Eden's Children

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1967-68)

- Larry Kiely Jr. -- bass, vocals, lead guitar, backing vocals

- Richard "Sham" Schamach -- vocals, guitar, keyboards

- Jimmy Sturman -- drums, percussion, backing vocals


  line up 2  (1968-69)

NEW - Russell "Rusty" Marcus -- bass, backing vocals (replaced

  Larry Kiely)

- Richard "Sham" Schamach -- vocals, guitar, keyboards

- Jimmy Sturman -- drums, percussion, backing vocals





- Agro (Rusty Marcus)




Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  It Sure Looks Real

Company: ABC

Catalog:  ABCS-652

Country/State: Boston, Massachusetts

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor cover wear; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 31205

Price: $50.00

Part of the infamous late 1960s "Bosstown Sound" marketing wave, Boston's Edens Children featured the talents of bassist Larry Kiely Jr., singer/guitarist Richard "Sham" Schamach and drummer Jimmy Sturman.


Perhaps due in part to being signed by ABC Records, rather than MGM (home of most of the Bosstown acts), Edens children managed to escape much of the critical backlash that decimated fellow Boston acts like Beacon Street Union, Orpheus and Ultimate Spinach.  That didn't save the group from critical indifference, or a rapid demise, but the reviews weren't as hurtful or damning.


Co-produced by Bib Thiele and Jonathan Whitcup, the trio's sophomore album "It Sure Looks Real" was released in late 1968.  Like the debut, Schamach served as the creative mainstay; responsible for writing nine of the eleven tracks, handling lead vocals, lead guitar and occasional keyboards.  Bassist Kiely contributed the two other songs, handling lead guitar and vocals on both 'Toasted' and 'Wings'.  Musically the set was defined by Cream-influenced blues-rock.  Schamach provided plenty of fuzz guitar with the Kiely Jr. and Sturman rhythm section adding no-frills support throughout.  I wasn't trying to imply these guys were a one trick act.  The title track and 'Awakening' displayed a lighter pop side; to my ears sounding like a acid-tinged version of The Association.  An even bigger surprise were occasional jazzy touches.  'Invitation' sported a strange lounge act jazzy vibe.  'Come When I Call' included a totally unexpected Wes Montgomery-styled solo; with the same influences abruptly reappearing in the middle of 'Awakening'.  Side two's 'The Clock's Imagination' and 'Echoes' reflected calm, folk-psych performances. Very much a product of the peace and love timeframe, the lyrics will make you laugh, but the concepts were nice.  Besides the material's overall inconsistency and a certain "forced" feeling to the compositions (they must have been under immense pressure from ABC to sound more commercial), my biggest complaint about the album was on a technical level.  Too often Steve Scheaffer's mix came off as distant and flat; kind of a muddy mess.  


And that was if for these guys.  Curiously they don't seem to have done much musically following the band's denise.


"It Sure Looks Real" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) It Sure Looks Real   (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 4:15  rating: *** stars

Propelled by a relentless Kiely bass line, the opener wasn't exactly what I was expecting.  Spotlighting  surprisingly sweet vocals, the song reminded me of a lysergic-tinged version of The Association.  The exception was the song's middle section where Schamach cut loose with a gritty fuzz solo.  The song was also interesting for its flat, distant sound.  

2.) Toasted  (Larry Kiely Jr.) - 1:56   rating: ** stars

The first of two Kiely compositions, 'Toasted' also featured him on lead guitar and vocals.  In spite of some heavy echo effects on Kiely's vocals, it was easy to see why Schamach handled most of the vocals.  The song itself was a bland fuzz guitar powered blues-rocker; kind of a third tier cover band trying to nail a Cream-type song.

3.) Spirit Call  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 2:31   rating: **** stars

Hum, this could almost have been a pop song.  Well, were it not for the psych guitar, Sturman's manic drumming and the mid-song acid meltdown.  It certainly showcased Schamach's arch voice.  Ever wanted to know what David Byrne would have sounded like trying to sing a '60s psych tune?  Here ya' go.  Have to admit I really enjoyed Schamach's oddball chords on this one.  There was even what sounded like a brief Hendrix nod towards the end.

4.) Come When I Call  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 3:30  rating: *** stars

And just when I was starting to get acclimated to the trio's sound, along came 'Come When I Call'.  Throwing out their fuzz rock leanings, this one found them embracing a surprisingly accomplished jazz groove.  Schamach wasn't exactly Wes Montgomery, but his jazzy solo was mildly entertaining.  What he should have learned from Montgomery is that it's the quality of notes, not quantity that matter.

5.) Awakening  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 2:55  rating: *** stars

Hey everybody, The Association are back ...  Another atypical performance, the ballad 'Awakening' was low keyed and tuneful.  Kiely contributed a really nice bass line to this one.   Just be ready for the abrupt mid-song detour back to the earlier jazzy sound.  It sounded as if Schamach realized he'd forgotten to throw some additional notes on the 'Come When I Call' solo.


(side 2)

1.) The Clock's Imagination  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 2:44  rating: *** stars

Folk-psych?  Sweet performance and the hippy-trippy lyrics should make smile (or grimace).   

2.) Things Gone Wrong  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 4:50   rating: ** stars

Let's get funky ...  Um, no let's not.  By the way, the refrain is actually "Things are going to go wrong."

3.) Wings  (Larry Kiely Jr.) - 2:31   rating: ** stars

Kiely's second spotlight moment (vocals and lead guitar) and 'Wings' finds him going for an even harder rock sound.  Vocals this time out were just painful.

4.) Call It Design  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 3:06  rating: *** stars

Love the song title and the performance started out with some tasty Schamach jazz-meets Flamenco guitar.  And yes, of course there was a fuzz guitar solo.  Schamach's vocal was a little stiff.

5.) Invitation  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 3:22  rating: *** stars

Jazz ballad with an odd lounge act vibe.

6.) Echoes  (Richard "Sham" Schamach) - 2:12  rating: *** stars

Pretty, but forgettable ballad.   zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz