Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who's Your Daddy

"Sleeping Sickness" CD '09/'00 / “Rumdum Daddy” CD ’09 (Kung Bomar, US) – The late Phil Baker, record dealer and partner in Monster Records / King Klassic Magazine originally turned me on to JPT SCARE BAND. I remember him calling me up and frothing wildly at the mouth about some tapes that he’d recently received in the mail. Shit, this was back in the early ‘90’s sometime I guess, as memory has it. Now you must understand, frothing wildly at the mouth was something that Phil was wont to do but it was never without a singular, vital cause. Reasons that he’d had in the past before this unbridled enthusiasm had been names like Slauter Xstroyes, Winterhawk and Ordained Fate. So, you tended to listen. And, listen I did, especially back in those dark ages, when things arrived in the Realm-box in the form of TDK 90’s slapped with hand-written labels. Make a long story short (God, that was bad English…and I don’t mean the suck-ass Neal Schon debacle), JPT SCARE band ended up being a perfect fit for me. I remember the first time I heard their “Sleeping Sickness” disc back in 2000. My reaction was “Holy shit!” Here was a power trio in the tradition of Cream, Cactus and The Jimi Hendrix Experience who probably were on hand when the word “organic” was crafted into stone by the music gods of eternity. You had Paul Grigsby (bass, vocals) & Jeff Littrell (drums) laying down the business in a rhythm section that could have you in traction with it’s immense monster groove. Over top of it was the guitar of Terry Swope. I’ll say it again, the guitar of Terry Swope. That’s ‘cause it bears repeating. I’m now going to say some names to you: Leigh Stephens, Robin Trower, Jim McCarty, Leslie West, Tony Iommi. The big boys from “the day.” The first time I heard Mr. Swope administer the 6-string beating he does in the title cut, names like that came to mind. Of course, I’m not one to hand down immediate praise, so I listened to the rest of the album. And, the praise was forthcoming. This was the real deal. This cat not only could come up with groovy riffs that sounded like molten lava, he could then go off on 8, 9, 10 minute solos that would tell you a story…the story of how your ass had been kicked, motherfucker.

Which brings us some 10 releases down the line and the latest by JPT SCARE BAND (Got the name yet? Jeff – Paul – Terry? JPT?), “Rumdum Daddy.” You know what I love so much about this bunch? Well, I’ll tell you. One thing I love about ‘em is the fact that they sent me this seething, scorching ass-plastering vile of aural butt-kick after I’d already done my Top 10 for 2009. Reason I love that is, had I gotten it before I compiled that list, something on it would’ve had to go and, more than likely something near the top. Another thing that gives me a musical boner about this bunch is that, like all the absolute greats, they have evolved without compromising their roots in the least. I mean, dude…and I mean, DUDE!!! Check out the first 3 cuts here as the “Rumdum…” begins to flow. Right off the bat, we see the development of JPT SCARE. “You Don’t Wanna Know” has the kind of balladic emotions you remember from Zep classics like “The Rain Song,” fueled by Swope’s smooth, overlooked vocals. Listen then, at around 2:10 to how Terry begins to draw you in with his lyrical and gorgeous soloing. He begins it in such a melodic fashion and then somehow by around 4:00 is tearing your face off and you can’t figure out how he did it. “Rat Poison For The Soul,” besides having a simply bad-assed title throws down the hard-rock riff gauntlet to anything ever concocted by God-figures like West or Montrose. The title cut itself once again sees the band delving into new areas of overdubbed guitar lines, but similar to a master like Page on “Physical Graffiti,” rather than diluting the heaviness, an even richer and more expansive tapestry is woven.

And then, in glorious JPT SCARE style, we go down the rabbit hole! “Intro/E Minor Exploration/Theme From The Monster’s Holiday” weighing in at just under 14 minutes is jam-time supreme! This is Jeff, Paul and Terry taking it to your ears the way Bill, Geezer and Tony did on Side Two of “Black Sabbath.” It’s the way Pagey did every time he dove into the massive seas of “Dazed & Confused” live and it’s the way Trower had his “Daydream.” It also indicates just how these guys have evolved, the depth of their work, in the way they can slip back into their old clothes without ever skipping a beat and without ever disrupting their expansion as a group…move outward, think inward, it all works. And so follow the twin 9 ½ minute monsters, “I’ve Been Waiting” and “Bit Of A Minor Jamm” (clever muthas!), living & breathing epics of pure heavy psych nirvana. It all comes to a close in the short (5:43!!) “Bookends Jamm,” a keg-o-dynamite microcosm of all that has become JPT SCARE BAND to this day: lethal 3-piece smolder, segueing in and out of simply haunting layers of melody. Without any doubt, “Rumdum Daddy” is a mandatory piece of listening for anybody reading Raysrealm. And, so is the new re-issue of the should-be-legendary “Sleeping Sickness.” The choice is not your’s, I’ve made it for you. You simply must buy. Now. Scarey Good


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