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Ginhouse: Ginhouse

Here's another early '70s hard rock/prog rarity from the folks at Esoteric Recordings, who just seem to have a knack of delivering these little nuggets from the vaults time and time again. Ginhouse where a British trio who released one self-titled album in 1971 on B&C Records, recorded at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, London. The band, who were comprised of Geoff Sharkey (guitar, vocals), Stewart Burlison (bass, vocals), and Dave Whittaker (drums), played a style that is not far removed from early Jethro Tull, Wild Turkey, or Humble Pie, as there is a strong emphasis on blues and folk elements to go along with their hard rock & prog leanings.

"Tyne God" opens the album, and it's a mystical, folky number that also delivers plenty of frantic hard rock riffs. "I Cannot Understand" contains a wealth of guitar riffs from Sharkey and plenty of booming bass courtesy of Burlison, as the band sound almost like a more textured and progressive version of Cactus, while "The Journey" is pure progressive folk, complete with lush acoustic guitars and haunting vocals. Guest keyboards on the album were played by producer Anders Henricksson, so look for some Hammond, Moog, and piano in spots that add a nice element to these layered songs. The band venture into majestic progressive rock on the enchanting "Portrait Picture", a tune that brings to mind King Crimson, Moody Blues, and Procol Harum during the glorious opening moments before the heavy riffs and blistering wah-wah lead guitar solo comes into play. More folky goodness can be heard on the Tull influenced "Fair Stood the Wind", as the appearance of flute alongside the mix of acoustic & electric guitars adds the right touch, and a jazz/blues take on The Beatles "And I Love Her" provides the albums first somewhat puzzling yet intriguing moments.

Ginhouse blast away with some boogie riff rock on "Life" as Sharkey unleashes some Sabbath/Heep styled power chords over frantic rhythms and Henricksson's rolling piano. Scorching heavy blues rock is all the rage on "The Morning After", as Sharkey slashes and bashes all in his wake with plenty of thunderous riffs and wild leads, and "The House" is a charming slice of folky psychedelia, complete with effects laden vocals, tribal drum beats, and trippy keyboards. The album ends with another Jethro Tull styled blues/folk piece, titled "Sun In the Bottle", which starts off with jazzy lead guitar underneath layers of vocals and eventually builds to a catchy hard rock finale.

The members of Ginhouse all went on to other things once the band broke up in 1972, but it's a shame that not even a very strong debut and live shows alongside many of the greats of the era could keep this trio going. Esoteric's remaster sounds fantastic, and there's a nice booklet included complete with all the info on the band you'll need. Definitely a rarity that will need to be heard if you are at all interested in '70s progressive rock & hard rock.

Track Listing
1) Tyne God
2) I Cannot Understand
3) The Journey
4) Portrait Picture
5) Fair Stood the Wind
6) And I Love Her
7) Life
8) The Morning After
9) The House
10) Sun in the Bottle

Added: June 20th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Esoteric Recordings
Hits: 1814
Language: english

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