23 June 2011

Rex Holman - 1970 - Here in the Land of Victory

Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.5 out of 5

This album is a reasonably entertaining set of sort of mellow, singer-songwriter light psych. The production has a nice think woodsy sound, and the songwriting is rarely embarrassing. Holman has a pretty strong 'dude-with-a-mustache' voice, although his vibrato often gets a little out of control - it's like he's singing in a fan or something. Still, this music sits in a strange grey area between Kris Kristofferson and Donovan that should hold your attention for a bit.

The best tracks here blend Holman's 'manly-hippy-on-the-moors' sound with a bit of an Eastern vibe, which basically means a few bongos and a sitar. "Rowin'," "Sit and Flatter Me," and "Debbie" all ride this sort of groove pretty well and are probably the best tracks here. "Debbie" especially has a cool shuffling rhythm and makes me think of Scott Walker before he started using slabs of meat as percussion. I also dig the twilight psych of "Copper Kettle" and "Come On Down." Yeah, for some reason side two seems to be the superior side. Well, the opening title track is pretty solid as well, adorned with chimes, flute, and a catchy Brit folk melody. It's also worth mentioning that Rex doesn't rock. He sort of, kind of gives it a shot on the bluesy "Red is the Apple" and the 'Dylan as bubblegum pop' "I Can't Read My Name," but, y'know, they're both still pretty mellow when you come right down to it.

In full disclosure, this isn't quite up my particular musical alley. I'm definitely cool with the psych and Eastern touches, as well as the general British folk underpinnings, but this really is halfway down the Wonder Bread, 70's singer-songwriter hallway. If you've got a 'thang' for that sort of thing, then you'll probably have some additional appreciation for these recordings.


Anonymous said...


RyanBaxley said...

Thanks. Love Kristofferson, so I'm looking forward to checking this out. Great blog, by the way.

Tom said...

Cool, so I'm guessing this sort of chills on the Gary Higgins-Bob Desper spectrum? If so, I'm REALLY into it.

cnjnctvsynth said...

This is great--out of control vibrato and all. Some really wonderful medieval-wizard-dragon crap going on here, as well. Thanks!

Inspector Rex said...

Cool! I really like it! Some further research also reveals that Rex Holman participated in some on-screen psychedelia as well, appearing in the classic (and creepy!) original Star Trek episode 'Specter of the Gun' as Morgan Earp.