Top Drawer - Solid Oak. 1969 USA

Top Drawer play a straightforward blues rock, but with strong psychedelic and hard rock underpinnings. The latter is best exemplified by the guitar leads which are stronger than most from this era, especially in the Midwest private press arena - in fact, it's a sound you're most likely to encounter in the region circa 1972 or later. So Top Drawer were definitely ahead of the pack in that regard. The organ is present only as dressing to the overall salad. The songwriting is quite good throughout, with only the 'Baker's Boogie' track being somewhat a waste of time, though I'm sure it was popular in the local clubs of the day. I can see from other reviews that folks are frothing about 'Song of a Sinner', but personally I hear it very much in league with the other tracks here, perhaps drawn out a bit more with its bluesy vibe, though arguably it's still the album's best composition  - along with the hard driving closer 'Lies'. Nothing on the album is extraordinary, but a very solid release throughout, and much better than I had anticipated. A little bit of an early Dragonwyck vibe here too (from nearby Cleveland), minus the obvious Morrison-isms.

Top Drawer were not from Kentucky as is widely cited in catalogs and on the internet, but rather from Mansfield in north central Ohio.

Looks to be an album that has escaped a quality CD or LP reissue. Oh, there are many reissues, but they are either dubious or outright pirate. Would be a good title for a psych / hard rock reissue specialist.

RYM erroneously has a listing for a Repertoire release, which would be legit, except best I can tell it's a reissue of this album: The Gods - To Samuel A Son

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hadal Sherpa - s/t. 2017 Finland

Every once in awhile I'll receive a recommendation on a new album to try. But it's very rare for me to receive 3 strong recs from ...