Schizophrenic Melodies

post # 8

Quartz – Nantucket Sleighride c/w Wildfire – 1980 England

I had no clue what this was when I found it, so it was a tough decision wether to pick it up or not.  The confusing cover was intriguing enough to catch my eye right away (especially since I was watching Whale Wars at the time) but the thing that ultimately made me spend the $2 on this record was the fact that the singer is doing a Hardcore Jump in the picture on the back.  I usually buy any unknown record featuring such an act, for if the band was not a rockin’, why wouldst they be a leapin’? Plus, the guitarist has a sweet Iommi ‘stache (not coincidentally, it turns out…)

I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time I played this, but what I heard got me really excited.  The A side, ‘Nantucket Sleighride’, was a hard track to pin down.  It is definately Heavy Metal, but it has a really wussy, commercial sounding part in the middle, but then it gets totally heavy again and rocks a bunch of riffs lifted directly from Black Sabbath.   It’s an epic tale about whaling, and it’s full of sick wailing guitar leads. Total 70’s hard rock proto maetal action.  Then the B-side sounds like slowed down Motorhead mixed with Black Sabbath, and the song, ‘Wildfire’, is a fucking awesome metal tune with a great simple riffs and leads and some killer Robert Plant-esque singing and it’s about smoking pot! “Wildfire – Smoking Grass!”

So at first I thought that because these guys played so slow and were giving so many blatant nods to Black Sabbath that maybe they were some forgotten Old Wave of British Heavy Metal band from like 1976 or something, but then I figured out that this record is actually from 1980. The Sabbath I was hearing was no coincidence, though.  Turns out that these guys toured with them and the guy playing keyboards was actually in Black Sabbath for a couple of years.   Then I found out that ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ is actually a cover of a band called Mountain, whose LP ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ features the song, which is about a whaler who fell victim to the Custom Of the Sea. I actually found that LP a few days later for only $4, and it is awesome! It’s very amusing to note that Quartz totally added Black Sabbath riffs to the song that are not in the original. Anyway check out this killer early metal record………

Fuck You, WHALE!!!!