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Review: Hackamore Brick, “One Kiss Leads to Another”

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Hackamore BrickFor the title of their 1970 album on the Kama Sutra label, the members of Hackamore Brick opined that One Kiss Leads to Another.  One album clearly didn’t lead to another, though, as the four-man Brooklyn band didn’t release more music until 2009 – and even then, with only two of the founding members.  Yet Hackamore Brick’s one and only record has grown in stature over the years, well-regarded in cult circles for its proto-punk, Velvet Underground-like mood.  Real Gone has just reissued One Kiss Leads to Another in a beautifully remastered, expanded edition, revealing it as one cult curio that defies easy categorization.

On One Kiss Leads to Another, minimalist folk-rock guitars coexist with laconic, Lou Reed-meets-country vocals, ragged harmonies, and Doors-like keyboard textures.  As produced by Richard Robinson, it has a lo-fi, primal sound that was in marked contrast to that of the band’s Kama Sutra labelmates.  Tommy Moonlight (guitar/keyboards/vocals), Chick Newman (guitar/keyboards/vocals), Robbie Biegel (drums) and Bob Roman (bass) were signed by Kama Sutra when the label was seeking to diversify from the likes of the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express.  Bubblegum, this is not.

It’s hard to avoid Velvet Underground comparisons, particularly to the group’s self-titled third album.  Yet Hackamore Brick’s songwriting team of Newman and Moonlight claimed to have finished writing before ever hearing of Lou, Maureen, Sterling and company.  Nonetheless, Newman’s dry, deadpan vocals recall Reed’s, while the hypnotic drone of many songs here echoes the Velvets’ approach, too.  As much as the Velvets themselves, though, One Kiss Leads to Another brings to mind disciples like Television and The Modern Lovers.  Hackamore Brick’s simple rock-and-roll circa 1970 sounds, today, almost shockingly ahead of its time, and not too far from today’s crop of low-key indie rockers, either.   But if commercial pop or rock was the aim, it apparently didn’t come easy to Moonlight and Newman.  Much of the album sounds like the work of two creative, energized young men trying hard – and failing – to write pop hits.  (Even The Velvet Underground was pursuing a more accessible direction at the time with the eponymous album and follow-up Loaded.)   Hackamore Brick’s gloriously offbeat failure, though, was unquestionably an artistic success for underground rock.  It’s easy to see why crate-diggers have conspiratorially spoken of One Kiss Leads to Another as a must-listen.

Hit the jump for a closer look at One Kiss Leads to Another! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 12, 2013 at 11:43

Posted in Hackamore Brick, Reissues, Reviews

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Release Round-Up: Week of July 2

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CHIC Up All Night Greatest HitsCHIC and Various Artists, Nile Rodgers Presents The CHIC Organization: Up All Night – The Greatest Hits (Rhino U.K.)

This new double-disc compilation, featuring hits from CHIC, Sister Sledge, Debbie Harry and more, might be the best Nile Rodgers-centric compilation in its price range. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Blood Sweat & Tears - Rare Rarer & RarestBlood Sweat & Tears, Rare, Rarer & Rarest / Joe Farrell Quartet, Joe Farrell Quartet / Herbie Hancock, Treasure Chest / Sha Na Na, The Night is Still Young (Wounded Bird)

A new batch from Wounded Bird includes a compilation of rarities from Blood, Sweat & Tears (featuring, among other things, their soundtrack to The Owl and The Pussycat) and a disc featuring all three of Herbie Hancock’s albums for Warner Bros., before joining Columbia in the ’70s.

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Joe Farrell Quartet: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Herbie Hancock: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Sha Na Na: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The AssociationThe Association, The Association: Deluxe Expanded Edition (Now Sounds)

The Association’s 1969 album is newly expanded with 10 bonus cuts, including mono mixes and non-LP singles! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Eat a Peach MoFiThe Allman Brothers Band, Eat a Peach / Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde / Foreigner, 4 /Billy Joel, An Innocent Man (SACDs) (Mobile Fidelity)

The latest hybrid SACDs from MoFi.

The Allman Brothers Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bob Dylan: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Foreigner: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Billy Joel: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Hackamore BrickHackamore Brick, One Kiss Leads to Another (CD/LP) / Russ Giguere, Hexagram 16 / The Browns, Complete Pop & Country Hits / Ahmed Abdul Malik, Spellbound / George Braith, Musart / Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune, Trip on the Strip / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 22 – Kings Beach Bowl, Kings Beach Lake Tahoe, CA 2/23-2/24/68 / Fire on the Mountain: Reggae Celebrates the Grateful Dead Vols. 1 & 2 (Real Gone Music)

Among the highlights of Real Gone’s release slate this week is the expanded reissue of the long-lost One Kiss Leads to Another by cult Brooklyn band Hackamore Brick.

Los NuggetzVarious Artists, Los Nuggetz: 1960s Punk, Pop, Psychedelic from Latin America (RockBeat)

America and Europe weren’t the only happening scenes in the ’60s, as this new box showcases.

One Kiss Leads To Another: Real Gone Unearths Hackamore Brick, Grateful Dead, The Association’s Russ Giguere and More

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Hackamore BrickReal Gone Music has just announced its slate for July 2, and it’s clear that the prolific label isn’t taking a summer vacation!  A number of cult favorites and new-to-CD titles populate this batch of records that won’t be “real gone” for much longer.

Atop the list is a true rarity.  Real Gone will be bringing One Kiss Leads to Another from Hackamore Brick to CD and vinyl in a newly-remastered and expanded edition.  Who is Hackamore Brick, you might ask?  The Brooklyn band’s 1970 album was an anomaly for the bubblegum specialists at Kama Sutra Records.  It’s most often spoken of in the same breath as The Velvet Underground, and it sounds as if it were built on the groundwork laid by that quintessential New York band.  Yet Hackamore Brick’s songwriters Tommy Moonlight and Chick Newman claimed to not have heard Lou, John and co. till after their album was recorded.  But indebted to that group or not, the quartet offers up a heady brew of its own.  Country-style harmonies and punk attitude sit alongside Doors-esque blues flourishes, incisive, Kinks-style lyrics, and primal rock simplicity on this true lost album.

Real Gone has also rescued a solo effort from The Association’s Russ Giguere.  Hexagram 16 offers songs from the likes of Judee Sill and Randy Newman and guest spots from Judy Henske, Jerry Yester and Bernie Leadon.  There’s a country-rock flavor on Hexagram, but Real Gone also offers more traditional country with the Nashville-style folk-pop of fifties favorites The Browns on Complete Pop and Country Hits.  Country, of course, also played a role in the Americana stew of The Grateful Dead, and Real Gone continues its reissuing of the Dick’s Picks series with some psychedelia from 1968.  A long-lost reggae tribute to the Dead is also reappearing in July.  Finally, Real Gone teams with Dusty Groove for three more deep-cut jazz albums from Ahmed Abdul-Malik, George Braith, and the duo of Stan Hunter and Sonny Fortune.

After the jump, Real Gone provides all of the details via the label’s press release, and we have pre-order links for all titles for you! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 15, 2013 at 10:13