Steve Peregrine Took

The Missing Link to Tyrannosaurus Rex

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Consisting of selections from a series of fragmentary demo sessions in 1972 financed by former T. Rex manager Tony Secunda, The Missing Link to Tyrannosaurus Rex might not necessarily convince people that Steve Peregrine-Took was a renegade genius overshadowed by Marc Bolan, but in its own way it's a roughly enjoyable listen. The guest performers on the album promise much -- Pink Fairies renegades Mick Farren on guitar and bass and Twink the Wonder Kid on drums and Took's erstwhile partner in the obscure Shagrat, Larry Wallis, on guitar, among many others. There are even some random appearances by another drug-ravaged refugee from the '60s -- Syd Barrett, credited with guitar and "various noises," likely including turns on the surprisingly sweet "Syd's Wine." For all the promise of the participants, there's nothing quite as truly, hauntingly gone as Barrett's own solo work or Took's older efforts in T. Rex itself (or, say, Skip Spence's work on Oar). But for all that, some songs come close, more often the calmer but still weird and wonderful acid folk efforts than the OK-enough space rock chugs, which sound like reasonable if not remarkable Hawkwind outtakes. The odd recording quality -- murky and sometimes distanced -- often adds to the strange beauty of the better numbers, like the fried jangle of "Flophouse Blues (In the Mountain Grill)" and the more straightforward rock/goth epic turn of "Seventh Sign." Since Took can barely be heard or easily interpretable on most numbers -- the fairly generic, hard rock stomp "I Caution You" is one of the few exceptions where his singing is straight up in the mix -- one gets the sense of his voice more than what he's singing. There are flashes of the yearning quality familiar from his heyday with Bolan, while other times he's pursuing his own strange mystic ramble, and his occasional keyboard playing is often surprisingly haunting and effective.

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