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2 May 2017

Giant Crab “A Giant Crab Comes Forth” 1968 US Psych Rock

Giant Crab “A Giant Crab Comes Forth” 1968 US Psych  Rock 

Group of Santa Barbara (CA), established in the fall of 1966. The group had 3 brothers Orosco: Ernie, Raymond and Ruben, and 2 brothers Fricia: Dennis and Kenny. First year played at dances and clubs and loved the owner of one of the clubs - Johnny Fairchild, who helped them to release three singles in 1967 on a small local firm. In 1968, after the success of local singles already solid company "UNI" released their debut album. They played quite a strange mix of psychedelia, soul and pop-rock with unexpected things almost hard rock, such as "Hot Line Conversation" ... ...............

Giant Crab released two albums in their short active period at the late 1960's. Both of their records are quite forgotten. Usually this debut gets more positive ratings than the second LP but I don't find this one to be anything special either.

The album is extremely inconsistent. There are 16 short songs included here so it's pretty easy to assume that this album includes some fillers. Some of the songs are pretty nice but there are several weak tracks as well. Overall this record gets 2,5 stars from me. It's not a bad totality but too unbalanced indeed. If you're gonna give this band a try don't expect too much from them. This is nothing .............

Digital format owners of this probably won't realize that the spoken word intro, which is written out on the back cover of the original vinyl issue, incorporates the titles to all of the 16 tracks on the album, in order of their appearance, and narrated by mentor Johnny Fairchild. The music is somewhat typical sounding vocal pop, with a mix of light and heavy mat'l featuring some fuzz guitar, some horns, and organ. There is a mild soul flavor to most of this mat'l, but psych influences are minimal at best. The entire LP is somewhat campy perhaps done with tongue in cheek. When listened to from this perspective, and not taken too seriously, it's rather enjoyable. Grades - 2 B+'s, 4 B's, 2 B-'s, 6 C+'s, and a C. Ernie Orosco would later appear in the heavy psych outfit Big Brother as Ernie Joseph, not to be confused with the Janis Joplin .......

Santa Barbara, California's A Giant Crab Comes Forth featured the talents of siblings Ernie (vocals and guitar), Raymond (bass) and Ruben (drums) Oroscoe. With the line up rounded out by Dennis (drums) and Kenny (keyboards) Fricia, the group began playing local dances and clubs, eventually finding a mentor in local DJ Johnny Fairchild. With support from Fairchild the group debuted with a series of three little heard singles on the local Corby label:

- 1967's "Listen Girl" b/w "Summer Breezes" (Corby catalog number CR-216)
- 1967's "Day By Day (It Happens)" b/w "Kind of Funny" (Corby catalog number
- 1967's "It Started with a Little Kiss" b/w "The Answer Is No" (Corby catalog
number CR-221)

While the singles failed to sell, outside of Southern California, they attracted the attention of Uni Records, which promptly signed the quintet to a recording contract.

Produced by Bill Holmes, 1968's "A Giant Crab Comes Forth" offered up an engaging mixture of Rascals-styled blue-eyed soul with occasional psychedelic influences. As lead singer/prime writer, Ernie displayed a knack for penning highly commercial material. With the exception of the leadoff narrative (apparently meant as a way of thanking mentor Fairchild), virtually any of the 16 tracks would have made a dandy single. Highlights included a reworking of the earlier single "It Started with a Little Kiss", "Watch Your Soul", "Enjoy It", "Lydia Purple" and the heavy metal "Hot Line Conversation". That wasn't to say the set was perfect in that the band's penchant for incorporating happening sounds was annoying. Elsewhere their out-of-tune cover of Joey Levine's "I Enjoy Being a Boy" was thoroughly irritating. Sadly the collection vanished without a trace.

"Giant Crab" climbed out of Santa Barbara, California, at the end of the 60s. My guess is that the band was ignited by "Sgt Pepper", and although both albums of this little-known (or well forgotten) act remain overshadowed by other, more commercially successful names, they do deserve to stand behind the eponymous Beatles' masterpiece.
Both albums were (over)produced by Bob Holmes, and give an impression of pervert union between John Meek (unusual sounds and experimenting with noises) and Phil Spector (exaggerated rich orchestrations hostile to original concept). Actually, it would have been advisable to keep the producer on Valium or sedated otherwise - to restrain him from crashing the melodies with Spector'esque wall of sound - really, too much.
The band was surprisingly versatile and prolific, covering as many genres and styles as possible. Initially, before venturing into psychedelia, the got a strong stroke of sunshine pop and mild West Coast, and stylistically belong more to the 60s (the vocals and compositions are under strong influence of British invasion), but... there are many 'buts".
The apocalyptic intros on the debut album and its sequel, "Cool It ... Helios" (1969) narrated by Johnny Fairchild* (although Vernon Joynson ascribes it to David Diamond),are pre-dating the concept and performance of Rick Wakeman's epic "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth". "Hot Line" is an accomplished psychedelia, while bonus "E.S.T." is rebellous acid rock, equal to "Steppenwolf". "Thru The Fields" has the abandon of Russian gypsies song (remember "These Were The Days"?), and the album also features immortal pop hit "Ho Ho Silver Lining" and superb slow ballad of rare refinement "Why I am So Proud?" (wouldn't be out of place on any early album of Tom Jones, when he still had nothing...)
So, all in all, in spite of the opening tracks (introductions) the two albums are over-ambitious but under-achieved concepts, very uneven and confusing, BUT: talented!
The debut album was released in 1968, and went almost unnoticed (I cannot understand why), to be followed by the second, which used the same formula, with the same boggling numbers: "Cool It" sounds like "La Bamba" in disguise, "Hello Yesterday" is full of mellow and sad melancholy spoiled by bad taste and pomposity of Broadway theatrical, while sweet "Help Yourself" might keep you off sugar for few years...
The band started as family affair with Ernie Orosco (vocals, guitar), Raymond Orosco (12-string and bass), Ruben Orosco (bass, drums), Dennis Fricia (drums, horns) and kenny Fricia (organ, piano).
"Giant Crab" disbanded after second album, and never made it big. Pity - extremely interesting and talented band, perhaps as good as underrated "Tea Company"...........ByGolovanov Alexey..........

It's amazing how many incredible albums slipped through the net at the time of release, and remained forgotten until some reissue label managed to get them out to a more appreciative audience. This is one more example, and I'm amazed that this band has not been compiled on any of the many psych compilations in my collection. An epic concept album which combines well-played rock, great melodies, and some studio trickery into an attractive whole, this album is a must-have for any psych/prog collection............ByMichael................

Ernie Orosco - lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, 12-string guitar, vocal harmonies
Raymond Orosco - 12-string guitar, dry box, bass guitar, clavinet, electronics (special effects), backing vocals
Ruben Orosco - bass guitar, drums, saxophone, electronics (special effects), backing vocals (vocal harmonies)
Kenny Fricia - organ, piano, clavinet, horns, vibraphone (vibes), electronics (special effects), backing vocals (vocal harmonies)
Dennis Fricia - drums, horns, electronics (special effects), backing vocals (vocal harmonies

Bill Holmes - producer

A1 A Giant Crab Comes Forth 2:18
A2 It Started With A Little Kiss 2:30
A3 Directions 3:03
A4 Watch Your Step 2:37
A5 Intensify Your Soul 2:30
A6 Enjoy It 2:04
A7 Hot Line Conversation 3:00
A8 I Enjoy Being The Boy 2:45
B1 Lydia Purple 2:42
B2 Groovy Towne 2:37
B3 Thru The Fields 2:39
B4 The Chance You Take 2:44
B5 Believe It Or Not 2:54
B6 The Answer Is No 2:59
B7 Hi Ho Silver Lining 2:30
B8 Why Am I So Proud? 4:07

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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