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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Hydra - 1974 Hydra
Hydra - 1974 Hydra

ALBUM: Hydra
LABEL: Capricorn Records
YEAR: 1974
CD REISSUE: 1998, Capricorn, 538134-2


LINEUP: Wayne Bruce - vocals, guitars * Spencer Kirkpatrick - guitars * Orville Davis - bass * Steve Pace - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Glitter Queen * 02 Keep You Around * 03 It's So Hard * 04 Going Down * 05 Feel A Pain * 06 Good Time Man * 07 Let Me Down Easy * 08 Warp 16 * 09 If You Care To Survive * 10 Miriam

Here's a band that deserves a feature on this site, and that is local Georgia southern rockers Hydra. The history of this band goes way back to about 1969, touring up and down the southeastern part of the USA. Initially the band played regular gigs in South Carolina, where they were first known as Osmosis. They became Hydra sometime in 1970 and played with just about every major rock act during that time. Some of these included: Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, Ted Nugent, Ten Years After and dozens of others. The band signed to Macon based label Capricorn Records, a great place to showcase their southern rock meets British blues infusion. In Wayne Bruce they had a singer who is from the same school as Molly Hatchet's Danny Joe Brown. Listening to this album many years after the event, I can't help but hear a huge comparison to the modern bluesy and soulful voice of FM's Steve Overland. In fact, FM fans might be interested in checking this album out for that reason alone.

The Songs
Certainly, songs such as their staple favourite 'Glitter Queen', and the hard drivin' southern boogie of 'Goin' Down' indicate just how great these guys must've been playing live back in the glory days. A soulful British blues number called 'Feel A Pain' wafts lovingly across the soundscape. Beautiful stuff. More good time rock n roll appears with the aptly titled 'Good Time Man', whilst 'If You Care To Survive' is more of the same, complete with slide guitar effects throughout the mid-section and solos. 'Miriam' on the other hand, is a delicate acoustic number mainly, though it does have an electric breakout toward the end, sending this album out on a high!

In Summary
The band released two more albums: 'Land Of Money' (1975, Capricorn) and 'Rock The World' (1977, Polydor), but succumbed to en eventual breakup in 1977. In life after Hydra, Wayne Bruce formed his own band and played locally around Atlanta, the same it could be said for Spencer Kirkpatrick. Probably the most successful was drummer Steve Pace, who kept the backbeat for the bands Whitford St Holmes, and Krokus, appearing on their 'Headhunter' and 'Alive And Screaming' albums during the mid-eighties. This album saw a CD re-release in 1998, and without doubt, if you want to get a handle on how and where bands like Molly Hatchet and The Outlaws drew their melodic/southern inspiration, then look no further than Hydra, who were doing it as far back as the late 60's. In fact, Hydra are still in operation after all these years, with a new album entitled 'Live After All These Years' (Emphasis Records), and a reunion gig last July 2005, which will hopefully springboard them onto future activity.

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#1 | Eric on February 08 2008 03:05:01
Add KISS, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Black Oak Arkansas, Kansas, Uriah Heep, BTO, Allman Brothers and more to the bands Hydra appeared with. For me, this is one of the top five Southern rock albums of all time. A gem- all killer and no filler!
#2 | rkbluez on June 16 2012 02:52:25
Would love to see this one get reissued on Rock Candy...along with White Witch both of these Capricorn classics have been and gone on CD much too fast.
#3 | super80boy on October 18 2013 04:23:41
Straight-ahead serious and raw (in a good way!) Southern melodic rock with some great songs, 'Glitter Queen', 'Keep You Around', 'Let Me Down Easy', which has some clever guitar soloing in the middle and 'If You Care To Survive'.
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