19 May 2010

Heads, Hands & Feet - Just Another Ambush

Heads Hands & Feet - Just Another Ambush

Label: Atlantic
Year of Release: 1973

I've already uploaded one of Heads, Hands & Feet's early singles "Warming Up The Band" to this blog, and even if I do say so myself, it's one of the finer obscurities I've dumped on here. Rip roaring rock and roll combines with an unstoppable energy to create something addictive and technically amazing without being overly flash, vain or showy. It's the sound of a raw but fantastically musically accomplished band appreciating enough of rock history to know exactly where to draw the line.

Given that an outline of the band's history can already be found over at that entry, there's little for me to add except to say that this effort hailed from their megabucks contract with Atlantic, and it's a bit of a different beast. "Just Another Ambush" is a slicker, neater thing, an FM radio Adult Orientated Rock single, closer to Steely Dan than Free. It's hard not to be disappointed if you're expecting something with rather more edge, but the competency behind the end product is hard to fault, and there's probably little reason why they couldn't have tasted a bit of success (the record company certainly invested enough that they would also have quite liked some return). Despite the gloss, there's a hell of a lot going on in this little single, from the parping trumpet lines, boogie-happy piano work, and bright, chiming guitars. Small, delightful surprises pop up in each verse and repetition of the chorus, and it's no obvious hit single, but remains a pleasing package.

The B-side "I Won't Let You Down", however, probably tops its radio-friendly brother by displaying the kind of Southern rock-inspired wide-eyed blissful optimism and confidence of direction that The Stone Roses would have killed for (and frankly should have displayed) on "The Second Coming" album.

Or, in short: if you like this kind of thing, then this is the kind of thing you'll like. And: surely the Heads, Hands and Feet reappraisal can't be so far away? You can pick up a lot of their stuff for peanuts in second hand record stores at the moment, and it deserves to be up there on the wall displays with the other (frequently inferior) collector's items.


Mondo said...

Ambush is almost Elton meets Jellyfish.

23 Daves said...

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

I do think that it fits in with a lot of seventies "intelligent pop", though - and I would mention 10cc fleetingly were it not for the fact that I find most of their output irritating. The B-side is also brilliant summer listening, I've found.

Mondo said...

Oh it's a good thing - I've got an HHF album somewhere, with some luvverly funky moments on it.

23 Daves said...

I only own some singles at the moment, and really must track down a proper copy of their album. That should be my mission for the next little while, I think.

fairydust said...

ah, it's a pity but the link to 'Warming up the band' isn't
working anymore - is their a chance
for a re-upload?!

fairydust said...

...oops I meant 'there' of course,
sorry but I'm no native speaker...

23 Daves said...

Hi, no problem, I will try to get around to this one shortly... feel free to give me a shout if I don't.