ON THE BOARDS -- TASTE - ATCO
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
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.
From the November 1970 issue of CREEM magazine
reformatted by roryfan