Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
Here we have another band that scored a major single on the Nuggets box (with "Madman Running Through The Fields") but never produced a proper album back in the day. Unlike The Third Bardo, however, the extra recordings stand up to the single and this collection in fact makes for an almost-classic ad hoc album.
It might have helped that Dantalian's Chariot had a relatively impressive pedegree. The bulk of the band were holdovers from the R&B rockin' Zoot Money Big Roll Band. Finding themselves hopelessly out of date come 1967, they refitted their sound to psychedelic pop. Also joining the ranks was future Police guitarist Andy Summers, although I wouldn't come here looking for anything even slightly resembling that bands signature sound.
Each of the ten tracks present here has something groovy to offer, even if they don't all necessarily equal the classic "Madman." It is definitely an above-average collection of British psych-pop. "World War Three" trails "Madman" with some wild and freaking acid guitar and organ parts, while "Sun Bursting Through My Cloud" is a well written ballad that might have made for a great second single. "Coffee Song" is another contender for that distinction. Meanwhile "Flying Bird" is just waiting to track a 60's documentary for shot of freaky hippies frolicking in the park.
There are a few instrumental tracks here that take the band in a slightly different direction, and I feel shows them at their best. These guys had some impressive chops to show. "This Island" is an evocative, sitar-laden piece that almost sounds like something Martin Denny would have done, although first dragged through a thick cloud of an opium den. Also featuring sitar is the six-minute long "Soma," which glides nicely though several different moods and makes me think of a really chilled out early Floyd instrumental.
This album arrived about 30 years late and is already lost to the winds. For those of you that are curious about this bands further exploits, Chariot Rising should be nicely satisfying.
The magic 8-ball says this is doubtful