Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Impeccable - Live on The Rox (Superb Private Hardrock US-79)

Size: 101 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Impeccable was formed in late 1976, although they were known as Live Wire and then Axxe before they eventually settled on calling themselves Impeccable. Early on, they had the intention of being an original music outfit, so they started creating their own material almost from the inception. 

Most of the raw musical compositions were written by Darren Welch, and then vocalist Don Allison would put together the lyrics, and they'd all get together to construct and finalize the tunes. 

So, there was also input from drummer Morris Payne & bassist Richard Rico. They were influenced by groups such as Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Beatles, Wiggy Bits, Moxy, Hendrix, Trapeze & Black Sabbath. Sometime in 1978, they met Rusty Zavitson, who said he'd like to record the band. So, they ended up recording their debut single in Rusty's living room on a 4 track reel to reel and it was at this time they were known as Axxe. 

They pressed 1,000 copies of the single, issued with a picture sleeve featuring a group photo on front. These were distributed locally and sold at shows. They toured around Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma shortly thereafter to support the release. The band did numerous shows at a club in Lubbock called The Rox, owned by Carlo Campanelli. 

This is where they decided to record the live show that would become the Live on the Rox album. It was at this time, they renamed the band Impeccable, after the classic Budgie album. They also happened to do several shows with Budgie & ended up becoming friends. They pressed up 1,000 copies of the Live on the Rox album under the GBC label. GBC wasn't a real label of any sort, it was just a fictional creation of Carlo, who loaned them the money for the pressing, he said it stood for Great Big Con.

Highly anticipated reissue of rare Texas hard rock private press record originally released in 1979. Loud, ferocious, untamed guitar work, courtesy of Darren Welch, dominates this Lubbock, Texas band's hard to find debut album. Impeccable deliver a massive dose of raw in-your-face rock and roll energy here, captured live in 1979 at a popular night club in Lubbock called The Rox. 

As a bonus, there are two tracks from the band's ultra-rare debut single from 1978 when they were still known as Axxe. This single is on a lot of collector want lists and is nearly impossible to find these days, even here in Texas. Includes liner notes and photos from the Impeccable archives.

01. Call of the Wild  03:51  
02. Traces of Time  04:07  
03. Seashore  05:34  
04. Lizzy  04:44  
05. Live Wire  03:49  
06. No Other Way  07:07  
07. Johnny B Goode  03:39

Bonus Tracks  
08. Axxe - Rock Away the City  03:09  
09. Axxe - Through the Night  05:55

1. Impeccable
2. Impeccable
3. Impeccable

Wildwood - Plastic People (Raw, Hard Psychedelia 1968-70)

Size: 340 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Some Artwork Included

Raw, in-your-face hard psychedelia with plenty of Vox and Hammond organ, hard guitar and powerful vocals courtesy of WILDWOOD. Formed in the late ‘60s in Stockton, California, this powerful outfit rubbed shoulders with groups like Country Weather, Steve Miller Band or Grateful Dead and played at legendary venues such as the Fillmore and the Matrix. 

The packaging on this album is the first surprise. The two CDs comprising the total recorded output of the band Wildwood, its predecessor the Mal Ts and some material done by their lyricist, comes in a clear vinyl envelop that looks a bit like a badge holder. Also enclosed is a neat booklet with a solid detailing of the band's history. Finally, there is sheet of light cardstock which is shaped and perforated just like the back insert in a jewel case. It's printed to look like a record mailing envelope but also has the track listing.

The music is the second surprise. It is so good, both in performance and recording quality that I was compelled to use the clich&; "Why didn't this band break through to national success?" I think there are two reasons. First, the band had no true manager. Wildwood tended to book itself into shore and even did a little show staging. 

The lack of a manager to do the smoozing and knocking on doors meant their visibility was limited to word-of-mouth at shows or from a few songs played on local radio. Second, the band recorded for the almost invisible Magnum label owned by Max Weiss. The liner notes suggest he was disinterested in promoting bands and seemed to operate on the doctrine of waiting for success to come to him. 

Prior to Magnum, Mr. Weiss had owned and operated another label, Fantasy, which he sold to one Saul Zaentz. One only needs to have a slight familiarity with Creedence Clearwater Revival to know that name. So, when all is said and done, Wildwood may have been somewhat ostracized due to the company they kept. The lack of commercial success also damaged the band internally. Resentments developed over one member who seemed unable to support his family on his share of the proceeds. Finally, after separating from Weiss, the band did some demos for Mercury, but nothing came of them. Facing endless, low-yield touring with little to show for it financially, Wildwood folded in 1971.

This is a shame because the band material presented here is excellent Keyboardist Mark Ross' brilliance on both the Vox and Hammond B2 was a major component of the band's sound, which was akin to what any number of bands was doing on both sides of the Atlantic. When I first listened to the album, I immediately thought of Deep Purple and Vanilla Fudge. But, that's not quite right. 

You see, Wildwood maintained a little more of rock `n' roll sense and it kept their music away from the ponderous side of heavy blues. You hear this in `Mother' and the Hammond organ version of `Free Ride.' They also toyed - the best word I can come up with because it's only on a few cuts - with a slightly countrified feel (`Lonesome Road'). There's even a Chicago-blues number (Blue-eyed Woman) that is as good as you'll hear from acolytes of that genre.

Add to that the voice of Frank Colli, with its raspy tone and bluesy intonations - sounding a lot like Paul Rodgers or Bob Seger - that were perfect for the music the band was playing.

However, by mentioning other groups and singers that Wildwood sounded like, I am not trying to trivialize the group. Instead, it is only to give you an indication of their style. By the time these recordings were made - using the assumption that all bands begin by doing material of other, more famous outfits - the group was way, way beyond being a covers band or copycats. Instead, it was a tight, highly skilled music machine that must have turned more than a few heads at shows.

And then, as the necessary third leg of the musical stool, we find Wildwood was even more fortunate to have lyrics that both propelled and rose on the sound. Many of these came from William Chalker who filled the lyricist role much as Robert Hunter was doing with the Grateful Dead. As mentioned in the liner notes, Chalker was a bit of an enigma. 

He appeared seemingly out of nowhere at the Weiss studios with some demos, was recorded fronting another band, then disappeared. Along the way, he left the impression he had intimate knowledge about the so-called Zodiac Killer. The implication seems to be that Wildwood was put off by Chalker as a person and performer, but coveted his words. The second CD in the set has both the demos and the performance material by Chalker - apparently he went by his last name - allowing us to compare his work and Wildwood on the same songs. As my Brit mother used to say, "It's like chalk and cheese." While Wildwood's versions are superb musical creations, Chalker's come across as drunken kareoki.

OK, so my point is it's readily apparent to me was that Chalker was no singer. I suggest he saw himself as another Jim Morrison (listen to Wildwood County Man, as one of the prime examples)- who would have been very comfortable singing many of these lyrics, by the way- but absent the stage presence and tonal quality. The liner notes say he was Roky Erickson like in his writing and singing; I have to disagree. Roky may have been certifiably insane, but ranting about two-headed dogs, creatures with atomic brains and zombies and is almost normal - or at least simply tragic - compared to some of Chalker's stuff. The words we hear - particularly in Frisco Fog - are far more ominous and threatening. 

That song, with its storyline of a murderer stalking in the foggy San Francisco night, is truly malevolent. And, it is made more so by the fact this is at a time with the Zodiac Killer had the Bay Area in a panic. And, in the case the message isn't clear enought, Chalker - again using his Morrison voice - tries to make the reference still more clear by singing "London Fog."as there's As a lyricist, William Chalker is quite brilliant; as a singer, he's a runaway train; as a person, you get the sense you might try to avoid his company.

The lone 45 from the Mal Ts, which contained a couple of the future Wildwood, are fairly tepid Brit Invasion imitations. Members and a few other names for the group came and went before Wildwood came into being. I'd say the aggregation was perfect. All in all, you're buying the set for the first CD and the five Wildwood cuts on the second. Worth every penny for just that!

Disc: 1
01. Wildwood - Plastic People - 03.14 
02. Wildwood - Mothers - 04.35
03. Wildwood - Mary Midnite - 05.43
04. Wildwood - Choo Choo Thunder - 06.05
05. Wildwood - Free Ride (Hammond Version) - 02.42
06. Wildwood - Wildwood County - 03.28
07. Wildwood - Gotta Keep Movin' - 03.32
08. Wildwood - Swimming - 02.39
09. Wildwood - Steel Cathedral - 06.13
10. Wildwood - Probing The Secrets - 04.14
11. Wildwood - Durango - 03.34
12. Wildwood - Mr. Wild Love - 04.05
13. Wildwood - The Weasel - 03.41

Disc: 2
01. Wildwood - Knock On Any Door - 03.25
02. Wildwood - Lonesome Road - 03.47
03. Wildwood - Steel Cathedral (Mercury Version) - 04.04
04. Wildwood - Free Ride (Vox Version) - 05.12
05. Wildwood - Blue Eyed Woman - 06.38
06. Mal-T's - Here To Stay - 01.54
07. Mal-T's - Stand Up Today - 02.38
08. William Chalker - Wildwood Country (Demo) - 05.22
09. William Chalker - Frisco Fog (Demo) - 04.27
10. William Chalker - Choo Choo Thunder (Demo) - 01.16
11. Chalker - Death Is A Horseman - 06.52
12. Chalker - Sweet Lorraine - 05.44
13. Chalker - Nevada Voice - 03.32
14. Chalker - Mary Of The Midnight - 08.21

Part 1: Wildwood 1
Part 2: Wildwood 2
Part 1: Wildwood 1
Part 2: Wildwood 2
Part 1: Wildwood 1
Part 2: Wildwood 2