prog. The overall sound then is thin, under-produced, overly-metallic, unattractive and not helped by the absence of keyboards. A sadly uninspired slab of needlessly flashy proto-prog(Greg Lake really should know better) there is very little to recommend on this Spontaneous Combustion of musical creativity. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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 Spontaneous Combustion / Triad by SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Spontaneous Combustion / Triad
Spontaneous Combustion Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 really

Spontaneous Combustion is a nother case of a band that with each year is going into oblivion for sure. Never gaining the praise they desearve in first place never today , and even this way they have a quite moderate succesful first album released in 1971, maybe because the famous then and now Greg Lake help them and produce their first album, but aswell for their musical abilities aswell. The music was something not far from a traditional hard rock, but more complex in places with lenghtier pieces and with a wide variety than on usual hard rock band. Was formed by the brothers Margetts - Tony and Tris. in early 1970, adding a new member later that year Tony Brock. My CD, 2 in 1 released by See For Miles from UK, capture the sound of both albums ever released by the band. So, the first one, selftitled relesed in 1972 had a moderate succes, with catchy tunes, guitar dominated by Gary Margetts but aswell some more psychedelic elements are added like is was in mid to late '60's, that's why some of the public wanted more not just same hard psychedelic tunes like in 1968, they wanted more complicated music (in that period progressive rock was at the peak of the creation). Even some tracks stands as strong and with a special flvour of that period like Speed of light, Listen to the wind or the lenghty Reminder of nearly 11 min, shows that this band had potential but not fully developed. For the fisr album 3 star, amybe 3.5 , definetly a god aone, but nothing really progressive, maybe more towards releated, as far as I see this album is simlar aswell like the next one with Capabilty Brown, they sound in place like a heavier version of Beatles. The second album released in 1973 named Triad continue the tradion of the previous, same catchy tunes, with lots of guitar, even in places I can trace a little unintrest face the music they were playing, Child life for ex is a less intristing her, but the rest are great. Tracks like Brainstorm , the excellent and the best piece from the second album Pan, with fantastic vocal arrangements, and haunting arrangements and the last pieces of the album Monolith shows a band when at their peak , when tired about what happend in the musical scene or in theur own band. Anyway another worthy album, same psychedelic - hard rock aproach, but good non the less. 3.5 again, both albums worth intres if you are a collector and worth to discover unknown band from early '70's from UK. Unnoticed band that with the releas on CD they made some riples around hem, but maybe to late. Good 2 on 1 and worth investigated.

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 Spontaneous Combustion by SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.17 | 11 ratings

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Spontaneous Combustion
Spontaneous Combustion Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Certif1ed
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Cities on Flame?

Reminds me of The Sweet, David Bowie, Blue Oyster Cult, Jefferson Airplane, Magma, Fifty Foot Hose, Hawkwind, Wishbone Ash, The Doors, Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd (Barrett-era), Ten Years After, The Groundhogs.

Yup - it's a peculiar mixture, and you're right - it does sound very odd.

But somehow it all sounds very familiar too - this doesn't sound like a band who were particularly interested in pushing all the boundaries down, it sounds more like a band who liked loads of different stuff and wanted to include everything they liked in their music. At it's heart, the music is garage rock rather than any serious attempt to write songs, and sounds rather under-rehearsed in places, the musicians pushing their own creative levels as hard as possible and being a bit oblivious to the fact that the playing often comes across as being a bit on the sloppy side.

Only occasionally is this noticeable, though, which means that overall, this is a hugely enjoyable album that's distinctly different from the rest of the garage jam-bands you hear from the 1960s - or even later - right up to the present day.

So, ignoring the dated production and poor execution techniques, how does the music stack up?

Speed of Light has a somewhat disappointing title - I must admit that I was thinking we might be hiut by something like Speed King, by Deep Purple - just goes to show how strong preconceptions can be.

Once I'd got over this expectation, however, I heard a riff very similar to BOC's Cities on Flame, then a drum accompanied vocal that put me in mind of The Sweet, or Bowie. Then I thought, hang on, what's happening in the rhythm department - then realised that it's intentional, and the slightly hiccupy feel with occasional stabbing piano chord and dischordant guitar runs is rather proggy.

The widdly-woo Tufnell special of a guitar solo isn't very proggy, but fortunately it's quite short, and then, at 1:46, we get a quote (the riff to School's Out by Alice Cooper) - just once, and then the first bit that puts me in mind of Magma - some rather cool, slicing, vocals over a sudden key and tempo change.

There's more of this after the next verse/chorus pairing, creating a nice sense of mystery in form - from this springboard, the band could easily extend the piece over a much longer time period.

A wonderful dark synth enters the texture around 3:30, and the vocal section is repeated above it. Far from feeling uber-repetitive, this creates a sense of drama, and more synths together with altered percussion take this into faster-feel territory, before the synths whoosh off into orbit, Hawkwind- like.

Listen to the Wind begins sounding somewhat like Wishbone Ash, with, perhaps overtones of King Crimson's I Talk to the Wind, over constantly changing riff patterns - there's no doubting the model for the first couple of minutes or so. But then it goes odd - maybe a bit Byrdsy, or possibly Jefferson Airplane-like - but nicely unexpected, as is the sudden quote Living in the Past.

After the second vocal section, the expected instrumental materialises. Materialises is a good word for it, and some of it reminds me of The Doors (pieces like When The Music's Over and Unknown Soldier, but also perhaps, the quiet section in Pink Floyd's Careful with that Axe, Eugene.

Suddenly, a heavier riff is thrown at us, then a new vocal section acting as a kind of epilogue to the song, that itself contains a surprise or two.

Onwards and upwards, Leaving carries a light Genesis flavour with the acoustic guitar and light percussion, and unexpected movements in the chord progression - but it's no carbon copy, this is just a passing stylistic similarity, and the song pans out interestingly - with timbral variations and ever- increasing intensity - and never succumbs to the obvious heavy jam with regular beat that lesser bands would give in to, fading out before it gets the chance.

200 Lives is a strange little piece of dark psychedelia, quite Floyd-influenced, until the Crimson- influenced surprise - the adaptation of what I think of as the Mission Impossible riff used on 21st Century Schizoid Man, cruising through the tempo changes with ease, and completely avoiding the predictable for the ending.

Down With the Moon begins almost Groundhogs like, but gets very wierd, scooting off in all kinds of directions like a cat on a hot tin roof, with some superb vocal harmonies, creating an extremely unusual unfolding soundscape, somewhat similar in places to early Floyd - but not. Somehow a tangible continuity is preserved throughout, making this a real high point on the album. If you can get over the lack of synchronisation in places, it does come together in others, verging a little on the ludicrous, but never less than entertaining, defining absolutely what Prog is to many people in the constant changing and technical nuggets. As the piece draws to a close, you can't help but wonder how they held it all together for so long, with all the synchronised improvised-feel passages, some of which typify the more technical prog metal.

We finish up with the 10 and a half minute Reminder, a sure indication that the band had a LOT of fun making this album, and sod what anybody thought. I think it rather brave of Harvest to have actually released this, in retrospect - although any record label that released Syd Barrett's solo work was, quite frankly, the only label that was ever going to release this outside of the burgeoning Private record label industry. The change to Country and Western around 6:00 is, perhaps, somewhat dubious - it certainly puts me off the track - but as it's a passing thing it's just about forgiveable. There are certainly more ideas crammed into these 10 minutes than in many entire albums I've heard, even if not all of them work.

I suppose this is closer to Kosmische than Classic Prog - and it's more the kind of album you'd dig out for one of those late night sessions than one you'd absorb yourself in for technical fireworks or amazing song writing - but it's jam-packed with sonic goodness and proggy nuggets a-plenty, so well worth wrapping sober ears around at least once or twice.

If you're into Stoner Rock, then this is probably essential, so it goes without saying that this comes strongly recommended to fans of Krautrock. If you like your blues rock nice and hard, with more than the occasional twist, then this is also for you.

It wouldn't look out of place in any Prog collection either - maybe not quite an essential, but then again, maybe it is.

Whatever you decide, I thoroughly enjoyed it :o)

Somehow, this mixed bag all flows very nicely to create a cohesive whole by a band exploring already chartered territory, but making their own map.

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 Triad by SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.93 | 6 ratings

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Triad
Spontaneous Combustion Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kingdhansak

4 stars Thought this album needed a review, so here we go! (please see rating for the first LP as well) This continues in a similar vein. Guitar, bass and drums with added synth courtesy of GREG LAKE doing the production duties. Tracks here are overall heavier, but a little less complex and more structured than the debut.There are also some more mellow moments which work perfectly with the rockier numbers. I'd say this was a fraction of an improvement from their debut, but only just. A classic example of 'if only this band had carried on'. A real shame they didn't as they had so much to offer. Once again well recommended and vastly underated.

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 Spontaneous Combustion by SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.17 | 11 ratings

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Spontaneous Combustion
Spontaneous Combustion Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kingdhansak

4 stars Great and very much underated band this one. They supported ELP a few times in the early seventies and both albums were produced by GREG LAKE. Presumably, he helped to get them the deal with prog label, Harvest. Working on the basic, guitar, bass, drums principle, they deliver some catchy numbers, that benefit from great instrumental passages and time changes. GREG LAKE in my opinion has done the band a lot of justice with his production, as the music sounds fresh, clear and has really stood the test of time. A great addition to the music is the frequent use of the VCS synth, with gives it a lot of added texture. (I wonder if Greg borrowed this from Mr Emerson??) Sadly as is the case with a lot of these early 70's outfits, they disbanded too soon, recording one more equally great LP Highly recommended.

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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