The Flying Aces

Seashell

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Recorded sometime in the early '70s but kept unreleased for 30 years, Seashell is the sole album by the Flying Aces, a side project of Man bassist Martin Ace. The group was active live and even appeared on the Greasy Truckers Party live compilation (with Hawkwind and Man), but things never coalesced into a record deal. In retrospect, Seashell makes a nice slice of British psychedelic rock with no particularities to set it apart. Martin and George Ace are not good lead singers, but they do the job, at least to pub rock requirements. Whenever Vyvyan Morris steps in the music veers toward Jefferson Airplane, down to the guitar solos and the surrealistic imagery. The title track (both versions very different), "I Got Beautiful You," and "Moonlight Kiss" are all enjoyable, but "Magic Carpet Ride" is simply too cliché to please beyond flower-power nostalgia. A light country vein apparent in "Atlantic Roller" and "Waiting at the Station" keeps things interesting. Hi-fi fanatics will find the recordings slightly muffled with occasional wear and tear on the master tape, but otherwise they remain pretty listenable and have the distinctive charm (some say "warmth") of that era. Man completists will find much to like here (note the presence of Deke Leonard and Phil Ryan), but so will aficionados of vintage psych-rock.

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