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 Rushsounded like itself. One of the best studio albums that Mahogany recorded in the 1970s was Strange Universe, a hard rock/heavy metal classic that is as melodic as it is forceful. As aggressively as Mahogany rocks on gems like "Tryin' Anyway," "Dancing Anyway," and "Dear Music," this 1975 LP never fails to be musical. One hears overtones of progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and jazz-rock fusion on much of the material, and Mahogany's lyrics aren't the typical boy-meets-girl fare; in fact, the threesome explores gothic fantasy themes on "Land of 1000 Nights," "Tales of the Spanish Warrior," and other cuts. There are no dull moments on Strange Universe, which points to the fact thatMahogany Rush was among the finest hard rock/metal bands of the '70s. AMG.
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