This CD is from the mastertape recorded in 1972/1974 which seemed to be lost. This quartet are clearly influenced by hard rock’s illustrious past, cuz there are faint echoes of Led Zeppelin, Cactus, Grand Funk, Leafhound and Bloodrock. Although Stepson are, at least on the surface, an easily familiar commonplace hard rock band, there is something absolutely intriguing and hypnotizing about their stab at bluesy hard rock music. The powerful opening track “Danger Zone” is screwed into your head, then you get hit with the excellent “Streets of Alameda” and ripping “Can’t help myself”. The songs on this LP are played with such awesome power that you cannot fail to be blown away. Possibly the best track on the album is the stunning MC 5-like “Midnight creep” which is a roller coaster ride into guitar madness. The recording is marred somewhat by inferior equipment and bad mixing, but it still is a splendidly thick slice of 70’s hardrock served up in the Golden Eagle in the motorcity Detroit, Michigan.
OHO – OKINAWA CD. Packed with mucho and fast moving music which is often crazed recitation and even screaming words that may or may not make one bit of sense to the listener. A 1970’s Baltimore MA prog band, this is a difficult listen at times, but you must give it more than one listen thru to really get the best from it. It’s rare, but there are even some really beautiful mellotron prog rock parts, although followed by the talking and the more zany concoction of jazz/rock/pop/classical in avant garde format. It’s a good bet that lovers of early to mid period Gong ( nod to Dave Allen ) will dig this. Some of it reminds me of the more comical early British rock recordings and pieces of Frank Zappa, Supersister, Samla Mammas Manna (in their zany outrageous mode ) and some direct Beatles acknowledgment. [Read more…]
Progressive Magazine gives OHO Okinawa reissue a 16/16, their highest rating!
Longtime readers certainly recall Baltimore’s OHO, subject of a feature way back in Issue No. 28. This six-panel digipak, complete with 20-page booklet (featuring original artwork from the private 1974 release), is the first proper digital representation of this masterwork of pre-RIO/art-punk cabaret freakadelia.
Sonically, this production obviously is superior to the boots lurking about, but not as “woofy” as the ’96 Little Wing LP reissue. My well-preserved original 1974 vinyl sounds surprisingly thick compared to this re-master, at least on a high-end system.
For all the well-deserved ink Okinawa garners for its compositional innovations, no one has mentioned the deadly chops of some of the players themselves. Drummer Larry Bright was a 17-year-young wunderkind when he joined OHO, and has gone on to work with Miles Davis, Kenny Wright, and a who’s who of fusion. He positively soars on every cut, and the Boris McFinnie horns superbly punctuate four tracks. Fans of Residents, Fugs, early Mothers, Pere Ubu, Henry Cow, and other artists who cock a snook at life and can play, cannot afford to be without this.