Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mystic Number National Bank Self Titled Command/ABC/Probe 1969

Mystic Number National Bank Self Titled Command/ABC/Probe 1969 CAT# CPLPS 4501

Oddly obscure Kansas City heavy psych band.  Very blues based, riding in on the style of Cream, with tons of pedals and effects to make up for the fact that they didn't feature the same level of talent.  Apparently, outside of some super obscure local 7"s, this is the entire output of the band.

Kind of head stractcher.  The whole package is strange.  It was put out by ABC's Command label which was mainly an output label for Enoch Light and released tons of easy listening and lounge albums throughout the 60's.  The label was heavily focused on recording techniques which might explain a the absurd amount of studio effects used on this album.  They weren't really known to release rock records.  They were also thrown on ABC's Probe label, which was focused on International success and progressive groups.  The gatefold LP also has a die-cut feature in which you can open up the vault to see the band.  Overall, it just seems like a lot of money to dump into a debut LP.

The inner gatefold does have some liner notes written by John Arnoldy of the band.  He says what everyone knows about the Kansas City area growing up, "Childhood was boring."  But, there's a brief KC history of the band, some members joined the army and others attended the Kansas City Art Institute until the band was signed and tried out San Francisco.  But, outside of that, there's not a lot of info out there on this band.

The album isn't bad.  It isn't great either.  Between 1969 and say, 1971, there was a ton of bands doing this sound.  The LP hasn't gone unnoticed, there was a German reissue done and people champion some of the tunes that are into obscure heavy blues rock from this era.  However, the production isn't as raw and threw in some horn arrangements as likely bid for radio play.  It doesn't blow you away with heavy psych sounds.  There is a few tunes though that are worth checking out, namely "Beautician Blues."  Apparently the lead singer, Glenn Walters stuck around in San Fran, gigged in some other bands and made a career singing for commercials and movie soundtracks.

Blues So Bad & Beautician Blues

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