Question Mark


Band members               Related acts

- Uzo Agulefo -- percussion 

- Victor Egbe -- lead guitar

- Amehi Lzuorah -- bass

- Frank Lzuorah - vocals, keyboards

- Chyke Okafor -- drums

 

 

- none known

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Question Mark

Company: Shadoks

Catalog: SHAD 095LP
Year: 1974 (original pressing)

Country/State: Kenya

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: still in shrink wrap; # 178 out of 450 pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5608

Price: $75.00

 

For the obvious reason that both bands were from Nigeria this one frequently gets compared to the band Witch.  In the resulting discussions it either comes off as being far superior, or mega inferior to the former ...  very few descriptions put it in the middle of the pack.

 

In an album full of curiosities this Nigerian quintet composed of percussionist Uzo Agulefo, lead guitarist Victor Egbe, bassist Amehi Lzuorah, singer/keyboard player Frank Lzuorah, and drummer Chyke Okaforsomehow ended up recorded 1974's "Question Mark" in Kenya.  Produced by fellow Nigerian Odion Iruoje (then riding on a crest of influence having gotten Fela Kuti signed to EMI), the album was originally released in 1974m though outside of their native Nigeria it doesn't seem to have met with much success.  (For all I know it didn't do squat in Nigeria either.)  While the Shadoks reissue didn't carry any writing credits, the assumption was that all eight tracks were band originals.  All of the material was performed in English and these guys had clearly been listening to lots of Western radio.  Sure there were African influences throughout the set; particularly bassist Lzuorah's innovative rhythm patterns ('Be Nice To People'), but the major influences were clearly UK and US rock bands.  Anyone expecting to hear a collection of social, economic, and political activism was probably going to be disappoint by the collection since these guys seemed more interested in getting laid than saving the world. (Mary Anne')  Guess you've got to set your own priorities ...   Musically these guys weren't the most accomplished band you've ever heard.  Frank Lzuorah was an okay singer with a pleasant enough voice (and no accent),  though these guys were pretty ragged when it came to the vocal harmonies department.  Judging by the back cover photo Okafor was easily the best dressed member of the band, but his drumming credentials were somewhat suspect.  You were occasionally left to wonder if he was hearing the same backing track as the rest of the band.  While he wasn't featured all that often, lead guitarist Egbe was pretty good and had a knack for using a fuzz pedal - check out his performances on the opener 'Have You?' and 'Freaking Out'.  Too bad he wasn't featured more often.  The sound quality wasn't half bad and even though the performances weren't the most technically sophisticated stuff you've ever heard, their sophomoric garage sound (check out the goofy lyrics and off key harmonies on 'Hey Hey Girl') made it quite appealing to my ears.  Yeah, if pressed I'd probably go for Witch, but not by much ...

 

"Be Nice To People" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Have You?

2.) Be Nice To People

3.) Hey Hey Girl

4.) Love

 

(side 2)
1.) Oh My Girl

2.) Freaking Out

3.) Scam Out

4.) Mary Anne

 

As far as I can tell the one LP was it for these guys.  Anyone got more info on 'em?  Let me know.

 

 

 

 

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