One of the few major late-'60s bands who were not often copied (at least well) was the Doors, perhaps because the disparate elements that made up the group were so complex and difficult to assimilate by a group of teenagers, and probably because there weren't too many Jim Morrisons, even in the tumult of the times. No teenager could match Morrison's combination of brilliance and b.s., poetry and pretension, and few bands could match the powerfully ominous instrumental attack of Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, and John Densmore. One of the best of the Doors understudies was Blessed End. Their only album, Movin' On, may not be as strong as anything the Doors created, but that is an unfair comparison to begin with. What the album is, though, is a solid collection of garage-pop songs with foreboding subject matter, considering the bandmembers' youth. Steve Quinzi's organ lines are not as complex and menacing as Manzarek's, but they are often catchy in their frat-rock (think "96 Tears") way. Mike Petrylak's drumming is not as precise and commanding as Densmore's, but it holds down the music nonetheless. Jim Shugarts' guitar work is mostly steady and unobtrusive, and is not really trying to stand up to Krieger's idiosyncratic psychedelic-flamenco-blues. And, of course, Doug Teti is not the Lizard King, but he does possess a booming (in the mold of Bob Mosley or Jack Bruce), tormented baritone that looms over the music. The argument could be made that Teti was more Gary Puckett than Jim Morrison, but Puckett never sounded as threatening, and his music never had the exuberant garage amateurishness that Blessed End's showed. Of course, the music is not completely melancholy. Sustaining that type of atmosphere necessitates a certain degree of physical or emotional destructiveness, as Morrison demonstrated. Movin' On shows elements of blues (Teti's Bruce-like wail on "Escape Train"), but there is ultimately a buoyant rather than somber feeling to their music in spite of its fair share of gloom. The opening one-two punch of "Nighttime Rider" and "Someplace to Hide" may be constructed out of minor chords, but the music chugs along enthusiastically instead of broodingly. Throughout the album, Teti sings about death, being alone, and hateful women, but repeated listening reveals it to be less sinister and more a manifestation of imaginative angst.
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AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart