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14 February 2014

[The 60's-70's Vault] May Blitz

  
Formed in England, May Blitz was a hard rock band, with some prog and psych elements, having released only 2 albums. The band was formed in 1969 by Canadian guitarist and vocalist Jamie Black, bassist Terry Poole and drummer Keith Baker. Shortly afterwards, Terry Poole and Keith Baker left, with the latter joining Uriah Heep who were recording the Salisbury album. The also Canadian Reid Hudson took over the bass duties and Tony Newman was the new sticksman, who had previously been playing with The Jeff Beck Group.



The band started the recordings for their self titled debut in 1970, after signing to Vertigo Records, a label that had Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep at the time. The album was released in the late 1970 and was a fine mix of hard rock, blues, psych rock and it contained 7 tracks. The album opener is the 8 minute piece "Smoking the Day Away", with the notable wah guitar sound, the melodic and harsh vocals and the clever change of tempos. "I Don't Know" is a simple hard rock track with good guitar solos. One of the best  tracks on this album is unquestionably the acoustically driven "Dreaming", showing some psychedelic elements, as well as an influence from Arthur Brown, on vocals. A short note should be made about the  acoustic guitars that are all over the record, painting it with beautiful chords. "Tomorrow May Come" is another great track, more psych here, with a unique atmosphere. The album's last song "Virgin  Waters", is a fine piece close to prog rock, giving this album a fine ending. The production could have been better (the bass is almost inaudible) but that doesn't bother much, only makes the album a cult for its genre!


The band's second and final offering was the "The 2nd Οf May" album being reeleased in 1971. No line up changes here and a much better production is evident, the guitar sound is heavy and fuzzy and the bass and the drums pound even better. The album starts off with "For Mad Men Only" a straight-forward rocker and continues with one of its best tracks, the perfect "Snakes and Ladders" with the heavily distorted guitar, the odd rhythm and the weird vocals. Tony Newman proves his drumming skills in "In Part" which contains a fine drum solo from the middle and on. The second side begins with "Mad Grim Nits", a heavy instrumental that leads to "High Beech", a mellow but good acoustic track. In conclusion, this album is much in the same vein as the first one, with a better sound and more confident players.

Shortly after the release of their second album, May Blitz disbanded, due to lack of interest from the label and low sales. Tony Newman joined Three Man Army appearing on their first two records and has worked with many other bands as a session musician. Jamie Black and Reid Hudson disappeared from music after recording those two albums.

So, have a drink on them! They were a remarkable band and if luck was on their side, they might have conquered the scene as well.

 

By Pijo

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