Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Druids of Stonehenge - Creation (1968)

David Budge - vocals
Carl Hauser - guitar, vocals, keyboard
Steve Tindall - drums, keyboard
Billy (B. T.) Tracy - guitar
Tom Paine Workman - bass
The Druids of Stonehenge's sole LP was exceptionally moody garage psychedelia paced by the vocals of Dave Budge, whose snarling blues-rock style owed a great deal to Mick Jagger and perhaps some other British Invasion singers like Van Morrison. As was the case for many garage band singers, Budge could be a little over the top in his derivativeness, sometimes sounding as if he was adding a pinch of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' overwrought camp to the mix (and even covering Hawkins' signature piece, "I Put a Spell on You"). Though the majority of the material is original, this too is quite indebted to the Rolling Stones, though pretty rudimentary in comparison to the classics the Stones themselves were spinning out in the mid-'60s. In quite a few of these respects, the Druids of Stonehenge were similar to one of the best Stonesy U.S. garage groups, the Chocolate Watchband, except — to be frank — the Chocolate Watchband were considerably superior. At times the Druids do break out of the mold, particularly with the gothic Baroque psychedelia of "Six Feet Down" — easily the best track — and the somewhat Love-like "Forgot to Be Begot," which unlike most of the material foregrounds airy West Coast psych-folk-rock-like harmonies. Overall, however, it's a record where the surliness of the attitude impresses more than the actual quality of the material.
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