The Gods

To Samuel a Son

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The Gods' second album is, like their debut, Genesis, early keyboard-based progressive rock with a psychedelic hangover, vaguely tied into a concept about the experiences of the "Samuel" in the title track. It's more varied in tone than their first record, though, and more surprisingly, a little lighter in touch, though you can still hear some of the bluster of keyboardist Ken Hensley's subsequent group, Uriah Heep. It's a shortage of noteworthy songs, rather than shortcomings in the skills of the players themselves, that dooms this to second-division British psychedelia status. The title track is about the best of the lot, with its nice Mellotron-dominated bridge and distorted fluttering vocals and electronic keyboard tinkles. Psychedelia also lingers in the British observational feel of some of the lyrics, "He's Growing" even sounding a little influenced by Paul McCartney's piano-dominated story-songs, and "Yes I Cry" closer to Badfinger-styled pop than Uriah Heep. The dainty psychedelic popisms go a little over the top, however, in "Sticking Wings on Flies," opening with the lyric, "Sammy's gone to find a job sticking wings on flies, building clouds for thunderstorms, growing apple pies." The CD reissue on Repertoire adds a non-LP 1969 single, an instrumental cover of "Maria" (from West Side Story), as a bonus track.

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