The Groundhogs-SCRATCHING THE SURFACE CD (EMI, UK)
My typical bassackwards self would be inclined to review the first Cee-Dee in the Groundhogs box-set last but y'see, given the importance of the three elpees to follow I just hadda give those legendary platters a lissen first before playing this debut Groundhogs kneeslapper which most people I know tend to shrug off anyway. Yeah, I know I'm not supposed to take what everybody else sez to heart and THINK FOR MYSELF LIKE ANY GOOD ROCK FAN SHOULD, but sometimes I do like to follow the lead of others, especially if I pretty much value said doggie's opinions on a variety of subjects and feel pretty copasetic with his main rockism worldview. (Well, it does help save money!) So hey, maybe I am just as led-by-the-nose like a pig to the slaughter as a variety of opinions out there seem to indicate, but then again it ain't as if the likes of Meltzer or Bangs've had the opportunity to do any nose-leadin' on my part as of late so why should you complain?
That all said, I gotta tell you that I pretty much agree with the majority (or at least what I could discern as a majority) and say that SCRATCHING THE SURFACE ain't exactly my cuppa tea and in fact ranks about as middling as those mid-seventies Groundhogs albums I've heard o'er the years long after McPhee lost his original band and went more prog than rock & roll. True, not being that big a fan of the English blooze (if any) does hinder my opinion, but then again that didn't stop me from liking those later-on Groundhogs discs let alone offerings from Killing Floor and other UK trashbin grubs. It's just too...I dunno, English bloozy which never did settle well for some odd reason. Steve Rye's OK as the group's frontman singer/harpist here, but I can't say much more even with McPhee's above-average guitar playing helping to save this from abomination time. I'll leave it for those late-sixties English blues fans amongst us to have and to hold, and take the heavy-metal crunch of the discs that follow which I believe will remain all-time top UK spinners for a much longer time than any of us will ever imagine.
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