LEVIATHAN – The Legendary Lost Elektra Album

Album: The Legendary Lost Elektra Album

Artist: Leviathan

Label: Cherry Red/ Grapefruit

Release Date: November 18, 2016

www.cherryred.co.uk

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The Upshot: Heavy ‘60s psych from the UK originally slated for release finally sees the light of day.

BY TIM HINELY

 Just the band name made these guys seem larger than life… and they were for a while. But on to the record: Where the hell did this come from?? This UK band hailed from Brighton, UK and got signed to Elektra in ’69 (all four members, vocalist Stuart Hobday, guitarist Brian Bennett, drummer Gary Murphy and bassist Roger McCabe, were previously in The Mike Stuart Span). The band released a few singles and then recorded this debut but…. alas. It was shelved for some reason and never saw the light of day; you’ll have to ask Jac Holzman the reason why. The band then lost all hope and broke up (geez, Jac… talk about crushing a band’s dreams however I can forgive you since you were the one who signed Love). Apparently a handful of copies did come out on vinyl just a few years ago but it never saw a full release and many fans were clamoring for it. The original 9 song record is here along with three bonus tracks, although they are just the single versions of songs; David Wells contributes extensive liner notes.

The band definitely fit into the UK psych scene at the time and after listening you’ll wonder what the hell Jac Holzman was on by not wanting to release it, but those were different times. The first cut “Remember the Times” is about as melodic as this band gets while they show their prog rock colors on the trippy “Second Production.” Movin’ on to “The War Machine” and this tune is just, well, plain weird, what with the military drums and lots of shouting/growling. Elsewhere, “Blue Day” would’ve fit in really well with the acid rock scene a few years later, while “Time” is a slower-tempo, folky number; and “Flames” gets real, real heavy. The band were all over the map and there was even talk of them coming to America before the plug was pulled.

This isn’t my favorite kind of stuff to listen to, but I know a talented band when I hear one and that’s Leviathan. Dive in for a piece of history.

DOWNLOAD: “Second Production,” “Blue Day,” “Flames”

 

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