» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Action
Rolled Gold
Reaction Records

Rating: 8.8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Action's claim to fame is that they were a talented quintet signed to EMI by George Martin; yet, they were never able to break into the UK charts despite the release of five excellent white soul singles from 1965-1967. With a sound similar to the Small Faces, The Action was popular within the pill-popping mod scene. However, without a big break (Martin surely could have helped in this department, right?) the group never made any headway in the mainstream and were dropped en route to releasing their sixth single, and Rolled Gold is what happened after that date.

The band got turned onto new drugs, went through a slight shift in personnel and headed into the studio to record a full-length for release on the Polydor label. Polydor wasn't interested in the demos, however, and shortly thereafter vocalist Reggie King left the band, the rest of which re-christened itself Azoth (yeah, great name).

So, if the label wasn't interested in the demos-why should you be? Labels often make mistakes, and this would qualify as a big one on Polydor's behalf. Within a year of The Action's recording of these demos, the psychedelic scene in Britain would be well on its way to acceptance, thanks to the success of The Beatles' White Album and The Small Faces' track, "Itchycoo Park." After lying on a cutting room floor for more than 30-odd years, these demos have finally received a proper introduction to an American audience thanks to Ric Menck's new label, Reaction.

Gone are the mod-stylings and the soul covers of The Action's early days, replaced by everything that made early psychedelic rock so exciting - namely a willingness to let go of conventional pop songwriting in favor of fluid, adventurous guitar playing, dynamics and layers of drenched vocals. Vocalist Reggie King - heralded by critics and musicians alike (Phil Collins is a big fan of the band) as a superb vocalist-lets his throaty voice wail on exceptional mind-blowing songs like "Brains" (which, guitarist Alan King relates some time later, was improvised in the studio) and "Look at the View." "Brains," which is clearly Rolled Gold's standout, bridges the gap between white soul and LSD and perfectly complements Jimi Hendrix's early work.

All told, Rolled Gold clocks in at just over 50 minutes with 15 songs. Fans of early psychedelic rock - especially British - will burn many a stick of incense to this record. Despite being a collection of "demos," Rolled Gold is the shit, and a must-have for fans of Hendrix, The Who, Love, and time spent smoking pot.

Reviewed by Doug Hoepker
A former staff writer for LAS whom we like to call Diggles, Mr. Hoepker is currently laboring away on various music-based projects. He now works in academic publishing (ahem), but is perhaps still best known by his DJ moniker, The Noiseboy.

See other reviews by Doug Hoepker



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