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13 Jan 2017

Kristyl “Kristyl” 1975 US Private Psych Rock

Kristyl  “Kristyl” 1975 US ultra rare Private Psych Rock  only 200 copies were originally pressed.
A real classic of ‘70s underground rock, the 1975 self-released sole album by Kentucky band Kristyl is now reissued and fully legit for the first time. Regarded as one of the best guitar psych-rock albums from the '70s and a true collector’s gem, this wonderful disc includes seven original songs with stunning guitar-work from the band’s leader Sonny DeVore. Despite being a private pressing, the recording quality is great, still revealing serious fuzz-wah, twinned guitar and blues supported by some subtly repentant Xtian vocal themes. Limited vinyl edition of 500 copies only, including an insert with photos and liners by Kristyl fan Patrick Lundborg (The Acid Archives). …….. 

Maybe not “Jesus music” per se, but some definite Christian influences on this scarce Kentucky private press monster, one that’s revered among collectors of the whole local basement psych phenomenon. Great lengthy dual guitar action with fuzz, wah-wah, tremolo jamming in psychy rural Southern-edged progressive context, balancing both heavy and soft melodic passages. Vocals are on the amateurish end, but nothing particularly grating. Spiritual angle most evident on tracks like ‘Deceptions Of The Mind’ (“pray to the messiah, pray to the living God, pray that he will forgive your sin, pray that he will save your soul”), along with ‘Like A Bird So Free’ and ‘Morning Glory’. Loud blues-rock moves on ‘Woman’ and ‘Bluebird Blues’. Only a couple hundred pressed, though some occasionally show up on lists in the $300 range. A more budget-friendly re-issue exists on the Hype label. Mysterious faded blue cover of snake encircling the earth. (Ken Scott – Archivist). …….. 

Recorded at Allen-Martin Productions Louisville, Kentucky. This is a psych christian rock group Kristyl who released this LP in private pressings of only 200 in 1975. The music is reminiscent of Wishbone Ash from the Argus album. This album is homemade guitar psychedelia from Kentucky. A nice mixture of gentle dreamy passages, heavier acid guitar and wah-wah fuzz along with charmingly teenage vocals. 

Highly regarded local Christian 1970s melodic guitar-rock with an open late-1960s westcoast vibe, dual guitars and great organic playing/vocals all around. They have a very distinct sound which makes the tracks seem similar at first, but it opens up after some plays and remains that way. The best tracks such as “Deceptions of the mind” and “Valley of life” are truly monumental. Personal fave, one of the big ones in the style. Great sleeve design - note the drummers t-shirt. Originals were pressed on very thin vinyl, so most copies have slight bowl warps. 

Timeless pinnacle of teenage, rural, Christian psychedelia. The consensus seems to be that this is a 1975 recording, but dealers always (accurately) describe it as sounding much earlier. The psychedelic playing on ëDeceptions of the Mindí often contrasts with the anti-drugs/sex lyrics: ìAlcohol and sex unclean, copping drugs all over the scene/What is it that we need, Lord itís love and itís for freeî. Kentucky canít have been an easy place to strike a deal to have this recorded, so maybe they felt they needed to put an anti-drugs message in here and there. The music is consistently wonderful, side 1 in particular, with side 2 ending with the beautiful ëMorning Gloryí. The dual guitars are laden with effects and full of interesting twists and turns. The singing is honest and clear. Not as crazed as Fraction, but in the same league of expressive, sincere musicianship. A beautiful, naÔve feeling pervades the whole LP, like they believed anything could happen, the world could change as a result of their sounds. For me, they were right. Why is the drummer wearing a shirt with a hash leaf on it, perhaps it says ìhash free zoneî underneath? The sleeve art is also top-ten, being a monochrome crudely drawn snake encircling the earth……. 

– Sonny De Vore – lead guitar 
– Bob Terrell – guitar 
– Bruce Whiteside – drums 
– David Atherton – bass 

A1 Together 4:16 
A2 Deceptions Of The Mind 4:32 
A3 Like A Bird So Free 4:48 
A4 The Valley Of Life 6:44 
B1 Woman 5:25 
B2 Blue Bird Blu’s 5:00 
B3 Morning Glory 7:15

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..