4.15.2008

Black Merda CD


After a night of sake, udon noodles, and Asian snack shopping in Gotham, I turned the corner and ventured down St. Marks. I went down the street and visited Robert and Rockit Scientist Records. I had my co worker with me, so I did not spend too mush time in digger mode.
I had to buy something, so I picked up the last CD copy of Black Merda. This is a Russian version of the Chess Records release. Could this have originally been released in 1967? Below are my thoughts based on a listening session in my Union Square hotel room.

Black Merda takes a place in the post Hendrix rock pantheon. The 1st track, "Prophet" with the refrain, "Set Me Free," sets the tone in a fuzzy manner. The next track "Think of Me" is a more lightweight number.

The next track, "Cynthy Ruth" familiar to listeners of the "Black Chains and Exhaust" boot from a few years back. Jimi-styled husky vocs on top of a fuzzy guitar riff and a funky wah-wah rythm guitar.

"Over and Over" takes an instro electrical blooz and makes it psychedelic at the same time. Mucho distortion on the constantly riffing lead guitar. Since this record originally came out on Chess Records, the sound here makes sense as "Electric Mud" and the psychedelic Howlin' Wolf LP were in the near future.

"Ashamed" takes a Northern Soul style sound and dirties it up a bit and makes the vibe quite a bit more angry.

Flip the cd over and side 2 starts with "Reality" which again shows evidence of a grittier Chitown sound. No stretch could compare this with the Chilites-although Black Merda definitely listened to them.
"Windsong" shows evidence of experimentation as the guitar sounds more acoustic and less distorted. Some sound effects are underneath-wind blowing-and there is a bit of organ buried in the mix. Instro and pretty much throw away, or perhaps a break in the set to roll another? Mellow...

"Good Luck" kicks the distortion throb up to "Cynthy Ruth" levels. They just beat the riff into submission, but the lazy tempo makes the listener think that it could fall apart at any point- it doesn't. Odd fade out and end to the track, though.

"That's The Way It Goes" has a good bassline that drives the track. Kind of a fragment of a song.

"I Don't Want To Die" has a lyrical content that may be related to drugs, the Viet Nam War, or perhaps Race Relations, all topics for 1967 lyrical discourse.

"Set Me Free" ends the set as a 43 second fragement acsoustic in nature that actually works well as a coda.

I'm with Dante on this one. "Cynthy Ruth" is the killer track here and the highpoint of the record. Chess had a winner in Black Merda. I am sure that no one noticed at the time. An interesting time capsule. I am glad that I picked it up.



1 comment:

Vincent the Soul Chef said...

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Have a look at this.

Peace and blessings.