elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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I felt obligated to post this considering I've already uploaded The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, and Easter Everywhere, as well as a few Roky Erickson solo albums. Although the star, Roky Erickson, played a very limited role on this album, it's still a must for any fan of 60's psychedelic rock. Guitarist Stacy Sutherland wrote most of the songs on Bull of the Woods, as Roky was largely absent due to drugs and problems with the law. If the debut was the Elevators' take on sloppy garage, while Easter Everywhere incorporated folksy influences, then Bull is their bluesy album, milking minor chords to death and featuring standard bluesy progressions on quite a few of these numbers.Although Bull of the Woods doesn't match the inspired heights of their previous material, it is still decent psychedelic rock, and pretty straight-ahead and disciplined for the genre.
The biggest thing missing on this album is of course Roky's overpowering voice. Hall and Sutherland's singing is just your average stereotypical acid rock singing - guys who can hit the right notes but cannot convey any real emotional power with their voices. No surprise, then, that the two Erickson-written and Erickson-sung numbers on here stick out as major highlights, even if in the context of the two previous albums they would have looked like minor ones. 'Never Another' starts as an overdriven folk-rocker propelled by the jug, additional electronic noises, and even a little horn section, but then the horns take a left turn and start going totally berserk in a near-avantgarde mood, after which the song picks up steam, adds wild lead guitar and has Erickson throwing a fit right in the studio, in short, a song that begins normally and then goes into all-out madness. And the final number, 'May The Circle Remain Unbroken', is just three minutes of reverberated guitar droning going in circles indeed as Roky chants the title - in the process inventing the blueprint for Neil Young's Dead Man soundtrack twenty-five years too early. As simple and repetitive as the song is, it might just be the most authentic psychedelic recording of theirs. It's also quite moving in a strange way - maybe because it was the last track on the last album of the Elevators and could be seen as sort of a musical testament. After this release, Hall soon left the band, and that was the end of the 13th Floor Elevators. (Year of Release: 1968)
Track List: 1. Livin On 2. Barnyard Blues 3. Til Then 4. Never Another 5. Rose and Thorn 6. Down by the River 7. Scarlet and Gold 8. Street Song 9. Dear Dr. Doom 10. With You 11. May the Circle Remain Unbroken