Recorded during June of 1969 at Marquee Studios in London with Gary Collins and Colin Caldwellengineering, the trio of Groundhogs put the blues to rest on Blues Obituary in front of a castle on the Hogart-designed cover while six black and whites from photographer Zorin Matic grace the back in morbid Creepy or Eerie Magazine comic book fashion. Composed, written, and arranged by Tony "T.S." McPhee, there are seven tracks hovering from the around four- to seven-minute mark. The traditional "Natchez Burning," arranged by McPhee, fits in nicely with his originals while the longest track, the six-minute-and-50-second "Light Is the Day," features the most innovation -- a Ginger Baker-style tribal rant by drummer Ken Pustelnik allowing McPhee to lay down some muted slide work. As the tempo on the final track elevates along with manic guitar runs by McPhee, the jamming creates a color separate from the rest of the disc while still in the same style. Vocals across the board are kept to a minimum. It is all about the sound, Cream without the flash, bandleader McPhee vocally emulating Alvin Lee (by way of Canned Heat's Alan Wilson) on the four-minute conclusion to side one that is "Mistreated." While Americans like Grand Funk's Mark Farner turned the format up a commercial notch, Funk's "Mean Mistreater" sporting the same sentiment while reaching a wider audience, the Groundhogs on this late-'60s album keep the blues purely in the underground. The pumping beat on "Mistreated" embraces the lead guitarist's vocal, which poses that eternal blues question: "what have I done that's wrong?" Blistering guitar on the opening track, "B.D.D.," sets the pace for this deep excursion into the musical depths further down than Canned Heat ever dared go. While "Daze of the Weak" starts off sludgy enough, it quickly moves like a train out of control, laying back only to explode again. "Times" get things back to more traditional roots on an album that breaks little new ground, and is as consistent as Savoy Brown when they got into their primo groove. AMG.
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