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Articles Home » 1975 Articles » Gabriel Bondage - 1975 Angel Dust
 
Gabriel Bondage - 1975 Angel Dust



ARTIST: Gabriel Bondage
ALBUM: Angel Dust
LABEL: Dharma
SERIAL: D 804
YEAR: 1975

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Rex Bundy - guitar, lead vocals * Lawrence Biernacki - guitars, vocals * Bill Wisniewski - sax, flute, vocals * Tony Stram - bass * Conrad Green - moog, mellotron, guitar * Ken Sajdak - piano, harpsichord, organ * Tony Antinarelli - drums * Zaido Cruz - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Babylon * 02 First Stone In A Pyramid * 03 You And The Wind * 04 Take My Eyes * 05 Ladies & Gentlemen * 06 Bondage * 07 Rust Flakes * 08 Dinosaur * 09 Implosion * 10 Island * 11 Sing Me A Song


Background
Chicago, Illinois was the epicenter of American progressive rock in the mid 70's for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because of Dharma Records. Based in the quiet suburban hamlet of Libertyville; Dharma was the first independent label to focus almost exclusively on prog rock. Headed up by entrepreneur Perry Johnson, the label dabbled in blues and straight rock, but the bulk of their catalog focused on Midwestern progressive bands, including Streetdancer, Atlantis Philharmonic, Treeborn and Gabriel Bondage, who to my knowledge are the only band on the imprint to release a second LP; 'Another Trip To Earth' in 1977. Historically, I have never been able to find much information on Gabriel Bondage even going so far as to rack up a hefty phone bill in my search a few years ago, but I do know they were a local Chicago group probably rubbing shoulders with other bands in the area including Pentwater and Yezda Urfa who both had dealings with Dharma prior to the label going belly up in bankruptcy and ending with both groups releasing albums on their own.


The Songs
With a title like 'Angel Dust' it's obvious we are in for a trippy and laid back ride, and that's what it is for the most part with some noticeable exceptions. First of all, the lyrical content as for example on side one's opening track 'Babylon' seems to be coming from a Christian perspective and even more so on the closing track 'Take My Eyes' which is essentially a gospel styled track. Not great really, but sandwiched between these two songs are 'First Stone In A Pyramid' and 'You And The Wind' which are both very good with a stoned out 'Krautrock' vibe. Very haunting stuff and the second side is even better with plenty of flute conjuring up images of Jethro Tull and even the lighter side of Popul Vuh without that particular band's sometimes heavy musical walks through spirituality.


In Summary
Certainly not the best Ameriprog album you'll come across, but not the worst either with a gorgeous and suitably cosmic album cover that makes this record quite collectable. The group's second album mentioned earlier would take a stronger rock and gospel direction and in turn is less interesting although several copies were pressed on coloured vinyl, again making it a prime target for collectors.


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on July 05 2016 00:15:11
I bought this album many years ago and didn't like it so much, I've recently re-purchased another copy (sealed) and have given it another well deserved shot. The opener 'Babylon' starts innocently enough and ends up building into an explosive rocker complete with heavy handed synthesizer effects. Acoustic strumming and young children sound effects turn 'You And The Wind' into an interesting cut. 'Ladies and Gentlemen' is another fine song that continues acoustic work and also brings psych vibes towards the end. 'Bondage' is a mini three song suite which has the most hard rocking tracks on the album, the killer 'Dinosaur' and instrumental 'Implosion'. The breezy flute induced 'Island' was okay for what it is, a kick back chill song. The album gets pegged into the progressive rock genre, but it also has a variety of folk rock leanings as well. The closing 'Sing Me a Song' mid-paces through a commercial oriented arrangement, pretty good.
 
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