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(53:38, ‘Eden Hall’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Sassafras Overcoat 4:49 2. Queen of the Stars 3:46 3. Victoria Moon 3:24 4. The Collapse of Suzy Star 5:33 5. Zap 2:30 6. Sitting Bull 4:04 7. Drunk Like Shakespeare on Love 4:14 8. Dandy Horse 4:34 9. Super Phantasmal Heroine 4:13 10. Cracked Alice 3:36 11. Blood on My Feet 5:01 12. She's Your Anodyne 2:36 13. The Horrible Pill Book 5:18 LINEUP: Mark Lofgren – vocals; bass; synthesizer Gregory Curvey – vocals; guitars Carlos Mendoza – drums Jim Licka – Mellotron
Prolusion. The US band THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL has a history that can be traced back to the 80's, with an initial cassette release in 1989 as their debut. While the band has been a bit of an on and off affair since these early days, from 2006 and onwards it has been a fairly stable one as far as creating and releasing new material go. "Victoria Moon" is their most recent studio production, and was self released by the band in 2013.
Analysis. The Luck of Eden Hall may well be a band not that well known, especially in their home base of USA, despite lots of praise being sent their way on regular occasions from all over the world. It may be a sign of the times that this is a band that by the help of fans managed to finance the cost of doing a small European tour, yet they don't need to print more than a couple of hundred copies of their albums. The band made 300 copies of this specific CD, and at the time of writing there are still 40 copies left of it, presumably stacked somewhere in band leader Gregory Curvey's home. If this band is known for anything it is for their consistency. Many years have passed since Smashing Pumpkins main man Billy Corgan described The Luck of Eden Hall as an excellent psychedelic rock band, and that description is just as true today as it was back then. This is a band that knows their 60's psychedelic pop and rock, both the more easygoing and mainstream oriented as well as the harder edged variety often referred to as garage rock. They know their Beatles and The Who, most likely their Pink Floyd as well, but if I should hazard a guess these guys are probably more familiar with both lesser known and more well renowned bands from the late 60's and early 70's that had a penchant for the use of psychedelic details in their music. I suspect that you might add a slight touch of grunge to this as well, at least indirectly by way of the artists that inspired the grunge movement back in the 80's giving The Luck of Eden Hall a slight touch of that specific sound at times. The end result is, as usual with this band, a high quality constellation of material. The songs rely just as much on harder edged rock comparable to the likes of The Who as they do to more accessible rock of the late 60's and early 70's, with the guitar the central instrument throughout and the main provider of the psychedelic textures that place this band firmly in the psychedelic rock segment. High quality drum patterns and clever bass lines support, with keyboards and the good, old Mellotron supplying further psychedelic details, cosmic sounding effects and some instantly likeable, richly textured Mellotron washes. The latter not that frequent a detail, but so effective when employed, on tracks like Sitting Bull and the superb, extremely English-sounding Dandy Horse. Curvey's carefully controlled vocals, often with a slight distanced sounding expression, fit these surroundings perfectly, and with chorus sections with a high degree of sing-a-long quality to them, Super Phantasmal Heroine a good example of that, this albums flows along in a most compelling manner.
Conclusion. The Luck of Eden Hall may not be a band that will appeal strongly to those who listen exclusively to progressive rock, but if you have a taste for psychedelic rock as well as rock from the late 60's and early 70's in general this is a band that needs to be placed high on your list of artists to check out. "Victoria Moon" is as good a starting point as any other with this band. They are known for releasing consistently high quality material, and this CD is no exception.
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