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Reason - “The Age Of Reason” (1969) review


Reason - The Age Of Reason (Gear Fab Records, 1969/2016 reissue)

An obscurity brought back to life, The Age Of Reason initially came out on the Georgetown label in 1969. The album was recorded by Reason, a Washington DC based band consisting of Tommy Dildy on vocals and keyboards, Billy Windsor on vocals and guitar, Bill Manning on drums and vocals, and bassists J. Jenson and T. Gorka. Danny Gatton, who eventually achieved status as “the greatest guitarist you have never heard” also participated in the project.

Anchored by an interaction of heavy soul samplings and hard rocking rumblings, The Age Of Reason summons visages of bands like the Illusion and Vanilla Fudge. The deep and moody tone of a Hammond organ, compounded by persuasive percussion and steely guitars attire the enthusiastically performed material. Gospel styled harmonies further dimple the effort, while the lead vocals, which prove to be just as capable of swooning as screaming, exude authority.

An arresting cover of Bob Dylan’s “This Wheel’s On Fire” gets The Age Of Reason off to a mighty promising start. Framed in bold and brawny furnishings, the cut is subsequently highlighted by a burst of psychedelic jamming. Another keeper on the album is Sonny Bono’s curious and cryptic “Bang Bang,” which is made even stranger in the hands of Reason. Desperate and dramatic vocals, coupled with shifting and spinning tempos drive the song to harrowing heights.

Original numbers such as “The View From Tim Thompson’s Cell” and “Letters To Home” demonstrate Reason’s knack for piecing ideas together and manipulating them to the best of their ability, where a treatment of Lorraine Ellison’s “Stay With Me Baby” ripples with power and passion.

Although there is nothing ground-breaking about The Age Of Reason, the album will please those professing an affinity for soul-infected rock sounds. Reason didn’t last long, as this was to be their only album, leaving in their wake a cool souvenir of a certain time and place. 

- Beverly Paterson
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