Hell Preachers Inc. – Supreme Psychedelic Underground (1969) & Ugly Custard -Psicosis (1971) review

January 28, 2013

Hell Preachers Inc. – Supreme Psychedelic Underground (1969) & Ugly Custard -Psicosis (1971) review

Hell Preachers Inc. “Supreme
Psychedelic Underground”/Ugly Custard “Psicosis” (Gear Fab Records
Long ago and far away, in a world that
existed before digital domination, fly by night imprints tapped producers and
studio musicians to spit out albums mirroring the popular sounds of the day.
The sole goal was, to of course make money, not an artistic statement. But a
fair number of these exploitation efforts were astonishingly good, particularly
those born during the psychedelic era. The crafty faces behind such ventures
naturally remained nameless, as no credits ever appeared on the record sleeves.
But the so-called bands were christened, sporting handles that were downright
silly or strange. The Colorado based Gear Fab label has been doing a fantastic
job resurrecting these “cashing in on the hippest fad” albums, and its latest
treasure couples two extremely rare relics onto one disc.
Originally released in 1968, “Supreme
Psychedelic Underground” by Hell Preachers Inc. is so freaky and off the wall
that it leads the listener to wonder what dimension these performers were
operating in. Slathered in a spellbinding sauce of swirling keyboards,
snake-charming Middle Eastern motifs and gothic vocals, “Shalom” kicks in as a
platinum-plated raga rock piece, the pummeling bite of “Curante” is tempered by
a giddy bubblegum chorus of la la la la la la,  and “We Like The White Man,” with its hypnotic
tribal drumming and repetitious chant of “We Like The White Man” could easily
pass as an early rap song. Dancing organ passages, accompanied by blasts of
monster guitar dynamics wire “Time Race” and “Turn Turn” thumps and pumps to an
acid-damaged Bo Diddley beat. Rumor has it that Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and
Ian Paice of Deep Purple donated their talents to “Supreme Psychedelic
Underground,” which is not surprising, considering the influence of the hotshot
British band looms large. Traces of Iron Butterfly, Pink Floyd and Steppenwolf
can also be detected, but employed in a far weirder and wackier context if you
can imagine that.

From 1971, there’s Ugly Custard’s
“Pscosis,” which includes only instrumentals. 
Spurred by soft acoustic strumming, a cover of “Scarboro Fair” suddenly
shifts focus and morphs into a loud and heavy hunk of crazed jamming, while
renditions of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and “Hung Upside Down” further
pronounce the band’s penchant for excessive improvising. Big and bold jazz
rhythms flood the swinging “Custard’s Last Stand,” “Feel This” romps and rolls
to a funky groove, and “Cry From The Heart” pings and tings to an enterprising
exhibition of coiling melodies and lightly battered wah wah doodlings. Lifting
a cue from the daring dabblings of Yes and Deep Purple, but presented in a
rather kitschy fashion, the Ugly Custard clearly aped the flashy progressive
rock of the times.  Complex structures, matched
by flamboyant six-string work and soulful keyboard exercises indeed furnish the
band’s material with a spacey bent.
Flush with fascinating ideas, both “Supreme
Psychedelic Underground” and “Pscosis” stamp a premium on exaggerated
impressions and expressions. Some of the stuff is absolutely nightmarish and
cheesy, not to mention self-indulgent and bombastic, but admittedly fun and
highly inventive as well. Crank the volume to maximum effects and dig it!
Review made by Beverly Paterson / 2013
© Copyright
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com / 2013
  1. spacefreak

    Hell Preachers Inc. have nothing to do with Deep Purple. They are the german band Bokaj Retsiem in disguise. In other words they iclude all original Lucifer's Friend members, except John Lawton and probably Peter Hesslein.

  2. Klemen Breznikar

    We will do a longer article about them and will try to find the real members of the band, cos one of our readers just confirmed he knew them personaly.

    This was a studio project made up by members of Hamburg's legends THE RATTLES and THE GERMAN BONDS (they re-united this year and played some concerts here) who evolved into LUCIFERS FRIEND later.

  3. Lee Curtis

    Here is part of the sleeve notes for the cd.

    This album has acquired a certain notoriety since its appearance in 1968, on account of a stubborn rumor that it's the work of three members of the young Deep Purple.

    The sound is indeed similar to that on their contemporaneous Shades Of Deep Purple album. But it's highly unlikely that they were involved here.
    Europa was a budget label based in Germany, and specialized in cash-in releases.
    So it's probably the work of continental session players.

    Hope this helps

  4. Danny Wilde

    Ugly Custard was a project by a bunch of some of the best known session men in the UK: Herbie Flowers, Clem Cattine, Alan Parker and Roger Coulem. OK I never heard of Coulem either, but this bunch was collectively Blue Mink without their singer.

  5. spacefreak

    Bokaj Retsiem were post-German Bonds and pre-Lucifer's Friend.

  6. El Guajolote

    Oh yeah, spacefreak is right, the pobrable line-up of Hell Preachers Inc. was:

    Peter Hect (organ)
    Dieter Horns (bass)
    Joachim Rietenbach (drums)
    George Monro [a.k.a. "Mavros"] (vocals)
    Rainer Degner (guitar)

  7. David

    Bought the original vinyl album on an exchange visit to West Germany in 1969, subsequently lost.....

  8. the great gavonne

    Probably linked to Deep Purple because the first song on the album, "Time Race" is a rip-off of Purple's "Wring That Neck" (also known as "Hard Road")

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