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Groundhogs - Split CD (album) cover

SPLIT

Groundhogs

 

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3.96 | 50 ratings

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mystic fred
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars " I wrote "Thank Christ for the Bomb" and "Split" on riffs. I knew my melodies were not great." -TS

Despite Tony's rather modest statement above, "Split" contains some excellent melodies which punctuate the album with precise regularity. After suffering a nervous breakdown which occurred some weeks after briefly experimenting with grass - "Split" was conceived from his experiences, the album was described as "The musical tremors of a disturbed mind" by one reviewer, and gave a musical soundscape of what happens when one is losing his mind - panic stricken vocals, twisting, screaming, thrashing heavily distorted guitar backed by relentless throbbing bass lines and crashing primeval drumming the sweats, scizophrenia, paranoia, confusion, panic, hallucinations, running scared, then the depression that follows.

"As calm and peace surround my bed, I feel that sleep is not far ahead, But in place of slumber comes a bolt of fear instead. "

This suite of four sections "Split Parts 1-4" are on Side One, engineered by Martin Birch fresh from finishing Deep Purple's recording of "In Rock" became the band's tour de force, the long-awaited follow-up to "Thank Christ for the Bomb". Tony incorporated a Wah Wah pedal in to accompany the tremolo on his double-tracked guitar, adding to the distortion with great effect. Ken Pustelnik's pumping drums and Pete Cruikshank's throbbing bass (including some very memorable bass lines) provide a solid backdrop for Tony's meanderings, ending in a crescendo of crazed distorted electric guitar frenzy - an essential stage classic, allowing Tony free rein for his free form live improvisations.

"I leap from bed in the middle of night, Run up the stairs for 3 or 4 flights, Run in a room,turn on the light, The dark is too dark but the light's too bright. " The first song on side two "Cherry Red" is supposedly about a girl who gave Tony the runaround (we all had one -or two- like that!) and became the band's signature tune, developed from a blues song as a lampoon of Led Zeppelin riffs the joke was on them as the song stuck and is a stage favourite to this day. The song "A year in the life" was inspired by The Beatles' "Day In The Life" about the passing seasons, "Junkman" bemoans the advent of junk food and the album is rounded off , just to let everyone know Tony still plays the Blues, a John lee hooker song "Groundhog", a perennial live favourite. "Split" could have been the band's first No.1 selling album but due to a lack of foresight by UA copies sold out immediately, and some time passed before stocks could be replenished - this was, after all, thirty eight years ago!

mystic fred | 4/5 |

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