From The Vault: Banchee – “Banchee” (1969)
Banchee – “Banchee” (Atlantic Records 1969)
I first became aware of Banchee in the late nineties, when hearing their song, “I Just Don’t Know,” on a “Psychedelic Frequencies” compilation album. I was immediately hooked, and thrilled to the core to discover the East Coast based band had released two albums. Considering these albums are rarer than a purple poodle, they are not instantly accessible. But I eventually hit the jackpot and found and purchased both albums, which remain perennial favorites.
The band’s debut album, simply titled “Banchee,” catches the guys in all their gritty and greasy grandeur. A self-contained stance, emphasized by strong original material, coupled with the means and mobility to perform these songs, are presented throughout the collection.
The introduction track, “The Night Is Calling,” is a middle-paced psychedelic tinted folk rock piece featuring high-pitched harmonies bowing to the likes of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Banchee’s radiant vocal prowess is once again employed to agreeable effects on “Train Of Life,” which subsequently turns into a rumbling romp evoking the Yardbirds in rave-up mode.
A pure hard rock finish drives the bus on numbers such as “I Just Don’t Know” and “Evolmia,” while “As Me Thinks” conveys a cool Latin laced vibe and “Hands Of A Clock” hurls some jammy jazz licks into the brew for added appeal.
Carved of ragged and jagged guitars, cutting melodies and loose and natural energy, “Banchee” is one rocking record. Aside from the aforementioned influences, snippets of San Francisco Bay Area acts, specifically Savage Resurrection and Quicksilver Messenger Service arise here and there.
Banchee’s second and final album, “Thinkin” was issued in 1971 on the Polydor label, and offered more cool heavy and hairy sounds. But we will save that review for another day!
– Beverly Paterson
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