Stray – Suicide (1971) (@256)
17 Feb 2008
Request of Mal.
(Review from amazon, allmusic.com)
One of the most consistent and popular bands of the 70s, Stray trod a fine line between Hard Rock, Prog, and harmony-driven Boogie, their powerful playing, hook-laden melodies and accomplished harmonies appealing equally to all three audiences. Formed in 1966, the band yielded a prolific career yet managed to elude the fame enjoyed by contemporaries like Cream, Thin Lizzy or even Mountain.
A natural follow-up to their debut album, “Suicide” is another imaginative melding of different musical genres under the broad, forgiving definition afforded by the progressive rock tag. “Suicide” has more keyboards and a reflection of the album title, the lyrics are darker overall mood.
Opener “Son of the Father” alternates quiet passages of sublime but chilling beauty with other hard-driving but rather upbeat sections — all supporting questioning meditations about generations of men sent off to war after war. Some ensuing tracks, like “Nature’s Way” and “Do You Miss Me?” continue to showcase Stray’s copious testosterone via wicked power chords and boogie grooves (but always interlaced with some unexpected jam or jazzy accent), and the especially forceful “Jericho” catapults untold scores of contrasting riffs against one another with urgent intensity, ultimately culminating in a truly frightening descending riff sequence.
Other songs include the musically elegiac “Where Do Our Children Belong”, the Southern rock feel of “Run Mister Run” with its cow bells and blue-collar construction, and finally, there’s the controversially themed title track, which combines a Black Sabbath-like bass progression from Gary G. Giles with foreboding fuzz chords and sizzling solo licks from Del Bromham (reminiscent of Sir Lord Baltimore) to impart its gloomy story.
Suicide’s a multi-faceted creative accomplishment, under any circumstance — especially considering the album was reportedly recorded at Olympic Studios in just 30 hours!
* Del Bromham / Organ, Guitar, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals, Mellotron
* Richie Cole / Percussion, Drums
* Steve Gadd / Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals, Bells
* Gary G. Giles / Bass, Guitar
01. Son Of The Father – 5:50
02. Nature’s Way – 3:32
03. Where Do Our Children Belong – 3:41
04. Jericho – 4:57
05. Run Mister Run – 3:54
06. Dearest Eloise – 2:33
07. Do You Miss Me? – 6:31
08. Suicide – 7:49
09. Encore (Bonus) – 0:40
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