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BEAD GAME – Welcome

This Boston, Mass. band released their sole album in 1970, and it is a good example of the Bosstown Sound of psyche-tinged pop. ‘Punchin’ Judy’ is a good opener, with some staccato organ and searing guitar-work. ‘Lady’ is a slow ballad, with a baroque-sounding middle eight which keeps the interest, and ‘Wax Circus’ goes through a number of tempo changes before finishing with a superb organ/guitar duel. ‘Mora’ has a slightly heavier feel to it, while still retaining the pop groove of the earlier tracks, and ‘Natural Song’ is great pop/psyche, incorporating heavy guitar riffs alongside a Quicksilver-like solo. ‘Country Girls’ slows things down for a country-tinged ballad, before ‘Amos And Andy’ brings back the good-time pop sound. The extended ‘Slipping’ closes the album with a sleepy psychedelic groove which allows the lysergic guitar solo to ring out, while the rest of the band provide a stoned backing. For me this track is the highlight of the album, which, apart from a little filler, is a very enjoyable listen. On the CD re-issue we are also treated to three bonus tracks. ‘Sweet Medusa’ and its companion piece ‘Echoes Of Sweet Medusa’ were both sides of a non-album single release, and are generally agreed to be the best work that the band ever produced, while ‘My Life In Review’ is an orchestrated instrumental. ‘Sweet Medusa’ is a psyche classic, full of searing guitar and great playing by the rest of the band, while ‘Echoes Of…’ is a slower version of the song which if anything is even more powerful. It is almost worth recommending this album just for these two tracks, but the rest is worth a listen as well, so on the whole this is recommended.
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