Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Who Will Save the World
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Thank Christ for the Groundhogs!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1972 I went to a Humble Pie concert which also had on the bill Wishbone Ash and a band I had never heard of called the Groundhogs. The Groundhogs hit the stage and for the next 45 minutes held me completely in thrall, almost trancelike. The rest of the show didn't matter, all I could think of was how amazing the Groundhogs had been. I searched out the album they were promoting at the time, "Who Will Save the Worls? (not an easy feat to find such an obscure little LP in the USA) and played it to death. I later found out about their earlier albums like "Split", "Thank Christ for the Bomb" and "Blues Obituary". I also found out that guitarist T.S. McPhee was a highly respected blues guitarist in England. I continued to purchase subsequent albums like the excellent "Hogwash" and "Crosscut Saw", but "Who Will Save the World" remained my favorite. Like many others, I abandoned my early '70s progressive and hard rock faves when punk reared its beautifully ugly head, and I pretty much forgot about the Groundhogs. What a delight it was one night recently when I was searching amazon.com for the most obscure recordings and discovered that most of the original Groundhogs recordings were still in print and available as imports. From the minute I put on "Who Will Save the World?", I was transported back to '72. It still sounds as mesmerizing as ever, only CD technology has brought out sounds I had never heard before. T.S. McPhee sounds like the closest any white man will ever get to John Lee Hooker. His guitar playing is sheer genius, very economical yet highly expressive. He wrings amazing sounds from his instrument and his additional use of harmonium and especially the majestic mellotron add to the impressive sound. Bandmates Pete Cruikshank on bass and Ken Pustelnik on drums assist ably, but it's McPhee's show. Some of the lyrics are a bit of a downer (Death of the Sun), while others are surprisingly positive (Music is the Food of Thought), but all are quite literate - making for a strange '70s/Brit form of the blues. The album closer, "The Grey Maze", is a flat out blues/rock jam where T.S. really kicks out the jams. Even the CD booklet is wonderful, a reprint of the complete comic strip from the original album packaging. If you are a fan of early seventies hard rock, progressive rock or the blues - do yourself a favor and try these Groundhogs, they are mighty tasty little critters!"
In My Top Ten Albums of all Time
Fred Rayworth | Las Vegas, NV United States | 03/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of the Groundhogs when I was in England. There was a music paper there and a headline article proclaiming "Hendrix is Dead, McPhee Lives!" To this day I still remember that article and how the author loved the Groundhogs. I picked up this album in a discount store when I returned to the states a few years later. I was very pleasantly surprised. Tony has a unique voice, and it fits perfectly with the blues based tracks on the album. "Earth is Not Room Enough" is my stand out favorite. I finally learned to play it correctly on guitar about five years ago. I also learned "Music is the Food of Thought," a great blues tune. The way the Hogs play is amazing and every track fits perfectly into the mindset of the album. Some have maligned "Amazing Grace," but their version is so unusual and it fits perfectly with the rest of the album. The lyrics are about pollution, doom and gloom, etc., years before doom metal came out. The sound, though blues based, has a lot of metal influences in it. It was too bad it was different enough to cause problems for Tony and crew with audience acceptance. I love every track on the album and have finally been able to come across some of their other CD's in the past few years. I like them too but always come back to my favorite, "Who Will Save the World?" I highly recommend this album to those looking for some great blues based rock from the seventies. To me, it blows most of the other bands from that era out of the park."
Fred Rayworth | 05/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From all guitar albums on earlier releases ( Split, Thank Christ For the Bomb ) Tony McPhee experimented on this album with Mellotron after falling off stage and breaking his arm during a gig in the States. You really must listen to this album - it's one of the most creative of its time combining superb lyrics ( ironic views on life ), mellotron and guitar like you've never heard before.Earth Is Not Room Enough and Bog Roll Blues are particular favourites.If you've not heard any Groundhogs music before check out the albums I've mentioned and Crosscut Saw - you'll not be disappointed. Sheer genius."