Thursday, September 04, 2003

While I sorted through a punchbuggy-sized heap of clean laundry last night I listened to Secret Treaties by Blue Oyster Cult. I’ve had the album for a long time—JR gave it to me when he was dispersing the collection of a dead friend—but I’ve never given it a proper listen. Reading an intriguing Progressive Ears thread inspired me to pull the annotated sleeve* off the shelf and put the well-worn LP on. Holy crap! This album is amazing. When was it recorded—1974? It has a very garage-y sound, like the band couldn’t afford Marshalls yet, so it’s not all that heavy, but listen to those riffs, those songs! The fact that an American band was producing this noise must have excited a lot of people at the time. The tunes kind of bridge the transatlantic gap between the dark science of Vol 4/Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and the streetwalkin’ grittiness of The Stooges and MC5. Kiss also factors in there somehow, but I haven’t figured out where yet.

Never mind my fetish for the dark side of the '70s; if this album had been released yesterday I’d be equally into it. Adventurous in spirit but highly accessible, it’s music for the people that didn’t pander to its audience (insert digression about Max Webster here). I can see why BOC inspired the young Mike Watt and D Boon to pick up instruments back in the day.

*there’s a handwritten note to the album’s previous owner on the back cover: “[name withheld and blacked out], Well, we’ve made it this far… Why not go all the way, huh? I love you babe and always will. Together we can make it through anything. [following words are blacked out] Love always directed twards you, [name withheld]”

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