The Ill Wind


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Flashes does indeed have more flashes of potential than many of the countless other one-shot psychedelic albums of the late '60s, but this Boston group's sole effort is quite erratic, and not graced with much good material. The best points in their favor are the bracing vocals of Connie DeVanney, whether she's singing alone or blending with male voices in a manner reminiscent of (and probably highly influenced by) early Jefferson Airplane. But despite the presence of Tom Wilson at the production reins, the production often sounds underdeveloped, and the songs frequently meander in a derivative twilight between folk-rock and psychedelia. There are some fair driving folk-rockers in the 1967 Airplane style here, like "People of the Night" (with a lengthy Eastern-style psychedelic guitar break), "Hung-Up Chick," and "High Flying Bird," the last of them a folk song covered by numerous rockers in the last half of the 1960s, not least Jefferson Airplane themselves. "Dark World" is haunting folk-rock-psychedelia, and the best solo showcase for DeVanney's voice, while "Sleep" has some almost gothic male-female vocal interaction. But the album also has some overlong blues-rock noodling and psychedelic droning, mediocre good-time jug band-influenced stuff, and self-consciously heavy social commentary.

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