Riding Easy Records
Here today, gone five minutes later. Ice came out of Indianapolis in the early days of hard rock, drove up to Chicago to record this album, then split up before its release. It’s about as obscure an album as you’ll find. The fine folks at Easy Riding Records got their hands on the master, and here it is for your listening pleasure, a mere 50 years late. I know little of the band beyond the what the Easy Riding press kit offers, and searching the Wiki only shows a short article about a completely different British group from the mid 1990’s.
Ice gives an early hard rock sound, clean and spare. Fuzzed out guitars are nowhere to be found, and there’s almost a Beach Boys aura to the sound, almost as if they put on their Pendleton’s and snuck into a Uriah Heep show. “Song of the East” uses a distorted “Om-pah-pah” rhythm with touches of jingle bells, yet still revels with a pompous hard rock prescience. “Catch You” does what rock and roll does best: it gives us a straightforward love song. His lady love just wed another; but he knows she’ll be back someday. It’s not stock had rock material, but it’s interesting as an alternative to a sappy romance. By the next track our singer might be getting the idea she’s never coming back, and his soul staggers through the LSD scenes from “Riot on Sunset Strip.” Hellish, but interesting. I’ll leave you with “Run To Me”. This is the darkest song in the lot, The singer wishes he had a wife, and that isn’t looming. There’s a strong story though line here, stronger than most concept albums. While it’s clearly a rock record, it has an ambiance: no fuzz, no streaming, no flaming guitars. It’s rock and roll from an innocent age of polyester. It pleases me, perhaps to will please you.
Carl F. Gauze