Phafner

Overdrive

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Phafner was formed in Marshalltown, IA, in 1969, and immediately attracted local attention by playing a hard-edged, drug-induced brand of rock & roll. The band consisted of two sets of brothers -- Dale Shultz on guitars and vocals, James Shultz on bass, Steve Smith on lead guitar, and Greg Smith on vocals -- along with Steven Gustafson on drums. In 1971, the band decided to record an album of their own original material, so they got together in a local basement studio and put six songs together for what became the Overdrive album. In order to attract some attention from a major label, they pressed 50 copies of the record (on the Dragon label). Overdrive has become legendary among collectors of hard-rock music, and a copy of the original album will fetch well over $3,000 on today's collectors market. Now, for the first time, by way of a licensing agreement with Buckskin Music, Overdrive is available on CD. Housed in a digipack case with dragon-themed art work, the CD contains the six songs from the original album. Clocking in at just over 25 minutes, it features great, blues-influenced hard rock with loads of fuzz guitar, in the style of such artists as Josephus or early Johnny Winter. Unfortunately, there are no bonus tracks on this reissue, although the band did record a couple of cuts for a proposed second album in 1972. This is highly recommended to any fan of early-'70s hard rock.