Second Hand

Reality

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Second Hand's debut, Reality, released in 1968 before progressive music had developed, is one of those odd records that mix psychedelic and garage-style music with some progressive touches. This is most evident on "Mainliner" and the title track, which are segued together by some classical music instrumentation. "Reality" adds other symphonic elements as well, and there's even a minute where one hears just organ and cello, a relaxed, slightly haunting moment before the rest of the band kicks back in. "Mainliner" is a nightmarish track about heroin addiction with funeral-dirge organ riffing, and "The World Will End Yesterday" is another doom-laden piece. "Denis James the Clown" uses carnival music played at an amphetamine-hyperactive pace to create a strange little song. There are lots of long instrumental sections with guitar solos, which is fortunate because Ken Elliott's vocals are the weakest link, and a few of his song arrangements come off a little dated as well. Fortunately, those aspects are not enough to distract too much from this otherwise excellent record.

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