This is Mahogany Rush’s third album and from what I can hear, they are moving away from a direct Jimi Hendrix influence and going into their own soundscape more. This album has more power and more heaviness than “Child of the Novelty” but it also offers a well-concocted blend of jazz/psychedelia/funk to go with the hard and heavy rock. There are still tracks that pay homage to Jimi like “1000 Nights”, which is like a pumped up cousin of “Voodoo Child”, and the title track, which borrows from “Third Stone from the Sun” with a blowing wind sound and slowed down, distorted vocals mixed in with the music. But to call Mahogany Rush or Frank Marino a Hendrix clone is being shallow. The words expressed on the web site Orexis of Death describe very well the music of Mahogany Rush:
“Mahogany Rush was to Jimi Hendrix what jazz saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Ernie Henry were to Charlie Parker-loving disciples, but not outright clones. Without question, Hendrix was a major influence on the hard rock power trio; you could hear it in leader Frank Marino’s singing as well as his electric guitar playing. But ultimately, Mahogany Rush sounded like itself.”
I already reached that conclusion in my review of “Child of the Novelty”; however, I also said that there were very close similarities to Uli Jon Roth’s band Electric Sun and in “Dancing Lady” I also hear Stevie Ray Vaughan and a bit of Led Zeppelin from “The Crunge”.
Similarities aside, this album is a rich treasure trove of guitar rock with a variety of ground covered. Listen to that frustration and ire in “Dear Music”.
“Goddamn! Are you putting me on, man? Are you trying to make me wonder just who the hell I am? Well, goddamn! Why is it that you don’t understand? Well, I’m bloody sick and tired of being treated like a garbage can! Well, I know what you’re trying to do, But let me say this, f**k, you ain’t dealing with a fool! Ah, you’re so f**king cool.”
Songs like “Tryin’ Anyway” and “1000 Nights” also weigh down the music in heaviness. But there’s a lighter side too and Marino’s witty lyrics turn up in two songs that are light but bounce with a psychedelic funkiness that once again crosses Jimi with Uli. “The King Who Stole (the universe)” is a clever parable about a being that tricks the foolish inhabitants of worlds into selling their suns.
“He was a great proud king they had said In his rode of lilac and red But the mysterious thing About this being who was a king Was the jewel studded crown on his head
For at one time these stones were not jewels But planets made of many fools Who had sold him their sun Cause they thought he was the one Who had given them all of their rules
And when he had paid for their star He would send it away very far For now he did own it And surely would not loan it To fools who’s disowned it before!”
The other amusing song is “Once Again”, which is about a couple who constantly bicker.
Well, the years have gone, the times have changed, the couple have passed away They’d walked along the path of life but argued all the way And they thought when life was over all the people just go away But in front of the Pearly Gates they stared into each other’s face.
“Hey,” cried the lady, “it’s so nice to see you here. I didn’t think you’d make it and I’m amazed that you are here." He said, “Now what do you mean by that crack?” And she saw she’d made a boo-boo.
I’ve quoted some of the lyrics because of how well they go with the groove of the music. This album is fun at times, rocks way out at times, and eases back with some jazz guitar and smooth psychedelia. This is an album praised by many and I can understand why.