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Bodkin biography
BODKIN were a Scottish quintet that released a self-titled album in 1972. They made a classic-sounding, rough-edged heavy progressive rock with the emphasis on Doug Rome's Hammond organ and complimented by Mick Riddle's guitar, Bill Anderson's bass, Dick Sneddon on drums and the cool wailing of Zeik Hume.

Somewhat more jam-oriented than contemporaries such as ATOMIC ROOSTER or URIAH HEEP and not quite as hard-hitting, BODKIN nevertheless delivered spirited rock music with energetic interplay between guitar and organ, fine musicianship, and distractingly good compositions from the 21 year-old Doug Rome.

A very palatable blend of dark organ-rock and dirty blues, Bodkin will surely please listeners interested in the murky and mysterious early years of the Heavy Prog scene and anyone seeking rare prog.

- Atavachron (David)

Why this artist must be listed in :
Bodkin were a small but talented band that enriched the early Heavy Prog era with quality organ/guitar rock.

Bodkin, studio album (1972)

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Universum Records
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BODKIN discography

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3.06 | 48 ratings

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BODKIN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bodkin by BODKIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.06 | 48 ratings

Bodkin Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Bodkin were a Scottish band who worked hard to gain recognition in the early seventies. They won a music competition that earned them the title of best music group in the country and were able to record this one album. Heavy rock guitar music drenched with Uriah Heep-stylings of Hammond organ, Bodkin fit themselves into both proto-metal and heavy prog. The album cover featuring a goat's head and burning cross would suggest that Bodkin were an occult band like Black Widow. The lyrics, however, don't suggest that, and I suspect with the popularity of Black Sabbath and images related to the occult, someone at the record company decided on the cover. The 2010 reissue uses a simple cover of some weathered metal surface with the band's name impressed.

The first track, "Three Days After Dying Pt. 1", features a lot of Hammond organ and some heavy rock guitar and driving heavy rhythm but also slower, organ-soaked passages for the vocals. There are no high screams as with Uriah Heep and the vocals, though very good, are closer to Ozzy Osbourne in range and timbre. In this way, Bodkin don't sound like Uriah Heep clones. They had the same instrument line-up but we're doing their own thing.

The organ solo opening to "Three Days After Death Pt. 2" may sound a bit like Mk. I Deep Purple though that might be more due to the scratchy recording that likely was rescued from a vinyl source and not a master tape. This track also goes through different phases of light (again resembling old Deep Purple) and heavy. About five minutes in, the song alternates tempo and rhythm in a clever way.

"Aunt Mary's Trashcan" is the longest song on this five-track album. Over ten minutes, the song moves through phases with an organ intro, suspenseful music, heavy rock guitar and plenty of solo room for guitar and organ. The lyrics describe the contents of one Aunty Mary's trashcan. Musically, one can't help but make comparisons to Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, though this is not a bad thing. You could also add Warhorse in there as well for a quartet of British heavy prog / proto-metal bands of the early seventies.

"Aftur Yur Lumber" and "Plastic Man" continue with the established style of music. Being shorter tracks, there is less room for the progressive side of the band. "Aftur Yur Lumber" is more of a standard organ/ guitar rock affair, and "Plastic Man" doesn't tread any new territory though the guitar riff is reminiscent of early Black Sabbath. The 2010 reissue includes an instrumental version of "Three Days After Death Pt. 2". The track listing on this CD is correct but the songs from track 3 are in the wrong order on the disc. I noticed when I heard the lyric "Plastic Man" in the track that should have been "Aunt Mary's Trashcan".

Aside from this, the recording, as I stated above, is obviously copied from a vinyl source and so any scratches or other artefacts that come from vinyl sources are present. There's certainly some good music here though I wouldn't recommend hunting it down unless you really feel you need this in your collection. As usual, the music can be heard on YouTube and is also available from iTunes.

 Bodkin by BODKIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.06 | 48 ratings

Bodkin Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Arriving in a roar of hellfire, brimstone and occult unease, the sole 1972 release for Scottish band Bodkin is a wicked and infectious Hammond organ-drenched heavy rocker. Their self titled release was in the manner of bands such as Atomic Rooster, Nosferatu, Bram Stoker and Deep Purple, and anyone familiar with those groups will know what to expect here. Hard rocking riffs, psychedelic flavours and bluesy guitar wailing with confident vocals and strong melodies means Bodkin and their album can sit perfectly alongside those acts on the shelf for fans of that sort of early prog-related music.

The first side opens with the intimidating and plodding (but in a good way!) two parter `Three Days After Death'. Tin-can drums patter away as the listener is instantly blasted with Doug Rome's Hammond fury, with grubby snarling heavy guitar riffs and cymbal fury crashing all over that scratchiest rough-as-guts organ. Energetic whirring blasts of fury, stomping mud-thick bluesy stomping, noisy dirty grooves and even some more sedate and reflective moments all fall together, yet despite the relentless muscle and noise throughout, the piece always remains melodic and catchy - that's the strength of this album overall. The second part is particular has a very melancholic and moving vocal from Zeike Hume, the downbeat melody sorrowful and despondent.

The ten minute `Aunt Mary's Trashcan' on the flipside is up-tempo, relentless and full of life. Although it's bookended with a slightly hostile lead vocal melody, it's really an extended improvisation utterly dominated by Rome's Hammond organ orgasm over every sweaty inch of it. It reverberates with thrumming rippling distortion, taking on a malevolent glee, powered along by Dick Sneddon's frantic chasing battery of drumming, Bill Anderson's fluid bass rumbles and Mick Riddle's gorgeous sleazy strutting bluesy guitar. Foot-tapping and effortlessly cool, fans of the extended jams on the early Birth Control albums will dig this one. `Aftur Yur Lumber' is a shorter punchy Yes-like vocal rocker at heart, a little more restrained for the actual tune with a call out repeated melody, chiming guitar and symphonic touches, but with a wild F-off swooping Hammond break as well. Symphonic majesty keeps on throughout moments of `Plastic Man', a creeping bass line and swampy guitar stalking behind the lead voice, the whole band letting rip with a gutsy jam in the middle.

Special mention must go to the incredible, if borderline blasphemous album cover that adorns the original LP or it's couple of vinyl reissues. A massive cross that folds out several times to form a crucifix with a goats head at it's centre burning with infernal flames certainly makes a huge impression and grabs plenty of attention! If that worries you, there is a CD reissue with a safer (yet dull!) alternate cover. As for the album itself, some may have trouble with the slightly rough production quality, but it's perfect for this sort of music and anything cleaner and more polished wouldn't have been appropriate at all. This album has long been a personal favourite of mine and a treasured, essential part of my collection, and if music driven by Hammond organ is your thing, then `Bodkin' will likely cast it's devilish spell on you.

Four stars.

 Bodkin by BODKIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.06 | 48 ratings

Bodkin Heavy Prog

Review by spikey123

3 stars I don't know why I was attracted to this after seeing the low ratings. I have listened to it several times, but for some reason it does not leave a lasting impression. It is well played with loads of leaf Hammond and support guitar. To my mind the tracks seem like the middle of classics with the beginnings and ends removed. Rather like frank Zappas "guitar" series where his solos were extracted from concert tracks. All well and good, but somehow sounding incomplete. I love the Nice, Atomic Rooster etc, so I don't know where this fails. Maybe as said elsewere the themes are too unfinished and sound like run throughs, or jams. So the playing is fine, the cd is a bit quiet and sounds as if it being played live in the studio with a straight mix and no stereo effects apart from the spread of the band across the sound stage. I don't know why, but for some reason this just plays then ends without really getting me excited. puzzling. I couldn't really recommend it as even as I sit listening to it now I feel the urge to put something else on the cd player
 Bodkin by BODKIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.06 | 48 ratings

Bodkin Heavy Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Raw sound, rocking out high, but it's all in vain, for this album doesn't have a soul inside. It is simply flat, endless solos, occasional singing, drum solos, weird keys solos, so I was able to listen this album, but there is not much what would help people to return and listen again. Yet I am trying to find something enjoyable on this album. Keys, that's probably it. Nothing else of bigger consequence here. The Jam is almighty here and when I overlook the fact that there is no strong track, I come to conclusion that there are no weak tracks here as well. They are just average, so

3(-) is in order. Why not.

 Bodkin by BODKIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.06 | 48 ratings

Bodkin Heavy Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars An obscure scottish one shot band from the early 70īs that I had never heard of until I read a review here on PA. I was attracted to it because it said their sound was based around the great Hammond organ. And it is! The organ is the sole keyboard used on the whole LP, besides being the main instrument of the band. Its rich sound is undeniable, and I just love it.

Well, and what about the group itself? They were good musicians, no doubt. But hardly outstanding or very creative. It is easy to understand why they never made it: they just played what a lot of bands were playing in the late 60īs and early 70īs. Nothing wrong to that: the guitar is good, the singer is ok, the rhythm section is strong and the keyboards player is also good. They simply donīt add up anything to their sound that could differ them from dozens of other outfits of that period (in fact theirs was becoming a bit dated alreadty). Groups like Atomic Rooster, Traffic, Badger and Paladin, among others, were doing hte same thing with more personality a little while before them.

If Bodkin could have another chance to develop their songwriting skills maybe they could come out with something more of their own and that could be more than just pleasing. As it is I found Bodkin an ok group. There are no bad tracks, but also there are no highlights either. Pretty common stuff. If you like bands centred around the Hammond Organ, that might be of interest. But actually this is more for collectors and fans of the style only .

2,3 stars.

 Bodkin by BODKIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.06 | 48 ratings

Bodkin Heavy Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

2 stars As I've said before - feel the historical flow of heavy progressive rock.

Actually 37 years before, this album has been in this world - with such an impressively heavy opening. As you can realize with listening, BODKIN could shoot the organ-based heavily symphonic sounds tinged with some psychedelic spice. In the early 70s such a musical style might come into fashion by Ken Hensley of URIAH HEEP or Jon Lord of DEEP PURPLE. On the contrary, we cannot say "progressive" without overtaking the pioneers or cutting the way of the new approach of keyboard-oriented rock style(s). Indeed they did a good play and their sounds are comfortable and exciting for me on listening to the album, but sadly as a typhoon has blown away, there's nothing IMPRESSIVE left after listening. Yes, their style already has shown by the pioneers as mentioned before. This album is a good item for some collectors or fans who love heavily organ-based symphonic rock style. (Anyway, I'm more surprised such a rare CD could be sold in a countryside used-CD-shop than everything hahaha.)

Surely you can feel oldies and goodies.

 Bodkin by BODKIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.06 | 48 ratings

Bodkin Heavy Prog

Review by malcra

3 stars I came across this LP much by chance, without any knowledge of this (Scottish) group. Lots of Hammond Organ in the opening track "Three Days after Death pt1" and a sound that is far more mid-to-late 60's rather than 1972. With echoes of The Nice and Keith Emerson, its a powerful track that pulls you along, even if you don't want to admit that its really to your taste. Think early Wishbone Ash (first LP and "Pilgrimage") with a bit more rock. Part2 of Three Days After Death, continues the Hammond driven theme. Its more prog than say a similarly vintage Uriah Heep, but there's no doubt that there is a heavier sound to it. For me, there's the right balance between prog and rock. "Aunt Mary's Trashcan" is a weaker track, the vocals need further development (again, compare to Uriah Heep and "Salisbury"), but stands up on its own. There's no doubt that when its gets to the rocking out instrumental sessions, things are a lot better. "After your lumber", sounds a bit Pearl and Dean to start, but settles down to be a really great track, with the most imaginative vocals on the LP. "Plastic Man" to finish is good stuff and provides an atypical sound The only LP from Bodkin, most recently re-issued on Akarma is a good listen. Top prog from Scotland
Thanks to Atavachron for the artist addition.

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