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24 Jan 2017

Rust Underground “Come With Me” 1969 Australia/ UK Psych Rock

Rust Underground  “Come With Me” 1969 Australia/ UK Psych Rock

Rust is the real deal. Originally recorded in 1969, their album, Come With Me, is something of a lost mini-classic. Originally released on the independent German label Hor Zu, and bringing it to light in the early 21st century.

Great, psychedelic rock tunes are embellished with phased vocals, treated piano, samples of radio broadcasts, washes of organ, and electronic effects. Mind you, this isn't total freak out music, or anything. Songs like You Thought You Had It Made and Rust revel in blues licks, and rock with a genuine joy, even if the subject matter of their lyrics is somewhat pessimistic, and softer tunes like Please Return and the gorgeous Find a Hideaway are full of acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies.

For a reference point, listening to it I hear a lot of The Deviants, with touches of the 13th Floor Elevators. It's melodic rock that likes to experiment.
by Jeff Fitzgerald...........

Note! Lady-like Nina Hagen, and the remaining two of guys this rather bizarre cover is not on album! A real team (also trio ...) appears on the back cover . Very interesting, almost hard-rock material, with strong psychedelic influences. Sometimes mistakenly called this group of German, for the reason that the album was released on the independent German label Hor Zu. Cool organ, very strong guitar, original vocals, interesting sound effects and bright melodies - to list advantages drive can be long. Thus, we have another underrated team, despite the fact that the disc is worthy to be on the same shelf with pathos and well-known works of those years.

An Australian and two English guys who got together in Germany, and played at Army bases in the Rhineland. They also got to record a fun psychedelic album, that was partly borderline pop and pastiche, and also nudging towards the underground. Very varied, and more a curiosity for those that like such things, as were another earlier German based combo The Monks. COSMIC EGG

Not to be confused with a similar named Texas-based outfit, this short-lived late-1960s trio reflected the joys of multi-national cooperation — Brian Hillmann and Walt Monaghan were from the UK; Jonny Thomas was Australian and the trio somehow ended up recorded their sole 1969 LP for the German Hor Zu German label.

Featuring all original material (all three members contributed songs), 1969's "Come with Me" was interesting in a spot-the-influence kind of way. The LP liner notes (printed in English and German) didn't include performance credits, but all of the singers were good with the guitarist displaying a nice penchant for fuzz guitar (check out the solo on 'Should I'). Musically the set wasn't particularly original offering up a period piece mixture of English R&B (the Cream-ish 'Delusion'), psych, and hard rock moves. Moreover, whatever it lacked in terms of creativity was more than compensated for via the enthusiastic performances and an uncanny knack for catchy melodies. Songs like the opening title track snippet and the rocker 'You Thought You Had It Made' should've appealed to both the underground crowd and top-40 radio. The ballad 'Find a Hideaway' should have been a major radio hit. The band were also interesting when they took off in a more experimental direction including 'Think Big' (offering up a weird mixture of effects and a Western epic feel) and 'Doesn't Add Up To Me'. Elsewhere the psych touches embellishing 'Please Return' and 'Rust' would have sounded fine on a Small Faces LP. One has to wonder what would have happened had they recorded for an American or UK label. (Always loved the back cover photo of the trio posing on German police motorcycles.)
Monaghan's career continued as a member of Freedom, the Mick Abraham Band, the jazz-rock combo If, and as a member of Ted Nugent's late-1970s  adamus67.................

Although this band located in Germany and their only LP was released by a German label these guys were from the UK and Australia. Rust's only LP is psych rock oriented but there are some very early progressive elements as well. But those are indeed very limited. Some hard rock sound can be heard as well.

Even if the record is a bit unbalanced totality most of the songs are still pretty solid. "Think Big" is probably the biggest standout moment here but there are other good tracks as well. A couple of mediocre moments can be found too which is unfortunate. I almost gave this album 3,5 stars but three stars still feels more accurate because of those few weaker songs. But this one is still worth checking out for the psych fans because there are many good songs ...............

In the late 60s and early 70s, in rock music there were many examples of multiculturalism, dozens of groups where their members were of different origins and countries. The eagerness to succeed in music was one of the reasons why the musicians emigrated to another country practically with the post and the adventure, in other cases it was simply the result of destiny ... that guy was there.
In Rust we find an Australian (Johnny Thomas on guitar and voices) and two Englishmen (Brian Hillman on drums and Walt Monaghan on bass) immersed in the beginnings of the kraut scene in Germany. It is known that they arrived in the Teuton country for work, earned a fortune by playing in the British occupation barracks and were captured by a minor label: Hör Zu! (In German it means "Hear it!"). Or maybe it was the other way around, they went directly to record the album to Germany and, incidentally, they earned a dime by giving bowling in the barracks. What is clear is that it was an attempt by the record company, like so many others, to join the bandwagon of the emerging rock music market. Hör Zu! Was a record company specialized in making German editions of English records, mainly classical music, jazz and melodic music. In this eagerness to go to fashion even tried to excel in the most experimental genre with an alternative subsello: Hör Zu Black Label. With the main label, Rust Underground only edited the record that concerns us, and as in so many cases at that time, it was a seen and not seen. They practically had no place in the market so they disappeared ... with what the musical biography of this group is somewhat confused. The poor re-editions that have subsequently been made of the album have not helped much because of virtually no information. After the German crossing the group, already in process of disappearance, went to England where its members initiated new adventures. Walt Monaghan played the fantastic Freedom in the early '70s recording a couple of albums, later playing on the Mick Abrahams band and progressive rock group If. John Thomas formed his own band: Creepy John Thomas, with this band recorded two cojonudos albums. Personally I like to think that this group were the British Steppenwolf, aesthetically and musically had some points of union. John Thomas ended up being part of the Edgar Broughton Band until the end of the band in 76.
Focusing on the most musical part, Come with me is a fantastic record. The production is a marvel and the musicians, without being great virtuosos, fulfill their task. This album agglutinates diverse genres in a single disc, sorts that at the end of the 60 were already practically obsolete ... could be labeled the "late disco", where the American garage mixes ("You Though You Had It Made "" Think Big "," Delusion "or" The Endless Struggle ") with the English freakbeat (" Please Return "," Should I "," Find A Hideaway " Of bands like Traffic ("Come With Me", "Does not Add Up To Me" or "Rust") .... the group of Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi is very present throughout the disc, something that is good for Course, it is always positive to have in your influences a group as rich and diverse as Traffic. It is clear that with a premise like that little you could do in the late 60's in a country like Germany where rock music was exploding in hundreds of ways to each more innovative..............

Although hailing from Germany, Rust definitely does not fit under the krautrock umbrella. This is full blown psychedelic garage rock in the vein of the Electric Prunes with a bit of British psychedelic production madness thrown in for good effect - it's very much in a 'summer of love' sort of mindset. I'd say early Traffic is another good comparison of the sounds found here. The performances are pretty top notch, but the real ace in the whole is the songwriting. Rust's tracks are extremely well written and pretty catchy overall. If these guys had been from the States or Britain two years earlier, I bet they would've become a major concern.

This album stays pretty strong throughout. My favorites include the west coast garage rock blasts of "You Thought You Has It Made" (complete with ridiculous vocals effects!) and "Delusion," while "Please Return" and the title track do the best job of going for that early Traffic vibe, and "Find A Hideaway" actually finds a very groovy balance between the Byrds, Love, and the Jefferson Airplane. It may be the best track here.

Despite the creepy, gothic, and somewhat terrible cover art, Come With Me is a pretty technicolour slab of psychedelic rock. Although it doesn't quite bat with the A-list, it certainly is undeserving of obscurity and plays better track-by-track than a typical album by the Electric Prunes or Chocolate Watchband (not to slight those still great bands)...................

1. Come With Me (Introduction) - ;36
2. You Thought You Had It Made (Jonny Thomas) - 3:34
3. Please Return - 2:37
4. Should I - 3:31
5. Think Big - 3:57
6. Rust - 3:33
7. Delusion (Jonny Thomas) - 2:45
8. Doesn't Add Up To Me - 3:36
9. Find A Hideaway (Jonny Thomas) - 3:38
10. Come With Me - 4:25
11. The Endless Struggle - 2:32

*Jonny Thomas - Guitar, Vocals
*Brian Hillmann - Drums
*Walter "Walt" Monahan - Bass 

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