In 1990, Nick Saloman went into the recording studio and created what is widely considered his masterwork, the double album New River Head. The album varies from the sheer pop of "Heıd Be A Diamond" (covered by both Teena... more »ge Fanclub and Mary Lou Lord), to the 17 minute psychedelic blowout epic the Miskatonic Variations II. New River Head marks the debut of Adrian Shaw (Hawkwind bass player) in the Bevis Frond, and Current 93ıs David Tibet also guests. Mostly, Saloman takes the reins, playing guitar, organ, bass, electric piano, singing and even taking photography credits. Upon itıs original release, the album was edited to fit onto one disc. This 2003 remastered reissue brings forth the whole album, in the order that it was intended, followed by 9 bonus tracks including the single that came with the vinyl, several demos and unreleased tracks.« less
In 1990, Nick Saloman went into the recording studio and created what is widely considered his masterwork, the double album New River Head. The album varies from the sheer pop of "He¹d Be A Diamond" (covered by both Teenage Fanclub and Mary Lou Lord), to the 17 minute psychedelic blowout epic the Miskatonic Variations II. New River Head marks the debut of Adrian Shaw (Hawkwind bass player) in the Bevis Frond, and Current 93¹s David Tibet also guests. Mostly, Saloman takes the reins, playing guitar, organ, bass, electric piano, singing and even taking photography credits. Upon it¹s original release, the album was edited to fit onto one disc. This 2003 remastered reissue brings forth the whole album, in the order that it was intended, followed by 9 bonus tracks including the single that came with the vinyl, several demos and unreleased tracks.
Massive sprawling Frondian genius and excess.
George T. Parsons | Nevada City, CA | 08/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The full original double album, with nine additional previously unreleased tracks. This 1991 set is certainly one of Bevis Frond's earliest masterpieces. Mixing his love and mastery of psychedelic electricity and melodic folk rock, with a brilliantly original songwriting vision and heartfelt enthusiasm. Nick Saloman is an emotionally generous songwriter; he shares his dreams and inventions with a warmth that feels like an old friend. An essential addition to your Frondian collection."
One of the best Guitar Rock Albums of all time
M. Rodriguez | South Bend, IN | 08/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is perhaps the best album every assembled by the Bevis Frond and its eclectic leader, songwriter, and polymorph Nick Salomon. With roots in the late 1960s and 1970s space rock community now settled in Walthamstow, London the Bevis Frond has evolved over the years and this album is the first to show how complicated and sublime Nick Salomon's sometimes-beautiful songwriting and guitar work can be. Prior to this release, his work had been hard-rocking psychedelic pop that had a large following among musicians who played psychedelic Stratocaster rock and roll, and especially those familiar with the Fender Jaguar or Jazzmaster outside the surf rock genre. Salomon plays a Jaguar if I remember it correctly. Those who like heavy guitar like that played by Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower will be pleased with this disk and anything originally released before it and most of his work after this one. Some of the folksier songs are also quite nice and display the warmer and sometimes quite sad side of Salomon's songwriting. Many of his songs can be heard in full on his personal website. If you were to purchase only one Bevis Frond CD this would be it!"
HIGH In A FLAT ...
t'amant | WA | 03/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, it's a Thankless Task carrying on the great psychedelic tradition, but somebody's got to do it! Indulgent? HELL YES - And thank God for that. I said once jokingly that this guy (Nick Saloman) was a raw nerve of God ... well this nearly 150 minute monster, in that vein, could be likened to a spark from God's left pinky cuticle. So five stars is reward for what I think is one of the best psychedelic albums around. High in A Flat is just the last song on disk two and one of nine great extras, and it alone is one great 7 minute song - The nine extras could make a complete great album by themselves (with barn-burners like Cracked Universe, Snow, and this fantastic extra version of a rare love song Stain On The Sun). This release is well worth it just to get them in my opinion.
The original songs, all restored now to proper order, are an excellent representation of what this band has been doing previously but also where it's headed (up until today even - the new BF album Hit Squad is maybe my favorite) with an added drummer (Martin Crowley) and numerous guests here and there adding solos and whatnot (Bari Watts rippin' it on Wild Jack Hammer and a few others, Ade Shaw on bass sometimes), Nick is letting loose the reins a little and sharing the BF playground.
The songs on this album are all heady acid-rock fun! An interlocking maze of melody and reflective themes are colored with head-blasting guitar lead tone, power trio rhythm section dynamics, and analogue old-school effects we all used to know and love (from what I presume to be his large vintage collection). Nick even plays old organs, often Vox, to help create that old-school space rock psychedelic feel. When you realize all of the parts he plays you will be amazed - some albums and some songs on here he does everything). Space Ritual just got a new piece of guidance handed down.
After a playful vintage incantation intro (great beginning) to start the album off, White Sun shines some signature blazing heavy guitar into the bleak black & white world (cover) sounding a bit like heavy early King Crimson with wailing horns and Hendrix(y) wah leads mixed with off-kilter drum fills. When the sun goes dark for Drowned you drift into a tremolo spaceout narrating a metaphorical death vision through a spooky, warbling Frond space ballad: "Don't you try to revive me ... I just - DROWNED"! It keeps (Wild Jack)hammering your many sides with different songstyles and approaches in kind of a seamless production - Folksy, Heavy Metal psychedelic, fusion and prog at times, jam sections, acid-rock, a little punk and grungy new wave, singer-songwriter emoting (Nick shares nicely, his lyrics are often hysterical but other times razor sharp emotional) - THE WHOLE TOOLKIT of things lovers of old-school classics enjoy, but still with something new.
The almost 17 minute Miskatonic Variations 2 is one of the best psychedelic teardowns I've heard on any album (with even more wild additions from other space rockers Dave Tibet, Cyke Bancroft, Barry Dransfield & Bari Watts again). If you are still looking for the lost fragments you may have left in the 70's - THEY JUST MIGHT BE FLOATING AROUND HERE, I found a few. For people into this sort of thing - Your trippin' album is on its way.
Thank You Nick Saloman and The Bevis Frond for all of your excellent & fun music (well over twenty sprawling quality albums so far, keep `em coming) you have contributed to the cause! What would we do without musicians like you (still working the outer limits) ... Enjoy in the bathtub (hottub) with your head underwater.
If In Doubt, Start Here
Mark Roland | 11/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of other notable English Eccentrics like Syd Barrett and Robyn Hitchcock might find yet another brilliant off-kilter genius to become obsessed with in their spare time. Bevis Frond Is Nick Saloman, who will lead you through a musical mind excursion of varied contrasts; guitar explorations that pick up where Interstellar Overdrive meltsdown, beautifully sad ruminations on the loss of love and the magic of our youth, insightful portraits of his fellow time travelers through the high and low roads of London and the mythic countryside, and some snarling punk attitude to remind you he is not a fool by any means.
New River Head, in this wonderfully restored and expanded editon covers all the vast territory you would expect in a Frond release and MORE. Stain On The Sun, one of his very best songs, appears as a demo in addition to the official version. Won't Come Again is a spot-on observation of our need to seek what is forever lost. Thankless Task is one of those portraits I refered to, as is Wild Jack Hammer. High In A Flat is social commentary at it's best.
The sound is better than the single disc Reckless issue that I previously treasured. You have notes from Nick, in addition to the bonus material, all of it worthy. If you are still reading this and find any of this intriguing, buy it already."