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Stained Glass - Crazy Horse Roads (1968) review


Stained Glass "Crazy Horse Roads" (Capitol Records, 1968)

Originally called the Trolls, this San Jose, California band accumulated a fair degree of local success during their existence and have been rediscovered in recent years by enthusiasts of sixties music. Signed to the RCA label, Stained Glass released four excellent singles for the imprint prior to hooking up with Capitol Records, where they cut two albums.

An inspired debut effort, "Crazy Horse Roads" proposes a balanced blend of commercial aspirations and sonic experimentation. Sounding something like Buffalo Springfield bouncing ideas off the Monkees or vice versa, the album brings together pop, folk, country, soul, blues and psychedelic styled rock into one neat and nifty package.

Devised of self-composed material, "Crazy Horse Roads" indicates how conscientious  Stained Glass were about their craft. Ripe melodies, compounded by concise structures and exciting instrumentation wheel the catchy tunes. Picture perfect harmonies carved of the good will variety, also flood the band's songs.

Dancing with happiness, "I Sing You Sing" sweeps and soars with glistening colors and textures, tempered by bursts of booming guitar licks, "Horse On Me" grinds and gallops to a funky beat and "Soap And Turkey" spins and swirls to psychedelized country patterns. A hard rock finish, stressed by the powered thump of the drums and the wicked wail of a guitar duking it out, directs the course on "Light Down Below," while "Doomsday" holds ground as another track showcasing the band's heavier side. Pronounced by insistent piano fills, "Fahrenheit" shuffles with purpose and the bubblegummy "Finger Painting" flourishes to a sunny sheen.

A mixed bag of tricks, "Crazy Horse Roads" not only zones in on the band's diverse talents, but implies they had a lot of fun recording the album as a carefree and friendly tone engulfs the environment. Though some of the songs may be too fluffy and cute for those with a lust for the lysergic, there's still enough freaky frequencies here to shake and stimulate the senses.

Review made by Beverly Paterson/2013
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