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Friday, August 7, 2009

Luv Machine - Turns You On

Coming out of the Caribbean Seas of Barbados, seems very unlikely for obscure ‘70s Heavy Metal music. But with a mix of Soul, Prog, and Hard Rock from the minds of singer and guitarist, Michael Bishop and drummer/vocalist, Errol Bradshaw took the Proto-Metal sounds a little bit further with the release of their only album released in 1971, Turns You On. Formed in 1968 around their hometown in the Tropical Islands, Luv Machine was rised out of the ashes of The Blue Rhythm Combo as they performed in small gigs in Barbados and soon had a following from their hometown including a heavy cover of Build Me Up Buttercup. They moved out of the country of the Carribean Sea into the West Midlands in Wolverhampton and became Luv Machine from there on. Having a bill with Writing on the Wall, Gracious, and Elton John at the Marquee in London, they realized it was word of mouth in the streets of London.
After being signed by Polydor Records, the group went into the studio to record this legendary lost masterpiece before calling it a day in 1971 after it was released. The album soon became a huge favorite among internet sales including eBay which featured a disturbing controversial artwork of a woman’s legs stuck in the record player that seemed too offensive for the market to release such an artwork but remains a favorite among vinyl lovers. But since 2006, with the help of Napalm Death’s Lee Dorrian’s record label Rise Above Records, Turns You On soon got a second chance that is like a candlelight that won’t burn. And let me tell you right now, this is an album that won’t be let go for a very long time. “If the conditions would have been different” Dorrian mentions in the liner notes for the reissue in 2006 of Turns You On, “Who knows what might have been in store for this great band.”
This is ultimate early soul metal sounds like a motorcycle going across the country that pays tribute to ‘70s rockers including Black Sabbath, Cream, and Led Zeppelin. Beginning with the Blue Cheer meets The Jimi Hendrix Experience funky rocker of Witches Wand, in which Bishop is steaming hot on his guitar solo and screaming vocal arrangements that is absolutely dynamic of smashing sounds of the instruments which sounds very chaotic in a musical sense while You’re Surprised and It’s Amazing have more of a tribute to the African kings of Prog, Demon Fuzz as if they were a hard soulful rock band than the Grateful Dead in an early proto-punk rock way. Then it becomes very psychedelia than ever with the calypso rocker of the hippie generation of Happy Children and then becomes very sinister with Everything and the take of Pete Townshend’s lyrical tribute of Maybe Tomorrow while Reminiscing has some beautiful compositions with early power chords, harmonized vocals and a shattering riff that could have been a part of the top 20 riffs along with Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water. Change Your Mind on the other hand is the homage to Led Zeppelin’s shuffle rocking sound of the blues sound that could have been a huge inspiration for the Black Crowes to sink their teeth into as Corupt One puts the band into an anti-dance music while the finale of another tone that is angry and very pissed off is the pounding rhythm of Portrait in Disgust shows the band’s skeletons in the closet of their flashback of their fondest memories of good and bad in the Caribbean Seas of Barbados.
Almost ahead of their time, Luv Machine signified the early days of Hard Rock, giving the influences of Metal a step further than going into gigantic stadiums. No wonder it is considered a Lost Treasure and having music lovers sink their hands onto.

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