Now here's a big one, a monster as they call them, for all you young prog collectors out there. I had this one some time back and had a good listen before sending it off on its relay-race way to do the rounds of the collectors, each person ripping and sharing it with a few private select friends or perhaps friendly moles, jealously guarding it like a leprechaun with a hoard of gold coins or maybe a secret passageway to the land of beer and honey. So instead I thought we might as well let everyone hear it and judge its value-- does that make any sense? Or are you more inclined to, like the squirrel that has been living in my garage all winter, amass the most astonishing stash of little nuts hidden in the insulation and rafters of my home's attic so there is enough food for centuries of generations of squirrel until their doomsday arrives in the year 3030?
I see Tom Hayes has reviewed it already for rateyourmusic:
"Take a Long Look" is on Airborne records, which is a custom label pressed by QCA. QCA (Queen City Albums), from Cincinnati (naturally enough, since Cincy is known as the "Queen City"), is like Rite Records or RPC in that they were a custom pressing plant. Their main raison d'etre was to press demo albums to shop around for a label deal. Which explains why many of these type of albums are extremely scarce and usually have poor sound. Due to the label being from Cincinnati, everyone just presumed the band was from there as well. However there has been at least one former ebay auction where the dealer stated they were most assuredly from Fort Wayne, Indiana - the same town that Ethos were from!
Even though it's Midwestern by locale, musically it reminds me of the more song-oriented UK underground circa 1971. Bands like Still Life or Noir came to mind, though certainly not as compelling as those. It's slow moving, with organ as the dominant instrument. The songs are well crafted though, and the band most certainly had talent. It would have been interesting to hear what they could have come up with had they the proper financial support and appropriate studio time. As stated earlier, the album is definitely a demo, and possesses a muddy sound.
"Take a Long Look" is not a good choice for a reissue - unless the band wants to reform and expound upon these ideas further. Or there's a studio tape hiding in the closet. Definitely worth hearing, though, if you get the chance.
By the way I sold my copy for several hundred dollars, in a classic example of the economy of house-flipping before the crash, so be prepared to pay a little if you want the original.
Here's the title track, which I really like a lot, especially the Deep Purple kind of sound with combined, unison hammond / guitar (referring of course to pre-DP in Rock).