2008COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
John Pierce - vocals (1-5, 9) * John Leone - vocals (6-8) * Jimmy Walker - guitars * Keith Flash - Moog, Hammond B3 * Nick August - bass * Eddie Power - drumsTRACK LISTING:
01 Ride My Coattails * 02 Serena * 03 Lonely Doggs * 04 Talk Of The Archways * 05 Preacher * 06 Right Now * 07 Whispers * 08 Never Thought Someone Would Cry For Me * 09 Rock Me Tight (Live)RATING: WEBLINKS: www.cyclopsband.com
Here is a New York band from the late 70s that flew so low under the radar that they could have been a lawnmower! We're talking about the one and only Cyclops. In their biography, they describe themselves as New York's finest theatrical band. To my way of thinking, they were the East Coast's answer to Angel
. Combined with a little Bluebeard
, perhaps a little Zon
.. and you have a sound that is pretty much Cyclops. Recently resurrected by the band's guitarist Jimmy Walker, a whole swathe of songs originally recorded in 1979 have now been made available for release on sites like Amazon and CD Baby. A big thanks goes to Terje Hoiland for alerting us to these tracks on CD Baby where they are available for download for around six dollars.
[l-r] Keith Flash, Nick August, John Pierce, Jimmy Walker, Eddie Power
There are heaps of swirly keyboards and zany synthesisers, all bowing at the altar of a certain Gregg Giuffria one would imagine, while Jimmy Walker's guitars certainly have a Punky Meadows style too. Probably the best track 'Ride My Coattails' opens their account. Straight away you can hear what this band are all about. Keith Flash is the driving force on 'Serena', a massive synth/siren blast on the intro, with a ton of old style organ filling out this sweeping orchestral piece. Despite the dodgy song title, 'Lonely Doggs' is pretty good. The organ style takes us right back to the start of the 70s. Who knows what 'Talk Of The Archways' is all about. A weird song title for sure, the music is quite progressive and complex, not unlike Starcastle
in places. 'Preacher' could've been taken from any of the Zon
albums, while 'Right Now' is so steeped in the 70s, you gotta admire the band for their style. Those woodblocks sound kinda cool! Keith Flash opens up with his trademark keyboards on 'Whisper', a slower track with more than a hint of progression. With a song title like 'Never Thought Someone Would Cry For Me', you can just tell that this is going to be a ballad. Soaring and melodramatic all in one. This collection finishes up with a live track called 'Rock Me Tight', capturing Cyclops at their best.
The recordings may have been a victim of the times, but to my ears the vocals take a bit of getting used to and the drums are painfully thin. Musically though, there are some great ideas here, and for Angel
fans this is worthy of a investigation.
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