Not many may remember Raw Material, an early British prog band who, along with similar groups like Cressida and Spring, helped shape the sound of the legends that were shortly to follow. Perhaps themselves inspired by such 60's stars The Doors as well as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Raw Material's songs were rooted in jazz and blues, yet a touch of classical mixed with rock firepower evolved into progressive rock as we now know it. The bands debut album has now been reissued by Akarma Records in a mini-LP sleeve, duplicating the way the album looked originally in 1970.
Raw Material's sound featured long instrumental passages centered on the organ, but also featured extensively electric guitar, piano, sax, and flute. "Time and Illusion" is a jazzy rocker with melodic vocals and an extended organ solo from Colin Catt, sounding very much like Ray Manzarek from The Doors. In fact, "I'd Be Delighted" sounds very much like The Doors, mixed with a little Jethro Tull due to Mick Fletcher's flute blasts. This tune is mostly a straightforward rock track, with chunky rhythm guitar work, Jim Morrison-type vocals, churning organ, flute, and a biting sax solo. Other highlights include the electric blues- rock of "Pear on an Apple Tree" (featuring some hot lead guitar work from Dave Green), the haunting psychedelia of "Future Recollections", the heavy blues of "Traveller Man" (sounding eerily like early Jethro Tull), and the ominous, Moody Blues-influenced "Destruction of America", complete with waves of Mellotron.
While nothing groundbreaking, Raw Material is an enjoyable relic of the early 70's evolving progressive rock genre, and worth seeking out for the avid collector.