This Nashville, Tennessee, USA quartet were formed in 1984 by Joe Blanton (vocals, rhythm guitar), Chris Mekow (drums), Robert Logue (bass) and Oscar Rice (guitar), taking their name from a reference to the highest form of Chinese opium, which had originally been the name chosen by Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers for the band that became the Firm. Impressive local gigging and the self-financed Off The Beat ‘n’ Path EP led to a contract with A&M Records, but with Logue and Rice’s penchant for a folkier sound, the album tended more towards R.E.M. in style than the hard rock direction that the other two preferred, and following a tour with REO Speedwagon, the band split. Blanton and Mekow retained both name and contract, and recruited bass player Drew Cornutt and guitarist Josh Weinberg, although the latter was replaced by Jeff Mays when he failed to live up to expectations in the studio. Geared And Primed, produced by Vic Maile, was an impressively diverse album, following a harder direction while retaining the more rootsy guitar elements of their previous release, particularly on the lighter material. However, the album lacked the depth of quality material to make it a success, and the band faded from sight.
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