With the exception of  Them (featuring Van Morrison). who had a couple of hits circa 1965, Ireland has not been known for turning out too many top rock acts.

Taste is a group which hails from that land of shamrocks and four leaf clovers, bringing with them a sound reminiscent of Ten Years After, but still uniquely their own.

Rory Gallagher is the group's leader: he might be described as an Irish Jimmy Page, to whom he bears a striking resemblance. He handles all vocals, lead guitar, harp, alto sax and wrote all the material on their second album, along with most of the first.

Taste, their first lp, is simply basic blues with a couple of heavier rock numbers thrown in. Gallagher handles the vocals competently, while John Wilson on drums and Richard McCracken on bass provide a solid backing.

It's on their second release, On the Boards, that they really shine. The set opens with "What's Going On", Rory's guitar double-tracked on a fluid rock tune.

A steady very predictable bluesy rocker "Railway and Gun" follows and then Gallagher really turns it on with "It's Happened Before. It'll Happen Again".

Although Gallagher indicates how fast he really is on guitar, he doesn't resort to Alvin Lee speed freak riffs to prove it. His restraint, along with some bass work that walks right through the entire number, makes this one of the finest jazz stylings I've ever heard put down by a rock band.

The last cut on the side is the most commercial, with a driving guitar line that's repeated throughout the song. A little heavy for AM radio, maybe, but if Led Zeppelin can push a million plus copies of a 45 why not these guys?

The title cut, "On the Boards", is probably the top track, with subdued guitar and alto sax solos by Gallagher. The song is very effective in creating a mood of someone who is down and out, or on the boards.

"See Here" is also very moody, as Gallagher turns down the amps for an acoustic effect. The volume is back on "I'll Remember", with a pounding bass and drums backing Gallagher's jazz-rock lead. Rory joins Lee and Johnny Winter as one of the few rockers who attempt to sing note for note with their guitar and manage to pull it off.

In the few short months that I've had to listen to their albums, Taste have proven themselves to be both talented and tasteful, seemingly a rare combination in these days of stars like Lord Sutch. Give Taste a listen and find out where rock will probably be in a couple of years.
Andy Mellen

From the November 1970 issue of CREEM magazine
reformatted by roryfan

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added 4-17-05