"a raw and raucous beast of an album"

Sunday, 12 November 2017

The Galileo 7 "Tear Your Minds Wide Open!" New Album Out Now on Damaged Goods Records


2017 is proving to be a vintage year for new album releases, so much so that I’m dreading having to pick a "Best LP of the Year" for Retro Man Blog next month. Certainly one such contender for the top spot is "Tear Your Minds Wide Open!" by The Galileo 7 who have, in my opinion at least, just come up with their best work to date and it's certainly their most aptly titled. To me a great album is one where you can imagine every song being released as a stand-alone 7" Single and "Tear Your Minds Wide Open!" certainly delivers a shed-load of potential hits. I thought that "False Memory Lane" was always going to be hard to beat but obviously the band are on an upward trajectory, seemingly growing in confidence before our eyes with each new release. Whereas the overall sound and production of "False Memory Lane" concentrated on their 'Pop' sensibilities with acoustic guitars and keyboards prominent, "Tear Your Minds Wide Open!" is a raw and raucous beast of an album. It positively bursts and crackles with energy and in a strange way probably comes closer to capturing their on-stage sound even better than the 'live in the studio greatest hits' album "Live-o-Graphic".

The Galileo 7 Photographed at The Half Moon Putney by Paul Slattery
Allan Crockford is probably best known as a bassist from his sterling work with The Prisoners, James Taylor Quartet, The Prime Movers and The SolarFlares but with The Galileo 7 he is very much front and centre, handling the majority of songwriting duties along with lead vocals and guitar. I've always thought Allan was underrated as a six-string strummer despite being no stranger to the role. After all, he played guitar in The Stabilisers and Phaze and also appeared alongside Groovy Uncle's Glenn Prangnell in Goodchilde and "Tear Your Minds Wide Open" will hopefully encourage credit where it's due. The incendiary guitar riffs keep on coming throughout the album; just check out "One Lie at a Time", "Mystery Train" and particularly the stunning title track. Another surprise can be found with the blistering "The Habit Machine" which reminds me of a mash-up of Led Zeppelin’s "Rock ‘n’ Roll" meets "Black Dog". It's heavy man! But despite the occasional reference points they are really difficult to categorize and there's no doubting the band are very much an exciting and contemporary sounding outfit. The Galileo 7 are challenging our preconceptions and stretching the boundaries far beyond the garage with their inventive Psych Pop nuggets.
Allan Crockford Photographed at The Half Moon Putney by Paul Slattery
The Punky "Too Much Choice" clatters along at a fair pace powered by some superb organ riffs from Viv and the great songs just keep on coming. "Everything Keeps Coming Round Again" would be another sure fire hit in a parallel universe with its catchy ear-worm chorus. There's something about "Nobody Knows Anything" that makes me think if it was re-mixed into a kind of Burt Bacharach style that it would make an excellent James Bond theme. But it's "The Mask" that is the centre-piece of the album, a stand out track with so many twists and turns that it's almost a four and a half minute mini-opera. It starts off with a deceptively gentle acoustic guitar and an elastic bass riff from Paul Moss but then it suddenly bursts into life with Mole's quick-fire drums. In fact, some of Mole's drumming on the album is downright mind-blowing, probably the best he has ever committed to record and as the song crashes to its finale, you just want to stand up and applaud. All well and good as long as you're not listening to it on your headphones on a crowded commuter train! 

The Galileo 7 Photographed at The Half Moon Putney by Paul Slattery






















It's "The Girl in the Glass Case", the bonus track on the CD, that proves something of a departure for The Galileo 7. Whereas the band usually distill a host of melodic twists and turns into concise three or four minute songs, for once they totally ditch the 'Pop' part of their now almost trademarked Psych-Pop sound and delve into some seriously heavy Psychedelia. Here they stretch proceedings to over 10 dark and brooding minutes with a female voice narrating a story over a grinding, repetitive guitar riff. The song title might sound intriguingly familiar as apparently the lyrics were meant to appears in the sleeve notes for the debut album of the same name from Graham Day’s Senior Service. "Live for Yesterday" is a perfect pop song and the closest they get to "False Memory Lane" with it's simple yet catchy keyboard motif and prominent tambourine. Procrastination and nostalgia are the theme of the song and what with The Forefathers, and more recently our SolarFlaresreunion shows taking up a lot of Allan's time at least now he can concentrate on what looks like a very bright future ahead with The Galileo 7.
Steve Worrall