Saturday, 11 February 2017

CROMWELL - AT THE GALLOP (Got Kinda Lost Records LP, CD, D/L).

New from the Spanish crate diggers Guerssen Records shared imprint Got Kinda Lost is a first time reissue of the only album from little known Irish rockers Cromwell……….a true rarity (fetching upwards of £300 when the original LP does appear) and a little-heard classic in the Pub Rock/fried Rock’n’Roll/proto-Punk terrain. Initially self-released in 1975 by the Drumcondra, Dublin based band, At The Gallop is a blistering, heavy, loud’n’lascivious ten track offering (thirteen in this expanded edition) of Hard Rock infused “street” Rock’n’Roll from a time when Ireland was still under the sway of beloved traditional Irish music, conservative showbands and quasi-religious, sentimental pop pap. A hard gigging, solid Rock ‘n’ Roll band, who’s main claim to fame in their short history was being the support band for Rory Gallagher’s 1972 Irish tour, played a mix of original songs and choice covers that no doubt went down a storm to a beered up Friday night crowd in a smokey, sweaty Dublin pubs and clubs. In all 5 singles along with the one album were released between 1973 - 1975 and this new release includes some bonus tracks from group’s rare singles.

Emerging from the giant shadow cast on the Dublin scene by the greatness of Thin Lizzy, you can’t escape the influence they had on Cromwell’s writing and playing. Several of the songs on At The Gallop have the same Irish essence of the best of Thin Lizzy but lack Phil Lynott’s romantic lyricism and have a rather more unhealthy (by today’s standards) thing about schoolgirls………..tracks such as  ‘Ireland (The Wild One)’, ‘Hoodwinked’, ‘You Got It Made’, the album title track and…….errm……’Guinness Rock’ would not sound out of place on the very early Thin Lizzy Decca releases. Elsewhere there is a nod to the Stonesy raunch of Teenage Head/Flamingo-era Flamin’ Groovies (‘Down On The Town’ and ‘Deal Me In’) and Glam Rock boogie (‘Stomp Stomp Stomp’). It’s a satisfying if unspectacular record but there are two tracks that are worth the price of admission alone………………..a Ian Hunter-esque Mott The Hoople style rock ballad ‘First Day’ and the beautifully mellow acoustic number ‘You Hate It To Turn’ which first surfaced as the b-side of the ‘Guinness Rock’ 45 RPM version, also included here. It’s a record that is certainly of it’s time (both musically and lyrically) but there are enough moments here to keep fans of “classic” rock interested……..especially fans of early Thin Lizzy, 70s Stones and pre-Punk American “Street Rock”.

Including an insert featuring rare photos and in-depth liner notes by Jeremy Cargill (Got Kinda Lost Records / Ugly Things Magazine), At The Gallop by Cromwell is available NOW on vinyl, CD and as a download direct from Kinda Got Lost (for the USA), the Guerssen Records website or their Bandcamp page where you can also stream the album here........

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