Thursday, April 9, 2009

Anonymous & J. Rider - Inside the Shadow & No Longer Anonymous


Greg Reynolds,

Jason Garriot,

Glenn Weaver,

Marsha Rollings,

Jon Medvescek,

Ron Matelic

Devoted to all " Anonymous said..." :-)

Biography by Stewart Mason : A somewhat mysterious but eminently worthwhile quartet from Indianapolis, IN, Anonymous was active in the mid- to late '70s but sounded like they came from a decade earlier. The group's acknowledged antecedents were the Beatles and the Byrds, but from such familiar trappings, Anonymous created a richly textured version of classic psychedelia that both adheres to and ignores the common precepts of the genre. The mellow, wide-ranging but never aimless results sound like a cross between a far more structured version of Quicksilver Messenger Service and an American equivalent of the fluid, jazz-tinged progressive rock of Curved Air.
Anonymous' roots were in the '60s garage scene. Singer/guitarist Ron Matelic and drummer ... Read More...


1. Who's Been Foolin' - Anonymous
2. J. Rider - Anonymous
3. Up to YouI, Pt. 1 - Anonymous
'4. Shadow Lay - Anonymous
5. Pick Up and Run - Anonymous
6. We Got More - Anonymous
7. Sweet Lilac - Anonymous
8. Baby Come Risin' - Anonymous
9. One Sided Lover - J. Rider
10. Kiss of Your Soul - J. Rider
11. We Got More - J. Rider
12. High Roller - J. Rider
13. Pike River - J. Rider
'14. Sunday's Hero - J. Rider

Although these albums were made by an all-but-unknown Indianapolis band in the latter half of the 1970s, Inside the Shadow and No Longer Anonymous are prime '60s-style psychedelia that stands up to many of the genre's better-known releases. The songs on 1976's Inside the Shadow, built around Marsha Rollings' lovely voice and Ron Matelic's heavily Byrds-influenced guitar (the ultra-jangly "Pick Up and Run" could be an outtake from 5D), are an impressive lot, with a stronger sense of melody and structure than the aimless jamming that typifies so many psychedelic albums. Matelic's songs are determinedly on the poppy end of psychedelia, with catchy choruses, soaring harmonies, and plenty of hooky instrumental riffs to keep the listener's attention. Even the nine-minute "Baby Come Risin'," with its extended jam middle section, sounds more composed than one would expect. No Longer Anonymous was recorded in 1979 by a revised lineup of the band -- Rollings, unfortunately, is gone, and the new version of Inside the Shadow's high point "We Got More" shows how much she's missed -- and originally released under the name J. Rider. Matelic's liner notes claim that this album was originally intended as a demo tape of the group's most commercial songs. Indeed, this is a more determinedly rock-oriented affair; the opening "One-Sided Lover" sounds worryingly like an early track by fellow Hoosiers REO Speedwagon, although it also features some exceptional three-part harmonies. But for all that, No Longer Anonymous still has a handful of excellent songs well served by the more aggressive and electric sound. The vinyl transfer is not the best it could be -- the dreamy acoustic opening of "Shadow Lay" is marred by surface noise and pops that are nearly as loud as the music -- and for some unknown reason the second version of "We Got More" appears twice in the album's running order, but despite the reissue's flaws, this CD is the best (not to mention least expensive) way to hear these two largely unknown but eminently worthwhile albums. ~ Stewart Mason, All Music Guide
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