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All Saved Freak Band

My Poor Generation Rock The World 1973
 My Poor Generation
 Great Victory
 Flowers Of Time
Totally essential Jesus rock album. The one that does it all for me. A touch more garagy would be all that I would ask for. Some prog baroque chamber folk with harpsichord, strings, piano, and woodwinds. Some other-worldly smoky dream psych. Some stripped-down electric boogie blues. And that's just side one! Spawned from the 60's drug and revolutionary scene, they called themselves the first Jesus rock group in the nation. Not sure about that, but this was one of the first to feature a "secular" star in James Gang/Pacific Gas & Electric lead guitarist Glenn Schwartz and he simply burns on the rockers. Adding shades of beauty and grace with vocals, violins, cello, and keyboards are sisters Kim and Pam Massman. Rev. Larry Hill sings and handles the spoken word. An odd congregation that collectively created an atmosphere that represents the best in what was once Jesus rock. BF

For Christians, Elves & Lovers Rock The World 1976
 A Merry Go Round
 Water Street
The Freaks discover that JRR Tolkien was a Christian, inspiring the title and some of the songs on this their sophomore release. This is a more subdued outing compared to their other releases as the blues rockers take a back seat and the folkier classical elements are given prominence. Hey, no complaints here. This one gets equal play on my system with their barn-burner Brainwashed. Whereas a lot of orchestration in my opinion tends to convert decent tunes into elevator fodder, here the strings, harp, and piano add a tasteful classical edge. And the Massman sisters' voices have never sounded sweeter. '100th Psalm' is done in a slow boogie style mixing growling fuzz bass with plucked strings and deep hums - just the kinda thing Tolkien's hobbits mighta concocted. 'Great Victory' dishes out the lone Glenn Schwartz spicy guitar workout, reminding us the Freaks haven't lost their love for the blues. Good progressive folkrock from the States is hard to come by. Wish that other works were even half as creative as this. KS

Brainwashed Rock The World 1976
 Peace, Love & Rock 'n' Roll
 Frog Alley
 Messed Up
Toughest to find of the four LPs and understandably so. If For Christians, Fives & Lovers is the mellower side of ASFB, Brainwashed is the flip side of the coin. All those blues rockers they'd been saving get released here full force. This album is non-stop sizzling stuff beginning with the danceable hand- clappin' opener 'Peace, Love, and Rock And Roll'. Plenty of heavy organ, harmonica, and of course Glenn Schwartz's searing guitar fireworks. 'Lonely' closes out side one and slows the pace down a bit - sounds like skating rink music. 'Frog Alley' is an eerie weird piece of boogie woogie followed by the hilarious 'Messed Up' in which the singer rattles off his testimony at about 180 mph! This in an incredible album folks. So much variety here, too - it never gets boring. Get your brain washed NOW! KS