SEX

Proto-Metal • Canada
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Sex was formed by Yves Rousseau (guitar), Robert Trepanier (vocals, bass, flute, harmonica), and Serge Gratton (drums). They released a self-titled album in 1970. The LP features rudimentary hard rock tracks based on heavy blues, a style prevalent in Britain at the time. (In fact, one could describe the album as a cross between Budgie and Black Sabbath.) This strong blues influence could explain it being labeled as "psychedelic" by some. Lyrics are sung in English with a heavy French accent, which was still mostly the case in Quebec, until Dionysos, who played many shows with Sex, broke the trend by singing all in French. Song titles and lyrics are consistent with the group's name, and contain some disturbing themes. Highlights on the album include "Come, Wake Up!" and "Not Yet", both of which were released as a single.

1971 saw the release of a second LP entitled "The End
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SEX Sex album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Sex
Proto-Metal 1970
SEX End of My Life album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
End of My Life
Proto-Metal 1971

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SEX Sex / The End Of My Life album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Sex / The End Of My Life
Proto-Metal 2002

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SEX Sex

Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
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The French-Canadian group Sex released their debut in 1970, according the the web sites for Quebec prog and the Museum of Canadian Music. It's a short album with only 8 songs and each song roughly between 3 and 5 minutes length. The lyrics are sung in English, and though I've read that the accent is strong, I don't think it's that strong at all. This is 1970 heavy guitar rock that is still blues-based but at times goes beyond and gets pretty heavy. The vocals are strong and have an edge, not quite as gruff as Sir Lord Baltimore but in a way leaning in that direction while still being clear enough.

Both the debut and the sophomore albums are available together now on one disc, but as they are still fairly rare, I will do a track by track review.

"Scratch My Back" is a typical early 70's blues-based rocker. It's not particularly remarkable but still a decent enough start to the album.

"Not Yet" already takes the album for a turn as it begins with some classically-inspired guitar arpeggios giving it more of a metal feel. Lyrically it is not impressive, "One day you're gonna be my wife / The only one in my life", but there are only two verses and the rest is all powerhouse heavy guitar with two solos. The first solo is exactly early metal and the second solo is more jazz-influenced. At times this song feels like a heavy guitar rock extravaganza!

"Doctor" is a bluesy piece reminiscent of Blue Cheer from their first album although somewhat less voluminous. It is still heavy blues rock, mind you.

Now we get to the very controversially title "I Had to Rape Her". When I was first considering buying this album, I actually dropped it on account of this song title. However, a year later, I was curious enough and hoped that the song would turn out to have an anti-rape message like Strapping Young Lad's misinterpreted "Rape Song" which was actually about wanting to kick a rapist's posterior black and blue. The music here is heavy and slightly similar to Black Sabbath in how the drums figure in. It was used on a Canadian playlist on the web site The Day After the Sabbath, which is a site specializing in late sixties / early seventies heavy music. I was hoping to hear lyrics about regret, karma, or retribution but that's not what we get. This is a ridiculous song about a beautiful woman who demands to be taken to the bedroom and who then has second thoughts. The man, however, is all ready to complete the actions: "Don't wanna listen to her words / I want to break her," "Filling up desire in my mind / She must be mine / Ripping off her clothes the best I can". It's a pretty graphic depiction of a rape case. The only sign of possible remorse comes at the end of each refrain with "I'm sure someday that I will regret it". Yes, hopefully when her brothers and father come to kick his posterior absolutely black and blue. I don't know if the lyrics are meant to illustrate the violence of rape but I wish there were some clearer explanation for the purpose of this song. Great music but terrible subject.

Side two begins with "Come, Wake Up!" which is as you might expect another heavy guitar rocker. This track is an instrumental and also features a simple bit of flute accompanied by drums, a hint to where they would go for their next album. Nevertheless, it is another intense rock workout.

"Try" is a simple Sonny Boy Williamson w/ The Yardbirds-era type blues number, updated slightly for the early 70's. It is the shortest track at 2:22 and features a mouth harp solo as well as electric guitar. The lyrics repeat three times: "Try my baby, try to make love the best that you can / Do some bad things but just do them right."

"Night Symphony" is yet another heavy rock number. At first it sounds like a grittier version of Led Zeppelin a little but at around 1:50 it becomes heavy and funky and more like Grand Funk Railroad. Along with "Not Yet", "Come, Wake Up!" and the controversial song, this makes the album worth getting for its proto-metal attitude.

"Love is a Game" is the final track. It has that early 70's bluesy swagger and is a sexy number about picking up a woman and taking her home and making love. "Close the lights and hold her close / Give her a few kisses and take off her clothes / Caress her breasts" and "Get on her at first very slowly and then just a little bit faster". This is what the band's name implies anyway. This song doesn't sound as clear as the others and it is as if it came from an inferior master source. The rest of the album is quite good regarding sound quality.

As for early heavy metal, this album is a pretty good case for the heavy blues-based type, though it does shift into heavier territory. Among other proto-metal albums from this era, I think this is one of the better ones.

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