Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Flowers of Evil" by Mountain

Editor's Note: The vinyl cover is much less washed out

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl

Filed between: Mott the Hoople and Michael Martin Murphy

Obtained via: mistakenly thinking this version of Mississippi Queen was the studio version (I call this one a happy accident)

Key Tracks: Flowers of Evil, Crossroader and (the NOT studio version of) Mississippi Queen

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately: Recommended Listening (3/4 stars)

So, one side is a set of studio sessions and the other side is a couple of live songs.  How does that work out?  Pretty well actually...

Except for a live version of Mississippi Queen, this is a record lost to time as far as I know.  I'd never heard any of the tracks before (or even heard OF them, for that matter).  And that's a shame.  "Flowers of Evil" is a solid power-prog-psychedelic rock record with a few tunes that could have been classics.

The title track rails at Vietnam with a simultaneously humanistic and nihilistic spit of bile.  Much of the LP follows

Crossroader is thick, heavy and bluesy.  It's easily the best thing on "Flowers of Evil."

Side two is all live, and it's only two songs - a 25 minute jam and an even heavier version of Mountain's (sadly) only hit.  But it fits right in with the feel of what came before it.

Basically, if you like Cream, you should check out "Flowers of Evil."  It's a familiar sound in a package you probably haven't heard before.  Ahhh, the wheels of fate turn in mysterious ways.

So, is it an album?  Yes.  "Flowers of Evil" often folds back on itself with that thunderous, insistent guitar and lyrics detailing the futility and perserverence inherent to being alive.

Up next, we get even proggier (is that even a word?) with "Point of Know Return" (is that even a pun?) by Kansas.

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