Less heavy then their debut, but no less ambitious, High Tide's self titled sophomore release also turned out to be their last. With a more dedicated attempt at furthering the intricate guitar & violin duels that the band burst forth with on Sea Shanties, this release contained only three lengthy tracks, augmented on this reissue by an unreleased re-working of "The Great Universal Protection Racket" (itself a previously unavailable song that shows up with a slightly different arrangment on the reissue of Sea Shanties) as well as a few demos and the short song "Ice Age".
The two excellent tracks that kick off this album, "Blankman Cries Again" and "The Joke", show a more mature side of the band, relying less on brusinng power and distortion, and more on complex interplay between the guitar and violin. With that came more prog and fusion styled arrangements, and the overall feel of the music became less metallic and more sophisticated. However, Tony Hill's fuzzed guitar leads take center stage on the extended rave-up "Saneonymous", a song that features rugged guitar and violin duels, as well as extended passages of organ, acoustic guitar, and violin. Hill's Jim Morrison styled vocals soar over the lush acoustic passages on this one, giving the music a powerful yet pastoral feel. The mix of acoustic majesty and powerful hard rock gives this lengthy piece plenty of drama and emotion, and the ending wah-wah solo from Hill is a great icing on the cake.
The music of High Tide was pretty unique, considering the era that it came out. While most bands were mixing over the top organ with guitar, High Tide used the violin instead to provide the main foil for the guitar, and it worked wonders. Check out High Tide and Sea Shanties for two lost treasures of the proto-prog scene of the early 1970's.
1) Blankman Cries Again (8:28)
2) The Joke (9:27)
3) Saneonymous (14:26)
Previously Unreleased Bonus Tracks
4) The Great Universal Protection Racket (15:45)
5) The Joke (demo) (7:44)
6) Blankman Cries Again (demo) (8:26)
7) Ice Age (3:25)