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Articles Home » 2000 Articles » Ethos - 2000 Relics
 
Ethos - 2000 Relics



ARTIST: Ethos
ALBUM: Relics
LABEL: Black Moon Productions
SERIAL: BMP 1003
YEAR: 2000

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Wil Sharpe - lead & backing vocals, guitars * Mike Ponczek - mellotron, hammond, clavinet, ARP, chamberlin * Steve Marra - lead & backing vocals, ARP, bass, flute * Dan Owen - lead vocals, bass * Mark Richards - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Nightingale * 02 Elephant Man * 03 Placebo * 04 Identity * 05 Experimental * 06 Troilus Ang Cressida * 07 Intrepid Traveler * 08 Doing Your Duty * 09 Perceptions * 10 Pimp City


Background
Here we have an archive collection from one of America's better known progressive bands. Ft. Wayne, Indiana's Ethos released two albums on Capitol Records - 'Ardour' in 1976 and 1977's 'Open Up' both of which have since been released on CD in Japan. Looking back I remember pulling up both albums in the early 80s from a Department store cut-out bin for a buck or two apiece and not being all that impressed. I'm still not and Ethos seemed to be more infamous for the Genesis photo featuring Peter Gabriel adorned in one of the band's tee-shirts than they were for music of any significance. In hindsight fellow Midwesterner's Kansas and to a lesser extent Starcastle sold records because they generally wrote in a melodic and accessible style whereas Ethos missed the mark entirely.


The Songs
'Relics' ten tracks were recorded between 1973 and 1975 and the sound quality is more than acceptable. Fans of Gentle Giant and King Crimson will get off on Ethos' complex almost jam band song style which displayed a lot of flashy keyboard noodling, including the revered Mellotron as well hard-edged choppy guitar from the Robert Fripp school of guitar gimmickry. 'Intrepid Traveler' which was the lead-off cut on the debut turns up here as a rather harmless acoustic-driven moogy instrumental while 'Pimp City' originally on 'Open Up' and a funky mess is even less appealing here although its only one of two songs featuring original vocalist Dan Owen and recorded four years prior. A couple live cuts gleaned from a 1974 concert with Electric Flag are moderately interesting in particular 'Identity' and shows their material translated well on stage even when they sounded a little too much like King Crimson. Further booking put the band behind like-minded acts Yes, Focus and Gentle Giant, but also some harder rocking packages with KISS, Angel and Thin Lizzy which I imagine left more than a few punters dazed and confused.


In Summary
As an introduction to Ethos, 'Relics' is probably not the best place to start not to mention its long out of print. Against my better judgment I'll grudgingly recommend 'Open Up' for the curious but there is better 'Ameriprog' albums out there more worthy of your time and investment.


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Tags: Ethos 
 
Comments
#1 | trillion1999 on October 26 2011 22:58:41
I would like to hear all Ameriprog including this CD that I despite that did not pick up at a record-fair.I saw the CD of Ardour in one of the few surviving record-stores in my city but never picked it in time.A few blocks away a now closed record-store had the vinyl of Open Up.I since then heard a whole album on the internet.I liked it but I did not remember a single note from it.The same deal as with Blind Owl.Maybe just as well I never picked up any of their three albums.Probably would only increase my bad habit of discarding records after listening to them only once.Great to look at in any case.
#2 | Eric on October 27 2011 00:13:51
In the very early-mid-90s collecting rare American progressive vinyl was all the rage. I picked up more then my share, spent a fortune and now rarely listen any of it unless pulling out an LP for review here. The scene varies with a lot of good stuff like Lift - 'Caverns Of Your Brain' and Oklahoma band Astre as well as many mid-range things like Cathedral's 'Stained Glass Stories' and a lot of crap like This Oneness, Progress, Treeborn and others. Buy carefully- its a minefield.
#3 | trillion1999 on October 27 2011 17:10:03
1985 or even earlier I think I got drawn into the record-collecting scene which only strengthened my misery.Since 1973 I have been collecting paper-goods etc which made me just as unhappy.I much prefer that volatile minefield called the internet.Wished I had gotten my first computer sometime in 1977-1987.I love reading about and listening to music.The thrill of the chase was not for me.I never belonged there.Thanks for the input.
 
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