PRIMEVIL — Smokin' Bats at Campton's (review)

PRIMEVIL — Smokin' Bats at Campton's album cover Album · 1974 · Proto-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Smokin’ Bats At Campton’s is the first and only official studio album by the incredible classic rock band from Indiana, Primevil. (The album title references the consumption of Marijuana at Primevil front man Dave Campton’s home, in case you were wondering)

Although the album was released back in 1974, it was long unavailable on cd until Radioactive records decided to release it once more in 2006. Despite its hard to find status, the record is hugely loved by those in the know and is often cited as one of the most important albums in the development of the Stoner Rock and Metal genres. One phrase that always seems connected to the album is “A Touchstone of Stoner Rock.”

If you are unfamiliar with the band, imagine if Clutch had have released an album in 1974 and you will have a good idea of what to expect for about half of the tracks. There are touches of the best moments of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin in there too; with a lot of musical complexity, frequent guitar solos over funky drums and rumbling fuzzy bass and great attitude filled vocals that sound way ahead of their time.

There is also some variety on the album, such as the instrumental semi-ballad ‘Fantasies,’ which starts off soft but soon employs a whole bunch of great guitar solos to get things going again and the album closer ‘Your Blues,’ is a slow blues track with lots of harmonica. Occasionally things can even take on a progressive, almost King Crimson sound, such as on certain riffs on the normal otherwise ‘Hey Lover,’ and ‘Progressive,’ and overall there is a lot of ground covered in the album’s eight-track duration.

In Summary; It may not live up entirely to the hype surrounding it, but Smokin’ Bats At Campton’s is a very good album that everyone who likes both Classic Rock and Stoner Rock and Stoner Metal should check out without hesitation. This is an album of large historical interest that also stands up on its own merits, especially in terms of lead guitar and more than worthy of a place in your collection.

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