Black Diamond/Crosscut Saw

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The Groundhogs were an at-times better than average 1960s British blues band led by Tony "T.S." McPhee, whose Jack Bruce-like vocals and raggedly aggressive guitar style made the group sound at times like a looser version of Cream. By the mid-'70s the Groundhogs sounded more like Cream thrown into a blender with Ten Years After, and their hard rock sound, for all of McPhee's guitar brilliance, had taken on an alarmingly generic feel. This set combines the two albums for Liberty/UA that the group released in 1976, Crosscut Saw (begun in 1975 as a McPhee solo project) and Black Diamond, neither of which is particularly distinctive aside from Crosscut's acoustic-based "Mean Mistreater" and "Pastoral Future," which features some lovely guitar playing by McPhee. It's nice to have both of these albums on one disc, though, which should delight fans of the band.

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