Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gotta help me juke it, baby

Exemplified on those pillars of heaviosity from the ground zero year of 1970, In Rock and Very 'eavy, Very 'umble, organ driven hard rock litters the eras releases big and small. One tune I keep coming back to is Boomerang's "Juke it" from their self titled 1971 LP. Boomerang's organist Mark Stein helped start it all as a member of Vanilla Fudge in the sixties, and formed Boomerang following the Fudge's break up.
"Juke It" announces its arrival with a lead lined boot kicking down your front door, and we're thrust headlong into a juggernaut of a guitar/Hammond riff, one that struggles to negotiate each beat as the weight of every note seems to drag down its forward movement. Jo Casmir intones the sorry state of his sorry existence, one on the verge of collapse lest his woman lend a hand and help him "juke it," the tune building up and spilling over via a tumbling phrase that sounds like the guitar and Hammond are engaged in an electric whip battle.

"Juke It's" extended bridge finds guitarist Richard Ramirez1 in full stranglehold mode on the neck, first via a descending lick that pierces the meaty underbelly of the rhythm section, then a meandering solo that steps on the wah-wah for some expressive note wringing, howls of nickel plated pain summoned forth. "I know you'd feel so warm inside" bellows Casmir, now in the full throes of carnal frustration, Boomerang propelling the song back home to it's finale, one that finds that lashing lick dismantled, reassembled and repeated in a psychopathic attack on the listener. Oh, the humanity!

Though tracks like "The Peddler" and "Cynthia Fever" come close, the remainder of Boomerang fails to reclaim the might of "Juke It," slipping in too many soul ballads and some flaccid funk that strangely predicts Deep Purple's own stumbles on Stormbringer, even employing a dual lead vocals that are a dead ringer for Coverdale/Hughes.

1 yes you read that correctly, but I'm assuming this is an unfortunate coincidence and not a young Night Stalker on guitar?

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