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9 May 2017

Drywater “Backbone of our Nation” 1973 US mega rare Private Fuzz Psych Rock only 25 copies released on the legendary RPC custom label

Drywater “Backbone of our Nation” 1973 US mega rare Private Fuzz Psych Rock only 25 copies released  on the legendary RPC custom label
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First ever reissue of this massively cool & hideously rare 1973 rural pennsylvania private press jewel, originally released on the legendary RPC custom label in an edition of only 25 copies. this one might slip right by you on first listen, but there is a subtle brilliance buried in these grooves that’s captured the hearts of the lucky few who’ve had the chance to spend some time with the album… and once you’ve connected, there’s no turning back… like the very best of the upper echelon 60s & 70s private press benchmarks, ‘backbone of the nation’ is a crystal clear snapshot glimpse into a precise time & place, a unique moment captured, a lost reality preserved… small town working class teen ethos expressed with raw precision. zero hippie hangover or arty posturing here… the sound is essentially split between the two dominate modes of polarized male youth psyche : alternating moody, dejected, love scorned melancholy folkrock with wasted, howling, proto-punk garage fuzz brain fry… all together it’s a totally sincere lost in time vibe, delivered with gobs of naive charm & executed with almost zero resources. the album was recorded and mixed direct to tape in just a few hours, without overdubs or even the option to mixdown. you can hear the clearly unprepared recording engineer frantically flipping switches & tweaking knobs in a state of near panic as these kids tear furiously through a rapid fire album worth of original songs, always teetering on the edge of total collapse, yet never quite imploding. while the end results are, to say he least, very crude, the band pulls together a distinct and wonderful sound. underpinned by ken turcic’s dry, low, rubbery bass lines and greg cheplick’s wildly raw & cool drumming (he’s only 15 at the time) dennis cheplick (greg’s older brother) and jack sarvis trade off vocal duties, guitars licks, and writing credit. rhythm guitars chug excitedly, acoustic 12-string adds a sweet, chiming, folky texture, and sarvis switches between a great, slightly surf-tinged ringing reverb tone and frenetic fuzz figures. what really sets this one apart from the crowd, though, is a surprising sophistication lurking deep within. there’s real depth and staying power to the song writing that sneaks up on you with repeated listens, combined with the sort of subtly clever vocal and guitar arrangements that imply a band maturity well beyond their amateur exterior. a grower if ever there was one… and totally essential if the sound of “rural”, “real people”, and “garage” all in the same sentence peaks your interest………… 

A wonderfully unique little record from the early 70s – recorded by a very young group, ostensibly to meet girls, and originally only pressed up in a run of 25 copies – but filled with songs that have a surprising amount of character, and a raw sound that’s quite unusual for the time! There’s almost a pre-punk energy to the group – not because they’re loud or that angsty – but just because they’ve got this quality that’s kind of post-garage, and a bit out of its place – almost like the energy of the early Modern Lovers – yet in a different way, too. The tunes also have a darkness that you don’t always find in recordings of this vintage – although that might also have to do with the way the bass is a bit upfront in the mix – and the spare but brooding quality of some of the guitar parts – all in a way that make us feel more like this is some early Homestead Recordings session by a group who went onto polish their act in later years – instead of some obscure American set from the late psych years. The reissue quality is wonderful – super-heavy vinyl and cover, a cool insert of notes, and even a bonus 45 with 2 previously unissued tunes! Titles include “Untitled Love”, “Hooky Player”, “The Stones You Throw”, “Backbone Of The Nation”, “Airplane Rider”, “I Don’t Love Her Anymore”, and “Like A Vine”…….. 

- Backbone of the Nation 
- If Only I Would Have Told Her 
- I Don’t Love Her Anymore 
- Too Much of Nothing 
- Airplane Rider 
- Untitled Love 
- The Stones You Throw 
- Hooky Player 
- Sweet and Free 
- How Many More Years 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..