Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Power Plant - The Golden Dawn

Power Plant
The Golden Dawn
International Artists IA-LP #4

This is another reissue.  As you probably can tell from the cannabis plants and mushrooms on the cover, they aren't referring to a utility company with the title.  This is a seriously trippy record although there really are not many overt drug references in the lyrics.  They sound a lot like their labelmates, the 13th Floor Elevators, in fact I don't think I've ever heard any group that captures their sound so well.  Like the Elevators' albums there are goofy philosophical liner notes and the lyrics are mostly in the same metaphysical vein although they are clumsier and not as dense or impenetrable as Tommy Hall's lyrics for the Elevators.  Not many conventional love songs on this record that's for sure.  Thankfully there is no electric jug, but the sound is thinner than the sonic roar generated by the Elevators in their best moments.  Even the vocals sound a bit like Roky Erickson, that is if Roky was singing like a whiny wimp, I picture the hippie teacher on "Beavis and Butthead" at times.  The leader of this group, George Kinney, was a friend of Erickson since childhood so the Elevator influence is understandable, too bad so little of Erickson's fire was transferred to this group.  It is not as good as any of the three Elevator albums (the fake live one doesn't count) but it has its moments.  I love "My Time" - it is a driving psych-rocker that alone justifies purchasing this album.  It is such a great song, it deserves to be better known.  It is better than anything you will ever hear on a "Pebbles" comp.  I like all of the faster songs on the record like "Evolution," "I'll Be Around," "A Nice Surprise," "Starvation" and the countryish "Seeing Is Believing."  The slow ones are a bit dreary although if I'm in a sufficiently mellow mood they are tolerable enough.  Fortunately there are just a few of them.  It is an album that is worth checking out although probably not at the inflated price that a good quality original will cost you.  Recommended for people who wish that the 13th Floor Elevators had made a fourth album.

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