Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Rising Storm - Calm Before (1967)

Currently one of my favourite albums which is constantly spinning on my record deck and also on cd in my car is the album pictured above; The Rising Storm's delightful and landmark release in 1967 'Calm Before...'

The album is possibly one of the highlight LP's in the garage genre in my opinion and is to me ranked equally alongside other great lost albums within the genre such as Illinois' The Bachs' - Out of The Bachs or Florida's The Nightcrawlers with their cult classic album 'Little Black Egg' LP.... The Rising Storms' album is a classic and a totally unique gem full of genius song writing craft and original material (which was pretty uncommon for a band like this in 1967) and a couple of really cool cover versions

'Calm Before' played a huge influence on my own album and was sort of was the mold of which inspired the concept of my own album, the album has twelve songs (so does mine), the album has a couple of cover versions of the groups favourite tunes of the day (so does mine - however I only have two), the album is pretty melancholic and moody yet has a strong sense of song-writing style and flare (so does mine) and I guess it was one of the most unique albums of it's kind at it's time (just like mine hehehe)

The Rising Storm formed at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and were active between the years 1965 -1967, the band would essentially have been the Universities house group and would probably have played local frat parties playing the usual standards of the day to rowdy teenage boys and girls, however as is the case with the bands sole release 'Calm Before...' you know that there was much more depth to this band and the album is a first hand experience of this.

The Rising Storm were (in order of the pic above) Todd Cohen, Tom Scheft, Bob Cohan, Tony Thompson, Richard Weinberg & Charlie Rockwell.

The album is a great insight into a 60s group, in particular one who were a 'university/school group', the album is like a time capsule to a time-gone-by and I am sure the LP acts as a great momento to the memories of each band member.

Likewise with my own LP, I have it as a document to my own life now and hold the memories dear to me, mainly as a reminder of the people in my life who shared the period of creating the album within and I am sure The Rising Storm have a similar thing going on with their release.

When I first purchased The Rising Storm's album I didn't get it if truth be told, but after repeated listens the genius of the album consumes the listener and you slowly enter the innocent and dreamy psychedelic world of a band who were young and clearly had great minds on their shoulders.

There is a moodiness and melancholy all over 'Calm Before..' and this is what I really dig and relate too, especially as I have been absorbing this album almost every day for two weeks now, it  seems to fit my mood perfectly, the album is folk-tinged and beautifully psychedelic in it's presentations.

'Calm Before...' has a bunch of really cool cover versions of tracks by other New England Garage bands such as The Remains, The Rockin'Ramrods amongst a host of other hits of the day, However it is the bands moody and sombre originals that make this album a masterpiece, the cover versions of other band's songs are genius and The Rising Storm totally make them their own but there is something truly mystical about the band's original tracks.

See below a few links of the tracks off the album, please take a listen

The Cover of the Remains' - Don't Look Back, The Rockin' Ramrods' - Mr Wind and a few of the band's own magical original tracks.

The song above; 'Frozen Laughter' influenced the track called 'Why?' on my own LP, as a homage to 'The Rising Storm' I too placed my song as track 6 to end side 1 of the vinyl.


Mr Wind, don't laugh as I begin to cry.... GENIUS!!!


Paul Messis

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