Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Demian - Demian 1970

Unless you are a serious connoisseur of all things psych, being told that Demian's first (and only) LP was actually Bubble Puppy's second won't help you. Yet, this was not just a change of name, but also a serious change in direction. Bubble Puppy were pure psychedelia, while Demian were solid riff-driven hard rockers. Under that name, the group left only 33 minutes of music -- a very tight eight-song platter. The opener, "Face the Crowd," has a strong Atomic Rooster flavor (minus the organ -- this is a twin-guitar rock quartet), and the rest of the album also has shades of Savoy Brown, early Deep Purple, early Chicago (some Terry Kath in the way the rhythm guitar grooves), and American hard rock. The band wrote good songs ("Coming," "Windy City," "Are You with Me, Baby?") and had an efficient rhythm section (bassist Roy Cox and drummer David Fore), imaginative twin-guitar arrangements, and a powerful lead singer (Cox). The album was recorded at night at the famous Record Plant in live-in-the-studio mode, which gives the music a lot of soul but also a few wrong notes. With a slightly bigger budget, a good producer who could have smoothed out the rough edges, and record label support, Demian's eponymous LP could have been something big, maybe as big as Grand Funk Railroad -- the songwriting and delivery are that good. AMG.

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