The absolute king of lo-fi basement psychedelia, originally released as a private pressing in 1974 by this duo from Ohio. From dreamy melancholic tracks to insane fuzzed-out heavy psych ones.
“Two multi-instrumentalists creating a melancholic dreamlike state with songs fading in and out of the speakers, cavemen drums, primitive electronics and murky fuzz lurking in the background. The best tracks go into places no other albums reach”– Patrick Lundborg (Acid Archives).
‘Emerges’ as in slowly from the primordial sludge of the universe. ‘Emerges’ like a slow, slouching spectre hauling itself out of the swamps. But then what’s a boy to do?
It’s 1974, you’re young and have a head full of Hawkwind and Roky and the Elevators, old brutalist blues in the Hound Dog Taylor / Fred McDowell backwoods whisky-fucked mode, freakfolk and LSD; you’re stuck in Hicksville, USA – that’s Youngstown, Ohio to you lot; the music scene sucks; glam’s dead or dying slowly; punk a good year of so from even starting to get itself born. Town’s too damn small to even muster up a band in. It’s just and your buddy and that’s it, man.
So you grows your hair and wear satin, wander wide-eyed and tripping across small town railway tracks and hang loose at the weekend in your basement. You gather a bunch if cheapo instruments on the never-never and you start cutting low-fi bedroom demos. Slowly, slowly Stone Harbour emerge.
Stone Harbour were Ric Ballas – electric, acoustic and slide guitars; organ; piano; synthesizers; bass guitar percussion and voice – and Dave McCarty – lead vocals, drums and percussion… and out of nowhere and nothing, at entirely the wrong time, they cut an LP that will blow your head clean off. This is a trip into the true dark heart of psychedelia.
The music? What can I tell you? ‘You’ll be a star’ shimmers and aches in the midnight; cymbals wash over you, Dave McCarty’s vocals emerge from some subterranean cave and the keyboards flicker, flicker, flash across the periphery of the song; ‘Rock & Roll Puzzle’ is dark, twisted fried garage punk blues brutality in the same mould as ‘White Faces’ or ‘Cold Night for Alligators’, pre-empting The Gories and Pussy Galore by a good ten years!!
“Who invented rock & roll? And who invented soul? Was it you or was it me?” Indeed. Songs fade in and out; finger-picking blurs into screaming squeiching synths; guitars melt in the mid-summer heat. ‘Grains of Sand’ frazzles like The Stooges through a fucked-up amp and filtered through a transistor radio with the valves burning out.
‘Thanitos’ is the freak-out ending of ‘Julia’s Dream’ lost in suburban downtown US of A with the taillights cutting on the freeway .. . whilst ‘Summer Magic is Gone’ is the most haunted, haunting song I’ve heard in many a long strange moon. Shimmers like stars in the 2am fug and haze and bleeds lost and lonely and bruised into the heat-warped dawn. You’re still awake though the brain don’t work like it used to. Blurred and bleary and exhilarated and stoned the very core of the soul. Best record I’ve heard all year. – Hugh Dellar (Shindig!)
*Insert with photos and liner notes by band member Ric Ballas.
* Digital download coupon.
Side A: A1. You’ll Be A Star – A2. Rock & Roll Puzzle – A3. Grains Of Sand – A4. Summer Magic Is Gone – A5. Stone’s Throw
Side B: B1. Thanitos – B2. Still Like That Rock & Roll – B3. Ride – B4. Dying To Love You – B5. Workin’ For The Queen
Out-Sider Music OSR078