STAINED GLASS - Aurora
Hailing from San Jose, Stained Glass started out playing Beatles covers, so no surprise that their first couple of singles were a combination of folk and Merseybeat. By the time they signed to Capitol in 1968 their style had a harder rock edge, and this is particularly evident on ‘Aurora’, their second album for the label in 1969. ‘Gettin’ On’s Getting Rough’ is a druggy sounding opener, but ‘Jim Dandy’ brings the guitars more to the fore, and this is carried on with some fine fills in ‘A Common Thief’. ‘The Kibitzer’ makes good use of the Bo Diddley riff, and also has some great freakbeat guitarwork on it, while ‘Inca Treasure’ reminds me of Robin Trower’s mid 70’s work, with its ethereal quality and floating guitar and vocal. ‘Daddy’s Claim’ brings back the hard-edged guitar for a fine bluesy rocker, while ‘Sweetest Thing’ and ‘Mad Lynn Ball’ are both good mid-tempo rockers. ‘The Necromancer’ is one of the best songs that Cream never recorded - the vocal and guitar are pure Clapton, and with prominent bass and thrashing drums you would swear it was Cream. The song is not bad either, and is an excellent way to end this great album. Vocalist/bassist Jim McPherson later went on to form Copperhead with Quicksilver Messenger Service’s John Cippolina, and there is a certain QMS feel to some of these songs, with many of them having a loose jamming style. Out on CD, and well worth a listen, as it is generally regarded as the better of the band’s two albums.