The fourth volume in Past & Present's Electric Asylum series walks away from the psychedelic themes of the earlier installments in favor of U.K. hard rock singles of the early to mid-'70s, most hailing from the days before heavy metal had fully codified itself and sometimes betraying the influence of the working-class end of glam (think Slade, not Bowie).
If there is a psychedelic angle to these tunes, it usually presents itself in the form of twisty melodies, the occasional lyrical eccentricity, or curious band names, but most of these 20 tunes are hard-stomping numbers full of big guitars, bigger drums, and growling vocalists, and acts like Incredible Hog, Wolfrilla, and Hard Horse deliver pretty much the sort of meat-and-potatoes hard rock thunder you'd expect.
Seeing as '70s hard rock hasn't been compiled to death like a number of other genres, Rock Hard British Freakrock certainly has novelty going for it, and there are a few real gems to be found here -- Mustard's "I Saw, I Heard" is built around a brilliant chunky guitar sound and a superb throbbing bassline, Slowload's "Big Boobs Boogie" is as raucous as the title would suggest, "Red Shoe Trucken" by Bear Brothers sounds like some odd but fortunate cross between Deep Purple and Gary Glitter, Bubbles' "Zap n' Cat" has a sleazy swagger along with some great nasty guitar licks, and "Eagles" by Sundance suggests what the James Gang might have sounded like if they'd come from Birmingham and not Ohio.
1 –Hector (7) Lady 3:13
2 –Slowload Big Boobs Boogie 3:08
3 –Rog And Pip* Warlord 3:28
4 –Wolfrilla Come Tomorrow 3:09
5 –Incredible Hog Lame 3:22
6 –Smoke* That's What I Want 2:25
7 –Spunky Spider You Won't Come 2:44
8 –Ning (2) Machine 3:22
9 –Quiet World Rest Comfortably 2:52
10 –Henry Turtle You Turned Your Back And Walked Away 2:46
11 –Bear Brothers* Red Shoe Trucken 2:45
12 –Hard Horse So Long I'm Moving On 2:42
13 –Mustard (3) I Saw I Heard 2:39
14 –Tuesday Big Mr. Little Man 2:12
15 –Godson (5) We've Not Made It 3:01
16 –Bubbles (19) Zap N' Cat 2:33
17 –Sunshine Kid* My Linda 2:22
18 –Clutch (8) Black Angel 3:36
19 –Jackal (13) Year Of The Tiger 3:32
20 –Sundance (11) Eagles 3:11