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Dark - Round The Edges CD (album) cover




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3.21 | 39 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
3 stars DARK were a short-lived British Psychedelic Rock band based in Northampton, who released just one album before splitting up and going their separate ways. Their super-rare "Round the Edges" (1971) album has now become a real collectors item as there were apparently only sixty private pressings made of the original LP album, which were mainly given away to family and friends of the band. According to the New Musical Express, the album has now become one of the rarest and most valuable records of all time, fetching ridiculous prices of anywhere between 5,000 and 25,000. The album was reissued on CD in 2003 with four bonus tracks added to the original six songs on the album. A compilation album titled "Teenage Angst (The Early Sessions)" was issued on CD in 1993. Let's throw some light on the Dark "Round the Edges" album now and give it a listen.

We journey into the "Darkside" for the album opener, which sounds from the title alone, like it might be some dark satanic number, ala Black Sabbath. It all sounds very ominous, like thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening, but it's really about the "Darkside" of the moon, so there's no need to have nightmares. This psychedelic music is more Iron Butterfly than Black Sabbath. It's a heavy, rough-and-ready, seven and a half minute fuzzy-toned psychedelic jam. It begins as a sweet strawberry sundae of laid-back psychedelia but gradually turns into an aggressive stormy Monday of way-out heavy guitar riffing, and very good it is too. It's not quite in the same league as "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida", but the music has the same raw earthiness to it. We're dancing around the "Maypole" now for the second song, but don't worry, it's not some airy-fairy nonsense about ridiculous-looking Morris Men making fools of themselves as they dance around the "Maypole." No, this is another high-powered, flower-power psychedelic freak out. In true psychedelic fashion, the bizarre lyrics make no sense at all, so one wonders if these guys were eating magic mushrooms before they wrote the following enigmatic lyrics:- "The elephants were dancing round a maypole and a tree, The dog in front loves the dog behind, just like you and me, The English pub collapses like a pack of English cards, I thought we'd have to die of thirst, instead we'll have to starve." ..... Far out, man! It's time now to "Live for Today", because tomorrow might never come, although we're still here to listen to this album nearly fifty years on, having survived the Cold War together. "Live for Today" is the longest song on the album at just over eight minutes in duration. It begins as a laid-back mellow groove, but there's ample time for a long instrumental freak-out of fuzzy chainsaw guitar riffing to close out Side One.

There's really not much to add about the three songs on Side Two:- "R.C.8", "The Cat" & "Zero Time", other than to say they're all hard and heavy psychedelic fuzz-guitar freak-outs, just like Side One, which might even begin to sound monotonous and repetitive to some ears. The music is very much in the style of the American psychedelic band Blue Cheer, who also have the same raw earthiness to their sound. There are no gentle romantic ballads to break up this album and give it more variety. The album is one long unadulterated jam session of fuzz-guitar Hard Rock from beginning to end although, if you're in the mood for a good old-fashioned non-stop barrage of raw, wild and frenzied Psychedelic Rock, then this trippy album might be just your cup of tea.

Don't be afraid of the Dark, step into the light and take a rainbow-coloured psychedelic trip back in time with the Dark "Round the Edges" album. It might not have the power to give you a temporary altered state of conciousness, but you can still get high on this great music without the aid of any psychedelic substances. This is raw and earthy, back to basics, foot-stomping Psychedelic Rock with no pretensions of grandeur. The album might not appeal to fans of Progressive Rock generally, but it IS an essential album for lovers of classic British Psychedelic Rock, and the rarity value of this lost album treasure alone means it's well-worth giving the album a listen. The original LP album is said to be the "Holy Grail" for record collectors.

Psychedelic Paul | 3/5 |


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