The Holy MackerelAlbum |
Lost gem of ‘60s L.A. psych pop.
In the early ‘70s, Paul Williams was penning huge hits for the Carpenters, Three Dog Night and others, but in 1968 he was a newbie on the L.A. pop scene, who managed to snag a record deal with Reprise. Lacking confidence in himself as a solo artist, Williams put together the band Holy Mackerel for his first album, which bore the group's name. Holy Mackerel included Paul's brother Mentor Williams (who would go on to write the Dobie Gray hit "Drift Away") as well as former members of Jefferson Airplane and The Turtles. The under-promoted album flopped, and the band was broken up by the time it came out, but it's been a lost gem of ‘60s L.A. psych pop until finally getting a well-appointed deluxe reissue from Now Sounds. The Williams brothers trade off on lead vocals, and the Mentor-led tracks are all rootsy, country-rock-tinged tracks that draw on the brothers' passion for the Buffalo Springfield (in fact, Springfield drummer Dewey Martin contributed to the sessions too). Poppier passions were closer to Paul's heart, though, as heard on the majority on the tunes. Period psychedelic touches abound, like tremolo-treated vocals, trippy lyrical touches, wood-nymph flute lines, and the requisite baroque-pop harpsichord, but the core of the album is the melodic mastery that was already a part of Paul Williams' toolkit on his first outing.
|The Holy Mackerel and Overcast Pop|