Due to Amazon's desire to flog more albums and Youtube's habit of recommending similar videos of bands you've often never heard of, I often find myself dabbling with bands that I was totally unaware of. Shag, a prog rock band from Milwaukee were one that drew me in, the album cover showing a smoky purple scene portrays some really kitsch looking characters.
Originally released in LP format in 1969, this was re-released in CD format in 2005. The album features just 7 tracks, none particularly catchy, the fuzzy sounding guitar and long solos being the band's strong point. The band starts off with Gypsies in the Forest, a folky type track which chugs along at a fairly monotonous face, it sounds like Jethro Tull is getting together with Cult for the first time.
Mad Hatter on the contrary is a bit more of a chaotic frenzy but the lyrics are dire and the vocals do not particularly appeal to me, there are all manner of effects thrown in to make it a bit weirder and give it that Alice in Wonderland feel. It's ok and a slight improvement on the opening track. Riddle is a hard rock track with little unique about it.
Anyone's Song is a slow rock, supposedly a love song but a jarring one due to the nauseating vocals which have a bit of a shrill sound to them, perhaps the one good thing about it, is it's relatively short. Next up, is Cold Duck Wino which takes an age to get going, again a slow love song. The lyrics are supposed to be amusing, but if this passes for comedy in Milwaukee then I'll skip stand-up in Wisconsin. The vocals are high-pitch, over the top and really quite silly. There's one or two nice guitar riffs thrown in for good measure but not enough to save this song from being trashy.
Lavender Tab, Ooh, Ooh, Dilly is not exactly a name that fills me with confidence but I was pleased to find that it has a very pleasant instrumental opening, the first minute certainly comes as pleasant relief from the singer's vocals. The songs goes on and on for almost 8 minutes, lyrically it's not a track I can get into but I do really enjoy the solo sections. A little jazzy, a touch funky, it's good stuff.
The album finishes with Lovely Lady, a track that contains a killer riff, which is most likely nabbed from elsewhere as it sounds very familiar. Potentially a decent track, it's killed off once the singer opens his mouth, adding fuel to fire on the pathetically cheesy lyrics. Whether you like prog rock or not, this is an album to skip.