Sunday, 29 January 2012

Violin Lollipops

The Flock - The Flock

In writing recently about Curved Air I referred to other rock violin bands like The Flock. I said Curved Air had, through Darryl Way, a more classical edge, but in listening to Jerry Goodman's solo material as well as returning to The Flock's debut eponymous album, I realise that statement wasn't strictly true. Introduction on The Flock album has classical strains, perhaps some more dissonant and 'modern' in that respect, as well as jazz tones, but it is nonetheless classical, and playfully so. Next song Clown on the album is a wild amalgam of rock and jazz, with sax and brass ensemble playing, and this is something Curved Air did not venture into in the same way - their rock being more pop, if that makes sense: more song structured than containing improvisational sounding elements. Third track I Am The Tall Tree is much more pretty, and uses melodramatic vocal harmony with Goodman's violin adding its own sweetish licks. The memorable Kinks cover Tired of Waiting For You - brought to our attention through the CBS sampler Fill Your Head With Rock - is simply an outstanding track in its own right, Goodman's violin psychedelicised through amplification and echo.

On The Flock Best Of release there is a wonderful track Lollipops and Rainbows that was intended for inclusion on the first album but was instead shelved, released much later on this compilation. Good thing. Goodman's violin has here the more classical strains I have re-discovered, and there are blatant jazz interludes to reflect the experimentation of mixed-genre production in those days, but it's the lyrics that date it terribly, and would have confused the harder edge sustained on the album as released. But it is a hoot to listen to now, the twee telling about lollipops, toy shops, sand boxes and candy stores making the drugs taken then sound positively childlike in their hallucinatory projections.

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