Band members Related acts
- Skip Battin -- bass (1969)
- Mark Creamer -- vocals, lead guitar (1969)
- Robert Ledger --
bass (replaced Skip Battin) (1969)
- The Illusions (Mark Creamer, James Parker and
- The Kitchen Cinq (Mark Creamer, James Parker and
- Simon Stokes Nighthawks (Robert Ledger)
- Them (James Parker and Johnny Stark)
- The Y'Alls (Mark Creamer, James Parker and
Rating: 3 stars ***
Catalog: AAS 7008
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
Comments: light crease lower right hand corner
GEMM catalog ID: 5331
Not to be confused with Keith Relf's far better known outfit, good luck locating a copy of this Texas-to-the-West Coast obscurity.
Singer/lead guitarist Mark Creamer, rhythm guitarist James Parker, and drummer Johnny Stark had previously been members of the Texas-based The Kitchen Cinq. Following the band's collapse the trio along with Kitchen Cinq bassist James Dallas Smith decamped for Los Angeles. Smith apparently decided to return to Texas in order to get a college degree and was quickly replaced by Skip Battin. The quartet was quickly signed to Jimmy Bowen's newly formed Amos label (Kitchen Cinq manager Tom Thacker and Bowen were longtime friends). As you probably guessed, the move to Southern California and a new label found the band ditching their earlier pop-psych roots in favor of a distinctively tougher, rock-oriented attack. Produced by Tom Thacker, 1969's cleverly titled "Armageddon" marked a major step forward in terms of creativity. Whereas The Kitchen Cinq LP and singles frequently followed prevailing musical trends, original tracks like 'Armageddon Theme', 'Water Lilly' and 'Another Part Of Our Life' offered up a first-rate set of fuzz guitar propelled hard rock, though much of the material was tempered by catchy melodies. The other big difference was found in the vocal performances. Whereas The Kitchen Cinq lacked a distinctive singer, this time out all four members came off as first-rate vocalists. Virtually every one of the ten tracks was worth hearing (okay, any song based on a Tolkin character was of dubious worth ('Bilbo Baggins' and the stoned cover of the Walt Disney class 'The Magic Song' was simply a bad idea to start with). Personal favorites included the acid-tinged ballad 'Cave of the Winds' and their Cream cover 'Tales of Brave Ulysses'. Not a major masterpiece, but easily on of the better albums I've stumbled across over the last couple of years.
Piece of needless trivia - Finishing the recording sessions Battin dropped out in order to join a late inning Byrds line up. He was replaced by Robert Ledger (Ledger's face is on the album cover).
"Armageddon" track listing:
1.) Armageddon Theme (Mark Creamer - Jim Parker - Johnny Stark) - 4:12
2.) Water Lilly (James E. Parker) - 3:34
3.) Another Part Of Our Life (Mark Creamer - Jim Parker - Johnny Stark) - 5:00
4.) Come Tomorrow (Mark Creamer - Jim Parker - Johnny Stark) - 3:47
5.) Cold Cold Tracks (Mark Creamer - Jim Parker - Johnny Stark) - 3:19
2.) The Lamp (Mark Creamer) - 2:33
3.) Bilbo Baggins (Mark Creamer) - 3:58
4.) Tales of Brave Ulysses (Eric Clapton - Sharp) - 5:06
5.) The Magic Song (Bibbidi-Bobbidid-Boo) (M. David - A. Hoffman - J. Livingston) - 4:09
Following the band's breakup the members scattered to a number of outside projects.
- Ledger ended up playing with Simon Stokes Nightmare.
- Parker and Stark ended up playing with a late-inning, post Van Morrison line up of Them.
- Creamer went into studio work and production, including a one-shot album supporting his wife Laura Creamer's band Eve.
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