Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1971-72)
- Joe Chirco --
drums, percussion, vibes
- The Zen Tricksters (Joe Chirco)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: The Visitation
Company: Crested Butte
Catalog: CB 701
Country/State: Westchester, New York
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+
Comments: white label promo copy; taped top edge; radio station stamp top right corner
Catalog ID: 6168
First one of those
stylistic warnings ! While I've seen the LP advertised as a high
priced psych outing, it ain't ! There are splashes of fuzz guitar and
occasional progressive moves, but propelled by vocalist Anvil
Roth's AOR-styled pipes and delivery, these guys have more in
common with 1970s hard rockers like early Journey or Styx than most psych
outfits. Nothing wrong with that, just don't spend a ton of money on
this album if you're under the impression its a psych classic.
For what its worth, I'll readily admit this is one of those albums that I've grown to appreciate more each time I play it.
Needless to say Crested Butte's marketing capabilities were dismal and the album quickly vanishing without a trace.
"The Visitation" track listing:
a.) Sound of the Cross (instrumental) (Chirco - R. Burnley) - 2:15 rating: ** stars
'Sound of the Cross' opened the album with what sounded like an incidental film soundtrack. Crickets, distant percussion, martial drums, thunder and lightening, and spoken word background noises unexpectedly shifted to include some Black Sabbath-styled heavy metal guitar in what was best described as a bizarre sound collage.
b.) 33 Years (Bruce Taylor - Billy Chanaca) - 3:51 rating: **** stars
Announcing itself with some martial trumpets (where were those Roman Legions when you needed them) and jangle guitar, '33 Years' was a nifty mid-tempo rocker. Sporting one of the album's prettiest and most commercial melodies, the track also boasted some nice lead vocal harmonies from Anvil Roth and John Naylor. Naylor also turned in a great fuzz guitar solo. One of my favorite tracks.
3.) 'Cause I Love You (Bruce Taylor - Lee Rickards) - 3:43 rating: *** stars
With Roth and Naylor again sharing lead vocals, ''Cause I Love You' started out as a pretty acoustic ballad, before switching to a pleasant, if inconsequential pop song.
4.) Golden Image (Chirco - Anvil Roth) - 7:00
- 1972's 'Golden Image' b/w 'Mr. Sunshine (Crested Butte catalog number CBR 1200) rating: *** stars
1.) Dear Friends (R. Calabrese - Chirco) - 7:46 rating: *** stars
'Dear Friends' opened side two with a modest jazz-rock feel before abruptly shifting gears into a harmony rich, swing section. Sounds kind of strange and it was (I don't think I've ever heard such a rockin' vibe solo), though Naylor turned in one of his best solos on the track. The song went on to end with a pretty, but dark and slightly ominous segment that was powered by a great bass pattern (would love to know how to play it).
2.) Mr. Sunshine (Barry Tashian - Chirco) - 5:08 rating: ** stars
'Mr. Sunshine' found the band working in a surprisingly mainstream, pop genre. The song started out as a drowsy ballad, but generated some energy as it went along. Quite commercial (complete with another vibe solo), though it didn't do much for me.
a.) Minutes (R. Calabrese - Chirco) - 2:51 rating: ** stars
'Parable' was a seven minute, two section suite. Opening up with a pretty keyboard section, 'Minutes' started out sounding like a Styx-styled ballad - seriously, Roth recalled Dennis DeYoung on this one.
b.) Child of Peace (R. Calabrese - Chirco) - 4:49 rating: ** stars
'Child of Peace' switched gears into a funkier mode, but complete with some modest new-age lyrics (and of course another xylophone solo), remained true to the Styx influences.
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