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Why is This Still Here? Ugly Custard

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

DMUglyCustard

by David Morales

Ugly Custard – Ugly Custard (1971)

The biggest surprise to come out of last year’s Record Store Day was this grinding organ-drenched monster! With the blessing of Mr. Parker himself, the good people at Strut officially reissued this exploitation classic and made it available in the US for the first time on heavyweight vinyl. This album is a moody, jazzy, psychedelic blend of prog, funk, and soul by London’s top session men. Sampled heavily by the hip hop producers in the know, this is a must have addition to your cool, sixties-themed collection.

The group consists of Herbie Flowers (bass), Roger Coulam (organ), Clem Cattini (drums), and is led by Library master and classically trained guitarist, Alan Parker. Parker has worked with Donovan, Serge Gainsbourg, and Scott Walker. The group injects standards and Parker originals with wild organ and guitar freak-outs. The album is best known for the track “Custard’s Last Stand,” written by Parker and his friend and fellow collaborator, Alan Hawkshaw, a living legend in his own right. Mr. Hawkshaw lends his organized knowledge to create a timeless piece of freakbeat, floor-killer gold. If you’re not dancing by the end of this one it’s because you don’t have legs.

One of the standout tracks is the six-and-a-half minute “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.” A departure from the other “swingin’ 60s” tracks, this slow-burning ballad begins with an unobtrusive organ and builds to a brief drum, bass and guitar workout before returning to the busy organ in the background. This track stands up against the best that Vanilla Fudge or Deep Purple ever did. The following track “Cry From the Heart” is slightly more upbeat and is led by beautiful sitar-shredding that takes you right back to that late-night London freak party back in 1966 that you have never been to. The part beginning at 2:11 is one of the most rewarding moments of the entire album.

On “Never in a Blues Day” the band flex their blues muscles and prepare you to walk out dancing with the funky bass line on “Feel This.” The organ suddenly pulls the rug out from under you and you find yourself back in the present day. But don’t worry, you can always start it over again. First, of course, you have to run to Streetlight and buy the album which has been sitting in the rock section since it arrived early last year! Come on, Santa Cruz. Once it’s gone it’s gone forever.

For fans of the Mohawks, Bram Stoker, Blue Phantom, and the Underground Set.

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