BODKIN

Proto-Metal • United Kingdom
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BODKIN were a Scottish quintet that released a self-titled album in 1972. They made a classic-sounding, rough-edged heavy progressive rock with the emphasis on Doug Rome's Hammond organ and complimented by Mick Riddle's guitar, Bill Anderson's bass, Dick Sneddon on drums and the cool wailing of Zeik Hume.

Somewhat more jam-oriented than contemporaries such as ATOMIC ROOSTER or URIAH HEEP and not quite as hard-hitting, BODKIN nevertheless delivered spirited rock music with energetic interplay between guitar and organ, fine musicianship, and distractingly good compositions from the 21 year-old Doug Rome.

A very palatable blend of dark organ-rock and dirty blues, Bodkin will surely please listeners interested in the murky and mysterious early years of the Heavy Prog scene and anyone seeking rare prog.
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BODKIN Bodkin album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Bodkin
Proto-Metal 1972

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BODKIN Bodkin

Album · 1972 · Proto-Metal
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Bodkin were a Scottish band who worked hard to gain recognition in the early seventies. They won a music competition that earned them the title of best music group in the country and were able to record this one album. Heavy rock guitar music drenched with Uriah Heep-stylings of Hammond organ, Bodkin fit themselves into both proto-metal and heavy prog. The album cover featuring a goat's head and burning cross would suggest that Bodkin were an occult band like Black Widow. The lyrics, however, don't suggest that, and I suspect with the popularity of Black Sabbath and images related to the occult, someone at the record company decided on the cover. The 2010 reissue uses a simple cover of some weathered metal surface with the band's name impressed.

The first track, "Three Days After Dying Pt. 1", features a lot of Hammond organ and some heavy rock guitar and driving heavy rhythm but also slower, organ-soaked passages for the vocals. There are no high screams as with Uriah Heep and the vocals, though very good, are closer to Ozzy Osbourne in range and timbre. In this way, Bodkin don't sound like Uriah Heep clones. They had the same instrument line-up but we're doing their own thing.

The organ solo opening to "Three Days After Death Pt. 2" may sound a bit like Mk. I Deep Purple though that might be more due to the scratchy recording that likely was rescued from a vinyl source and not a master tape. This track also goes through different phases of light (again resembling old Deep Purple) and heavy. About five minutes in, the song alternates tempo and rhythm in a clever way.

"Aunt Mary's Trashcan" is the longest song on this five-track album. Over ten minutes long, the song moves through phases with an organ intro, suspenseful music, heavy rock guitar and plenty of solo room for guitar and organ. The lyrics describe the contents of one Aunty Mary's trashcan. Musically, one can't help but make comparisons to Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, though this is not a bad thing. You could also add Warhorse in there as well for a quartet of British heavy prog / proto-metal bands of the early seventies.

"Aftur Yur Lumber" and "Plastic Man" continue with the established style of music. Being shorter tracks, there is less room for the progressive side of the band. "Aftur Yur Lumber" is more of a standard organ/ guitar rock affair, and "Plastic Man" doesn't tread any new territory though the guitar riff is reminiscent of early Black Sabbath. The 2010 reissue includes an instrumental version of "Three Days After Death Pt. 2". The track listing on this CD is correct but the songs from track 3 are in the wrong order on the disc. I noticed when I heard the lyric "Plastic Man" in the track that should have been "Aunt Mary's Trashcan".

Aside from this, the recording, as I stated above, is obviously copied from a vinyl source and so any scratches or other artefacts that come from vinyl sources are present. There's certainly some good music here though I wouldn't recommend hunting it down unless you really feel you need this in your collection. As usual, the music can be heard on YouTube and is also available from iTunes.

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