13 February 2010

Condello - 1968 - Phase One

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

Ah, Condello (be you the vocalist/guitarist Mike Condello or the Arizona band in general). Why start your album with an out-of-tune clunker of a track when there are plenty of fine sounds to hear? Oh, well. There's a healthy dose of contemporaneous San Francisco rock lurking about here, especially with Grateful Dead-like harmonies (or go with the Band if you can't deal with Deadheads). These psychedelic popsters were definitely cranking the White Album repeatedly as well, as a few of the better tracks come across like something George Harrison would have plopped down on tape during that period. As my opening comment implies, the album sequencing here is a mess, but a bit of trawling will bring out a few gems.

Condello isn't a particularly groundbreaking band, but they manage some pretty groovy facsimilies and change up their influences just enough to keep it from being a rip off. Still, I think I've got their number for what they were reaching for. Of the better tracks, "Oh, No" and "Dr. Tarr Professor Feather" tend to resemble the aforementioned Harrison tracks, complete with warbling guitars and vocals phased into eternity. "Charming Sitter" and "See What Tomorrow Brings" straddles the fence between the psychedelic Byrds and the country-rock Byrds nicely. "Keep It Inside" and "He'll Keep Waiting" feature Workingman's Dead sort of harmonies, although this is two years before that Dead album, so score one for Condello. "It Don't Matter" makes me think of something the Small Faces would have done for Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, while "Guess I Better Go" could have passed off pretty easily as something Curt Boettcher would have produced.

I feel like I'm being a little lazy when my reviews include this many direct comparisons to other artsts, but Phase One is truthfully a somewhat derivative affair. Fortunately, the band made up for a lack of originality with a few really great songs. You may not need this entire album, but you will likely find three or four songs that you can't live without.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/344155762/Condello_-_1968_-_Phase_1.rar

Baby Indie said...

Condello was part of a Phoenix children's show called Wallace and Ladmo from the late 60s to the mid '70s - wrote the music. I believe he committed suicide.

Anonymous said...

He did commit suicide, toward the end of the 90's. He had just gone on anti-depressants. His shrink took a lovely vacation and should have waited to start his prescription until after the lovely vacation was over.

Mike was a beautiful one.

Jonman said...

Are you saying it sounds like something that would have been on Ogden's Nut Gone Flake if that album were recorded by the Pretty Things? Or did you just make a mistake in attributing The Small Faces masterpiece to the wrong band?

Dr. Schluss said...

I have a bad habit of mixing up the Pretty Things and the Small Faces for some reason. I'll get that corrected.

Anonymous said...

New link:
http://rapidshare.com/files/344155762/Condello_-_1968_-_Phase_1.rar

Jörg said...

"Due to a violation of our terms of use, the file has been removed from the server."

Anonymous said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/55292250/Condello_-_Phase_1__1968_.rar

Jörg said...

Cheers, man!

Anonymous said...

If you remember Mike Condello, please consider making a Kickstarter pledge to get his ELTON DUCK tracks released in a collector’s edition CD.

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1320598526/the-greatest-album-never-heard?ref=email

Please also forward this email to anyone and everyone you know who might be interested.

Thank you!

Jon, theol' Roadhog said...

Dr. Schluss completely misses the point. Mike Condello was a big star in Phoenix in the late 60's. His music was a satire of the Beatles of the Sgt. Pepper era. Mike sold LOTS of records in Phoenix and was the musical director of a kids t.v. show that ran dailey for years.

Trax & Grooves said...

I like this album far more than you do. But it's refreshing to hear other listener's opinions. Thank you.