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INDIAN SUMMER

Indian Summer

Heavy Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars One of those forgotten nuggets from England. Your basic quartet playing average sized numbers (around the six min lenght but full of energy and all of the things an old proghead like loves dearly. Everyone of those tracks are fairly strong , upbeat and full of good interplay. This album came out on the Neon label (quite collectible nowadays) along with other small pearls among which Spring , Tonton Macoute - both worth seeking out - but you do not need to dish out major cash because this has been released on Repertoire record for a while now.
Report this review (#27123)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The album was released in 1971 by the unfortunately short lived RCA prog label, Neon Records. They were discovered by the same manager of Black Sabbath but definitely didn't have the same success. And it's a pity, because almost everything here is pure excellency. Maybe only the solos are sometimes longer than they should, but this is the dark and dominated by keys sound that I love. Absolutely worth having.
Report this review (#27126)
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fan of early 70's acid prog aka GRAVY TRAIN will drool over Coventry's "Indian Summer". This album is loaded will lots of driving rhythms and "psychy" musical passages with emphasis on keyboards and guitars. Vocals (Bob Jackson) are quite good and have a certain wildness about them which either you will love or hate. Although fairly heavy musically speaking, "Indian Summer" do resonate with a cetain Cantebury leanings actually and at times remind me of a heavier version of CARAVAN. Songs are well written and do carry a certain dark atmosphere to them which I do enjoy. The fine folks at Repertoire have done a wonderful job of enhancing the recording and speaker seperation is actually quite good. Most importantly, "Indian Summer" have a very original and professional sound quality to their music and they were clearly one of the better bands who had far too short an existence. This is one of those albums which once you get into, you will cherish fondly forever... full of lots of razzle & dazzle.
Report this review (#27127)
Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Indian summer......formed by singer/keyboardplayer: Bob Jackson. Guitarist :Colin Williamson.Drummer:Paul Hooper.Bass:Malcolm Harker. These wonderful UK guys are somthing else. This their one and only album....its a wonderfull example of the time in UK when people were musicminded especially in the prog vein!! Little did they know about the different species of the rock world!! They(The band) were spotted by manager JimSimpson (Who also spotted:Black sabbath/Bakerloo) Now you might argue that this is not prog!! But i think it is!!! Why? My first thought were..this is ordinairy UK music from the sixties!! But you only have to listen to this GEM to realise that this is PROG!! Keyboards a plenty.....vocals with a soul....themes .....this sounds like.... Rare bird!! And that my friend...is not bad at all!! The keyboards intervening and the vocals poping up in the arrangements.... drums and bass complete......enuff said!! If this isnt prog!!?? I dare you!!! A lost GEM from 1971!!! Find it if you can !!!
Report this review (#27124)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars INDIAN SUMMER was a little known one-shot British prog rock band that released this self-entitled album and disappeared. The album was originally released on RCA's Neon subdivision, the same label that brought us acts like SPRING, Mike WESTBROOK, RAW MATERIAL, The RUNNING MAN, and TOUTON MACOUTE. INDIAN SUMMER's music is typical early '70s prog rock dominated by Hammond organ with some Mellotron. The opening song, "God is the Dog" is obviously the band's protest against religion, and despite that, it's actually one of the better songs on the album. But the album also has its flaws: the album gets bogged down by several pointless solos that go nowhere, specifically on the final cut, "Another Tree Will Grow". The band needed to either cut off the excess fat, or made the solos more interesting for me to regard it as a classic.

Other interesting things of note: the cover artwork is by Keef, same guy responsible for Rod Stewart's Gasoline Alley, BLACK SABBATH's debut album, COLOSSEUM's "Valentyne Suite", CRESSIDA's "Asylum", MANFRED MANN's "Chapter III's Vol. 2", and many others. Also INDIAN SUMMER's debut was one of only two Neon titles released in America (the other being "Centipede's Septober Energy", but it didn't surface in America until 1974, three years after its original UK release, and by which point, Neon ceased to exist, so it was released in the US on the standard RCA/Victor label). The American version of the Indian Summer label was also Neon (uses the same label), but I suggest you avoid buying the American LP because by that time, RCA in America was printing their albums on the crap Dynaflex (that was their silly company trademark of ridiculously flimsy vinyl - supposedly to help stop warping - at the expense of sound quality, which of course, RCA failed to mentioned, and started ripping people off in the process), which means crappy sound quality, so go for either the British LP, or the CD reissue on Repertoire.

Anyway, because of the excess baggage on some of the cuts, this album fulls short of a classic for me, but it's still not bad, especially if you like early British prog.

Report this review (#27125)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Carl floyd fan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An intriguing album made in the early 70s. Its very psych oriented and the tracks are fairly short but heavy/energetic as well. I would give this a 4.5/5 star rating but the album overall is a little redundent/not much variety among the songs. Still, if you are into the more rare albums in the prog world, this is a good find!
Report this review (#27129)
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As a hugh fan from the Early British Progressive Movement I should have bought this album much earlier but due to many different reasons, ranging from out of stock to out of money, I purchased this 'cult album' recently after reading all those many four - and five star ratings on this site. My general impression of the music is OK: Hammond organ-based (along some violin-Mellotron waves) prog that sounds typical early Seventies, pleasant songs, some nice guitar soli and good vocals. Although I enjoyed this album, I prefer similar bands like Beggar's Opera, Gracious, Spring, Julian's Treatment and Fantasy because their compositions sound more compelling and refined. Nonetheless, I rate this CD for a well deserved three stars. THIS IS A VERY PLEASANT HAMMOND DRENCHED EARLY PROGROCK SESSION!
Report this review (#37399)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Debut album released in 1971 "Indian Summer". Hard art rock. Vorcal that shows the shout like Ian Giran with the volume of one's voice is a charm. It is a unique sound. It is a content of art rock influenced overall by a psychedelic rock and R&B. All music is progressive adjacent to jazz-rock. The tune is overall long. The jacket is Keef that is my favorite.
Report this review (#63359)
Posted Friday, January 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have read many good things about this release, so when I finally bought it and listened tot it, my expectations were high. And I wasn't disappointed. This band can be placed in the same league as the other early British progressive like Cressida, Spring and Beggar's Opera.

The music is not very complex, but on the other hand it is also not straightforward. It sounds very pleasant with good organ playing. At times singer Bob Jackson can scream like a genuine hardrock singer. My favorite tracks include Emotions of Men with a great jazzy guitar solo and Another Tree Will Grow. But to be honest, there are no weak tracks on this album. A must for the early proglover.

Report this review (#75320)
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Many years ago I bought this album as one of a few remaining items left in a record store that was about to close down. What struck me initially was the albums resemblance in many ways to that of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid"; the four band member's photograph on the inside gatefold, Jim Simpson the manager, Rodger Bain the producer; only the label (R.C.A.Neon) appeared to be different. Musically the album was to me a very impressive piece of work for a debut despite the unnecessary length of some of the tracks, a cult feature of the work of many progressive bands at the time. A minute or so clipped off some tracks would have made for a much less tedious listening experience whilst helping the sound engineer achieve a much better overall sound. Production-wise,I always thought was the weak aspect on this one; my first stereo system just could not produce enough volume to overcome the constraints of a rather quiet and flat sounding L.P. Forty odd minutes fine but nearly fifty was pushing it a bit on a 12" vinyl disc for the type of music on offer. In particular the drums sounded like someone was playing a set of soggy cardboard boxes which I am sure is definitely not the case. The songs on this fine album have remained with me even after all these years and I often give it a spin or play the C.D. in the car. What a great pity it is that this was Indian Summer's one and only offer because the potential for furtherence was very much there.
Report this review (#99058)
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not too original name, but very good music. I don't know much about the band, I think they had the same manager as Black Sabbath. But, back to the music. The whole album is very relaxing (maybe it's the production?), very ballad I think. Surely it's not hard rock. Guitars are not very heavy, vocalist is singing not screaming. If you could cut mellotrons out of Spring, you will have the sound of Indian Summer. My favourite tracks are: God Is The Dog, Emotions Of Men, Black Sunshine, Another Tree Will Grow and Glimpse. Although the good things about this lp, there is one thing bad, that shouldn't be happening here. All tracks are very similiar to each other. The same tempo, the same sound. For that it's 4 not 5 stars. You should have this cd on your shelf.
Report this review (#107390)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars You should have a copy of this fine early 70s work if you like CLOUDS, SPRING, CRESSIDA, FIELDS, RARE BIRD et al. Classic English early keyboard/guitar led prog with some fine songs as already described in earlier reviews. Great Keef cover too!
Report this review (#134518)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars An unremarkable Rock album.

Unfortunately "Indian Summer" sounds like so many other bands around at this time, except they lack the 'X' factor so important to make them stand out from the crowd - many great bands had it but not here, the musicianship is excellent as is the sound quality of the album, but the "songs" are forgettable, unstructured, they all really sound like thrown together jam sessions with extended solos, and like some other bands of this period is let down by poor vocals - I wish this band had taken their project more seriously and found a proper songwriter and singer,they could have done better than this and it would have lifted their fine musicianship into classic status. Few musicians can sing and play well at the same time, here the vocals are flat, tuneless and strained, like a very tired Steve Winwood meets Arthur Brown.

The music is all standard rock music of the period, not really Psyche or Prog rock, a few cliches with the odd mellotron passage thrown in may have swung their inclusion in PA, the playing is brilliant and is a shame this could have been a good album and not consigned to the bargain bin of history.

Report this review (#137520)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Indian Summer from 1971 is among the most underrated from early'70's hevy prog, with a lot to offer, from keyboard driving interplays to soaring guitars and good vocal parts. When i discovered this band i was really impressed by their structures and exellent musicianship. While they never hit the big time with this album, being under the same management as Black Sabbath, they also manage to creat something of real intrest for prog listners, with some very fine moments. Indian Summer plays that typical early '70 heavy prog with long instrumental passages, keyboard meets guitar interplays and a solid bass lines over it. I really like this underrated album for two reasons: one is among the best heavy prog i've heared from early '70, and second because thy don't really sound as anything from that period, haveing a sound of their own, not really heavy like Sabbath for example but not really symphonic like Genesis, they manage to be in the middle. Any single piece stands as good as can get from a heavy prog band with no boring moments. Anyway great discovery for me and a damn good album from golden era of prog. Recommended 4 star for sure.
Report this review (#187322)
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Very interesting obscure british heavy prog band of the early 70īs. If you enjoy lots of Hammond and some soulful vocals, donīt miss this one. Their sound reminds me of a cross between The Doors and Uriah Heep at the time (without the heavy guitars, though) with some Traffic percussion flavors thrown in for good measure. The guitar player is good but he is definitly more into 60īs jazz and psychodelia than to the 70īs heavy rock. There are some good interpley between guitar and keyboards. The songwriting department was a little green yet and it is the only flaw I could find in this album. Even the production and overall sound are above average for the time.

Itīs a good album, but nothing more than that. Given time this could have been a great band, but somehow they just broke up after this one. Which I think itīs a shame. They had such potential...

Anyway, Indian Summer is an album worth buying, if you like early 70īs rock like Paladin. I liked it. 3 stars.

Report this review (#187428)
Posted Thursday, October 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album really sounds like your typical Proto-Prog album with lots of organ and some mellotron. Not a big fan of the vocalist who sounds like he's yelling the lyrics. These guys can certainly play, i'm just not digging the tunes that much.

"God Is The Dog" I guess is their anti-religion song. Drums and organ lead the way early, vocals a minute in. The focus becomes on the vocals the rest of the way.They do get passionate at times. "Emotions Of Men" sounds good once it kicks in. It sounds very 60's to me. Mostly organ, drum and vocal led although there is a guitar solo 2 minutes in. "Glimpse" is more of the same although I can hear the bass clearly as the guitar solos after 2 1/2 minutes. "Half Changed Again" kicks in before 3 minutes thankfully. Drums and vocals dominate. Organ takes the place of the vocals 4 minutes in.

"Black Sunshine" is one I just can't get into at all. "From The Film Of The Same Name" is an instrumental with some good drum work and prominant bass. Good song. "Secrets Reflected" is laid back with reserved vocals although they do get passionate later. "Another Tree Will Grow" features prominate drums and organ and the vocals are deeper.The tempo picks up 1 1/2 minutes in.The guitar comes in and lights it up until after 5 minutes. Nice. Organ and vocals return.

If you like Proto-Prog check this band out otherwise you might be a little disappointed like I was. Barely 3 stars.

Report this review (#220068)
Posted Saturday, June 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I simply love the Hammond organ based sound of Indian Summer. Add some soul, guitars and spacy melodies and you have the 1970s heaven. Well, one of them.

This English band only released this album before they splintered up and the members went in all direction. Most of them as a backing band for John Enwhistle's solo project. Which is a pity because Indian Summer was really onto something here. This album has a lot of spacy solos. Mostly hammond organ solos, but there is also some good guitar solos here. The vocals are soulful. The bass and drums more than good. The sound is excellent and in the Deep Purple and Doors mould. I am not sure why this is branded Heavy Prog though. This is not a heavy album in today's standards. Neither is it symphonic. This is one of those albums with an excellent 1970s sound. The main problem with this album is the lack of any superb songs. But the songs are generally good, with Half change Again being the best song on the album. This is another good find from the 1970s.

3.25 stars

Report this review (#246911)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Maybe it's because the voice of Malcolm Harker, very similar to David Byron but it looks like this is the early Uriah Heep missed album. This is good hard-rock with some hints of psychedelia.

The huge use of organ on all the tracks makes it a product of its time, Not bad at all and very promising as debut. Unfortunately without a follow-up.

In few words, a good-to-know album, highly enjoyable but that doesn't offer more than what Uriah Heep or Deep Purple offered at the same time. It's more psych oriented than the two mentioned bigs and this is its strenght.

It fits perfectly in the 3 stars definition, but people who likes the mixture of hard-rock and psych typical of the early 70s will really like it.

Report this review (#296957)
Posted Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The gently side of hard prog.

"Indian Summer" is a very good album. It's a classic hard prog in gothic style with beautiful organ solos. The band (formed in Birmingham in 1969) was discovered by the same manager of Bakerloo and Black Sabbath.

The voice of Bob Jackson is a classic hard-rock voice, and he sings maybe with less power than Ian Gillian, John Gustafson or Ozzy Osbourne but I think with more intensity and passion (as you can hear in God Is The Dog, the first track, and in Secrets Reflected, the softer song of the album). All the songs are good (please note that we have no suites here but eight songs of five or six minutes each) I think particulary Half Changed Again, Glimpse, and the instrumental From The Film Of The Same Name where Colin Williams shows his great ability playing guitar in Stewe Howe's jazz-style.

Not only for hard prog lovers: it's a heavy-prog album, but not so "hard" because of guitar style, much closer jazz than to rock, and even for the symphonic atmosphere in many songs (the mellotron-finale of Glimpse is illustrative). Precisely for this reason it is a record that might not appeal to Rush fans; on the contrary it may please the supportes of Yes.

Rating: 8/10. Strongly recommended.

Best song: Glimpse

Report this review (#368410)
Posted Thursday, December 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3,5 stars in fact.

Simply said, i like this album (and its Keef cover too). It has some nice and fairly melancholic athmosphere. Stylistically, its a typical early 70s protoprog blend of 60s psychedelia, jazzrock, blues and some soul and proggy elements too. All musicians are really very good, especially very fast and jazzy playing guitarist. All songs are equally good, what could be a bit of a drawback - the album seems to be a bit monotonous after the first halfth. Only one song is entirely instrumental and really great played. Another small drawback for me are the vocals in some sections, the singer sings in a raw and very emotional way, what could be very suitable in some passages, but too tiresome in other. Production is fairly good and clear for this year, only the drums have a very cardboard feel and sound. I especially like the Hammond playing and tone on this album. Overall - above average album full of very good played and emotional early 70s protoprog and a must for fans of this subgenre.

Report this review (#836157)
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | Review Permalink

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