Fresh Blueberry Pancake

Heavy

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This album is part of the German imprint Shadoks' digging activities in America's acid rock backyard. Fresh Blueberry Pancake is a typical post-Cream power trio, from Pittsburgh, PA. Active from 1968 to 1972, the group did not release any album, but a set of demos was recorded in 1970 and pressed in 54 copies for promotional use. The sound quality is pretty good considering the group probably invested little money in studio time, which makes one think that Shadoks had access to the master tapes. The nine songs clock in at under 33 minutes and are of uneven interest. "Hassles" and "Stranded" stand out thanks to their heavy riffs ("Hassles" sounds derived from Cream's "Politician"), fuzz guitar, and passionate vocals from Tony Impavido, who also handles the bass guitar. Another highlight is the Savoy Brown-tinged "Down on the Farm." Some of the other tracks have a Southern or even Californian feel ("Where's the Sun," for instance) and occasionally hit a religious note ("I Call Him Lord"). Nothing aggravating there; it's only that Fresh Blueberry Pancake's songs can be a bit unimaginative and bland. The trio (completed by guitarist John Behrens and drummer Geoff Rydell) understood the dynamics of blues-rock, but lacked good melodies and superior musicianship. In short, Heavy is mildly entertaining and of interest mostly to collectors of '70s obscurities.

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