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Iota Review

by Fran├žois Couture

Iota's biography is a short read and its discography even shorter. Hailing from El Paso, TX, this four-piece was active in the late '60s and early '70s. It recorded a studio session in 1971 for the Suemi label, out of which two singles came out. Success -- and the projected LP -- never materialized. Thanks to Suemi's archiving care, the Shadoks imprint was able to retrieve this lost album in 2003. Iota had little money and Suemi spent little more on them: The eight-track tapes sound thin and under-produced, but the music features enough original quirks to catch the interest of '70s psychedelic/acid rock collectors. To the standard post-Cream power trio, Iota added Hammond organ (played by Steve Phipps), which takes the group's sound closer to early Deep Purple, especially in "Sing for You." The highlight of the set is "Precincts," the group's first single A-side. A dark, moody song mixed with lots of cavernous bass, it is unusual even by heavy psych rock standards and features a gripping melody delivered with much drama by leader Carl Neer. "Love Come Wicked," "Bottle Baby," and "Better Place" also stand as nicely written songs and walk the line separating blues-rock and psych rock. More overtly pop, "I'm Gonna Be a Man" and "Our Love So Warm" are less successful.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Iota 03:38 Amazon
Iota 02:31 Amazon
Iota 03:17 Amazon
Iota 02:25 Amazon
Iota 03:59 Amazon
Iota 02:47 Amazon
Iota 02:18 Amazon
Iota 04:08 Amazon
Iota 02:46 Amazon
Iota 02:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick