Buying on a whim and a cover has seen me snag many a good album, but also come unstuck a few times too. I bought Pearls & Brass The Indian Tower on 3 February 2006 on just such a whim. I had never heard of them before, but the little sticker on it told me it was stoner rock from a power trio in the same vein as Zep and Cream. Add in the fact that it was on Drag City Records and it had a great cover, featuring the tower and a trio of fire-lighting moonshine drinking backwoodsmen on the back cover and I was in like Flynn.
The Indian Tower is a real place, a lookout tower in Pearls & Brass’ native Nazareth, P.A*, built overlooking an Indian graveyard. Basically I’d imagine just the sort of place to attract all the local stoners, congregating to contemplate nature and the vastness of, like, space and shit. Hell, the back cover is a lot of the reason I bought The Indian Tower anyway, the three dudes drinking around the camp fire? I’ve done that with my mates in the woods more times than I care to remember as a teen. I can taste the sweetness, smell the leaf mould and the smoke from here. So far, so good but does the music cut it?
Alas not, for me. Pearls & Brass have that slightly 60’s rock sound, a good fuzzy tone but over the course of 11 songs just don’t take it anywhere memorable. There really aren’t any songs here, just a sound, a groove – no lyrics, or dynamics that stand out even. Over the course of a song, or two I could handle that, but over a whole album I can’t. I feel a bit dastardly writing that too, I want to like this LP, tell you all how you’ve missed out on a great treasure here** and how this connects with rural me on a deep level. I can’t though and I am sorry about that.
Nothing here is awful, or plain bad, it just isn’t good enough. I do really like the cover though and I don’t regret owning it for a second. Not much of a review, sorry.
P.S – the title of the post was a genuine typing mistake, could be worse it could have been ‘Earls & Ass’.
Have some primeval forest on me:
*yup the same one from ‘The Weight’ – one of my favourite opening lines ever in a song ,’I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead’ – as if you didn’t know it!
**implying that I may even be 21% groovier than you, in the process.