Band members Related acts
- Rex Holman (aka Rexford Holman) -- vocals
- none known
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Here In the Land of Victory
Country/State: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve
Catalog ID: SOLD 4992
Price: SOLD $80.00
If anyone recognizes the name, today the late Rex Holman is best known as an actor, having worked extensively in television and film since the later 1950s (he was frequently cast as a bad guy in westerns).
Not unusual for actors, Holman's career included an oddball solo album ...
Released in 1970 (when Holman was already 42), "Here In the Land of Victory" featured all original material. Curiously the mix of Indian-flavored instrumentation and Holman's hyper serious lyrics sounded like something that was recorded circa 1967. Holman's vibrato-drenched vocals (which were an acquired taste) and his over-the-top lyrics certainly weren't for everyone. Imagine Richard Harris reincarnated as Donovan and you'll have a feel for tracks like 'Listen To the Footsteps', the sitar and flute propelled 'Sit and Flatter Me' and 'Come On Down'. Ironically if you could get over those characteristics, then the album rewarded you with quite a bit of memorable material. Holman's uber earnestness was somehow charming and most of the lyrics were no worse than your standard college English paper (okay, 'The Chosen One' was far worse). Certainly a reflection of my personal tastes, but Holman was at his best when backed by a full rock ensemble. As such personal highlights included the goofy 'I Can't Read My Name', 'Today Is Almost Here', and the bluesy 'Red Is the Apple'. The disturbing artwork including a back cover photo of Homan sitting blissed out in a park next to a passed out drunk certainly didn't help sales. The inner sleeve picture showing Holman with his best psycho-killer stare was even more disturbing.
Pentagram had no idea what to do with the album. Without any promotion, or follow-on, it vanished into cutout bins, leaving Holman to return to his acting career.
In 2007 Steven Carr's Fallout label reissued a remastered version of the LP in CD format (catalog number FOCD2053). Having heard a couple of tracks off the CD, I'm not sure whether it really was remastered.
the Land of Victory" track listing:
1.) Here In the Land of Victory (Rex Holman) - 3:19 rating: *** stars
Given it opened up with a flute solo, my hopes for this one were pretty low. Musically the title track offered up an odd mixture of English folk with Indian percussion. Add in Holman's vibrato delivery and the results were quirky and enough to make you keep listening.
2.) Pink Lemonade (Rex Holman) - 2:12 rating: ** stars
Yeah, I'm not a big flute fan and I'm not a big fan of voices with distinctive vibrato. The addition of a fey melody and hyper-touchy-feely vocals - strike three and this one's out.
3.) Rowin' (Rex Holman - Terry Fulman) - 2:20 rating: *** stars
'Rowin'' was another track that blended folk influences with Eastern-flavoured psych touches including sitar and tabla. The track also found Holman seemingly trying to ditch the vibrato for a tougher vocal.
4.) Today Is Almost Here (Rex Holman) - 3:49 rating: *** stars
Darn the vibrato was back. Elsewhere 'Today Is Almost Here' offered up one of Holman's prettier melodies, but buried it with some "Deep" (aka cloying) lyrics. Very hippy-esque.
5.) Listen To the Footsteps (Rex Holman) - 2:32 rating ** stars
Geez, the stark ballad 'Listen To the Footsteps' would not have sounded out of place on a Richard Harris album. Nope, that wasn't a good think.
6.) Red Is the Apple (Rex Holman) - 4:16 rating: *** stars
just when I thought I'd figured out Holman's sound along came the pseudo
cabaret-ish 'Red I the Applie.' How to describe this one ... Tom
Waite hanging out with the late Charles Aznavour I'll give it a
third star for being so weird.
The jazzy flute and guitar opening (I think the acoustic guitar was tuned to sound like a sitar) was rather pastoral. Elsewhere 'Sit and Flatter Me' really highlighted Holman's vibrato - which you either loved, or found irritating.
2.) Copper Kettle (Rex Holman) - 2:22 rating * star
Seriously over-the-top sensitive singer-songwriter material. Yech.
3.) Come On Down (Rex Holman) - 2:28 rating ** stars
The tipping point ... with the acoustic ballad 'Come On Down' the album fell into sounds-the-same territory.
4.) Debbie (Rex Holman) - 2:27 rating: *** stars
I'm not sure why, but the opening briefly reminded me of Richard Thompson ... Lead banjo was kind of a neat change of pace.
5.) The Chosen One (Rex Holman) - 2:53 rating ** stars
Well the biblical lyrics were different, as was the closing with Holman seemingly reciting some of the lyric in Hebrew ...
6.) I Can't Read My Name (Rex Holman) - 2:26 rating: *** stars
Powered by some barrelhouse piano, 'I Can't Read My Name' featured an up-tempo melody with Holman actually sounding like he was having fun for a change.
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