AMERICAN DREAM – American Dream

This Philadelphia quintet comprised three guitars, bass and drums, and together they have produced a good hard rock/psyche album. It came out in 1970, when hard rock was just taking off, and so it is a mixture of harmony vocals and crunching guitar, but it works very well, and a lot of that is down to the excellent production by Todd Rundgren. ‘Good News’ and ‘Big Brother’ are both great power pop with hard rock guitar solos, while ‘Credemphels’ shows their R’n’B roots in the music and a distinct Zappa feel to the vocals. ‘The Other Side’ is a nice slow ballad, and ‘Storm’ has a CSNY feel to the vocal harmonies on another classy pop song. ‘Cadillac’ and ‘My Babe’ are good old fashioned R’n’B beat stompers, perhaps a bit old fashioned for a 70’s album, but energetically done and good fun. ‘I Ain’t Searchin’’ is more like it – like the Grateful Dead when they do the country-rock thing, and ‘Future’s Folly’ is more of the same, this time with a biting guitar solo. ‘Flankford El’ is a good-time boogie rocker, with the band sounding like they are having a ball, and the album closes with ‘Raspberries’, mostly instrumental, with vocal interjections and some nice guitar playing, and ending the record on a high note. While this album may consist of too many variant styles to hang together as a unified whole, the band are competent at everything they try their hand at, and so it ends up a surprisingly enjoyable listen. Out on CD.