Monday, 24 February 2014

Brand X: Missing Period (reissue) Review

Out of the handful of Brand X/Percy Jones rare recordings campaign from Gonzo Multimedia, Missing Period will probably be of greatest interest to hard core fans. This album represents some of the earliest known recordings from the band in the 1975-1976 time frame, just before they released their debut albumUnorthodox Behaviour. The story goes that John Goodsall's family presented the guitarist with a box of old Brand X memorabilia, and at the bottom of that box were old tape reels containing unreleased recordings of the band. Needless to say, this is raw, powerful Brand X at their early best.

The line-up for Missing Period was Goodsall on guitar, drummer Phil Collins, Percy Jones on bass, Robin Lumley on keyboards, and percussionist Preston Heyman. Collins, who managed to squeeze in any time with Brand X while not busy with Genesis, puts in a hell of a performance on these exciting jazz-fusion pieces, locked in tight with Jones' elastic bass lines on the supercharged "Kugelblitz", with Goodsall & Lumely firing away with reckless abandon. Lovers of Mahavishnu Orchestra or Return to Forever will absolutely love this track. "Dead Pretty" also hits high on the fusion richter scale as well, while "Ancient Mysteries" sees the band getting their groove on with some white hot funk, Lumley's electric piano & synths leading the charge over some wicked bass and drum fills from Jones and Collins. The more airy & atmospheric "Why Don't You Lend Me Yours?" brings to mind classic Weather Report, as Jones' wonderfully melodic fretless bass lines recall vintage Jaco Pastorius and Lumley's electric piano & synth textures remind of the master, Joe Zawinul. Goodsall eventually joins the fray with some nasty riffing for a bit, before the band turn down the funk and bring things to a more tranquil coda. "Miserable Virgin" takes things to another level, as Collins & Jones are dangerously boiling underneath with some intricate grooves while Lumley's dazzling electric piano lines and Goodsall's scorching licks take this one into serious jazz-rock territory. Closer "Tito's Leg" is another wild funk/fusion vehicle, as Collins & Heyman provide some busy underpinnings for the slapping bass work of Jones and Goodsall & Lumley's wah-wah drenched licks. Look for a particularly scalding Goodsall solo on this one!

No doubt Brand X fans will love having these early recordings on CD, and to be honest, this material stacks up well against any of their official albums. Plus, this is Brand X approved, so don't hesitate to go out and get yourself a copy. Jazz-fusion lovers rejoice!

Track Listing 
1) Dead Pretty 
2) Kugelblitz 
3) Ancient Mysteries 
4) Who Don't You Lend Me Yours? 
5) Miserable Virgin 
6) Tito's Leg 4.5 stars

Added: February 7th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Gonzo Multimedia


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What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.