Monday, July 13, 2009

Record of the Week July 13th - July 19th

The Golden Dawn

Power Plant

1968 International Artists/2009 International Artists

Lelan Rogers was Kenny Rogers older and crazier brother. In 1965 he decided to start up his own record label, International Artists, after his and Kenny's joint effort KenLee Records failed in the late 50's. The International Artist's label would quickly become recognized as Houston's demented psychedelic rock label, signing bands such as 13th Floor Elevators, The Red Crayola, The Bubble Puppy, and more. One of the better albums released would be Power Plant, by The Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn featured a man named George Kinney on vocals and guitars. Kinney was a childhood friend of 13th Floor's Roky Erickson and remained friendly with him throughout their shared venture on International Artists. When it came time to pull the trigger in 1967 and release Power Plant, there was a last minute change of plans and 13th Floor Elevators ended up taking the newest International Artists release slot. The Elevators album was called Easter Everywhere. The record did fairly well and it has grown to become an epic psych classic to this day. Unfortunately, a combination of timing and label decisions pushed Power Plant to the immediate back burner and as a result, the record never received the attention it could have.

Power Plant by The Golden Dawn shares obvious influence and style with 13th Floor's Easter Everywhere. Erikson and Kinney were openly sharing ideas by the late 60's and the evidence in both the instrumentation and the lyrics are overwhelming. Swirling, twangy southern psych guitars with low-fi noise tracks and mid-tempo feelgood rock, Power Plant captures a very similar vibe as Easter Everywhere with a slightly happier, less desperate and nervous feel. A few songs on Power Plant sound like early Floyd while others could be 13th Floor songs if I didn't know the difference. The vocal style varies at times, and the subject matter (traveling through new planes of existence, psychic crystals, transcendental unity, and of course, love) coincide oddly with 13th Floor lyrics. The record is currently available as a repress on International Artists.

"There comes a time of starvation
It is true
If you believe in elevation
It will happen to you"

Taken from "Starvation" by The Golden Dawn

No comments: