Monday, 20 January 2014

Kickin' and Starbound Lady (USA, Nebraska, 1978)

The singer (Robin Floyd, who looks like Andy Gibb, bottom right) sounds abnormally like Axel Rose, with his vociferous nasal delivery and dramatic or operatic vibrato at all volumes.  However this is a hugely enjoyable album for me, and I'm sure it will be for many others.  Pre-hear I had low hopes due to its hard rock / AOR description, but it turned out to be far above average for the overall genre.  Be sure to play it loud in the car, especially with a wife or girlfriend sitting beside you.  They're sure to complain, even if, unlikely as this may be, they do have a taste for metal.

I really would love a printout of the lyrics for the first song and the time travel song, because I have a feeling they would be very amusing to read.  There is little information on the solar mission of the female astronaut that you can actually make out in the starter beyond:

"all those lonely eons
on your trip towards the sun...

you're flying, blinding,
your energy, synergy..." 

I am curious to know if, to continue with the theme from the last post about galactic travel in the seventies, it's a song about space travel or the mundane idea of a young starlet.  Definitely there is a comet in there as evidenced by the sound of the electric guitar pick shooting down.

And on the time travel song, I hear "I made it back to 1983."  What is the context? I would love to know.
I can also make out, "The ice age has begun..."  What an intriguing song and what a shame the singer doesn't enunciate!

The second song start with a Keith Emerson-like piano solo, almost as if the band had decided that their live performances, which inevitably featured long-winded classical-inspired piano noodling, should pop up a bit in the studio album because their keyboardist (Eddie Winquist, centre) was that talented.  Which he is, but nonetheless the logic of including this extended opening remains feeble.  At least the virtuosity on display is strong.  This is the song that when Axel oops I mean Robin starts singing, really foreshadows all of Guns 'n' Roses' oeuvre, it's eerie.  It's good to know they were a decade ahead of time on this, but the wrong people altogether, and not quite as successful unfortunately.  Hair was perfect though.

The last song features, after a silly swing cymbal syncopated start, a to and fro between guitar riffs and sung riffs, like on Black Dog, but the power of both is astonishing.  What makes the guitar part so interesting is the constant use of odd notes incl. the tritonal A flat (in a song I think is in D).  The guitarist is Wayne Fritz, whose brother is playing bass here (seated next to each other in the middle with matching mustaches and hairstyles).  Notice how about two-thirds into the song it changes into an instrumental after a modulation--  a device which Led Zep did often enough, and probably invented (e.g. "Down on the Tiles")-- but here, they also modulate quite suddenly in the middle of a phrase almost, and into an unrelated key (B flat, from A).  And Wayne, with his Eddie Van Halen style, is really extraordinary on soloing:

Quite extraordinary I think you'll agree.  This album, being so professionally played, really doesn't deserve such obscurity.  I would like Tom to clamour for priority on this one, though he most likely will not give it one of those sought-after low numbers.


  1. thanks julian cant wait to hear it

  2. Hi Julian could you please upload this again....

  3. new kickin upload:

  4. I recently got to hear this album. Good stuff! Those were the days.