Review Summary: An obscure little diamond shining out from under the shadow of its big name contemporaries. A consistently entertaining bluesy hard rock album from the late 60's.
Yesterday's Children were an American proto-metal band who enjoyed a brief but unsuccessful three year career during the late 60's. They released three singles and one self titled album before splitting up in 1969. Apart from a few spurious pieces of information scattered over the internet and a transcription of a short interview with guitarist Don Howard Krantz not much else is really known about the band.
Listening to this album it's difficult to understand why the band didn't garner more interest and attain at least some level of cult status at the time. Their music is immediately appealing and shows them to be accomplished musicians with a good grasp of how to construct decent bluesy hard rock songs with a light dusting of psychedelia. Guitarist Don Howard Krantz is a fine performer and the rough-edged vocals of Bob Huling fit the mood perfectly. Album highlight 'Sad Born Loser' is a rollicking number with an instantly appealing crunchy riff interweaved with double tracked lead fills and a suitably throaty vocal performance. 'What of I' introduces itself with a typically 60's flavoured psychedelic bassline but before you can pull a 'White Rabbit' out of your hat we are treated to a classy lead break from Krantz and the song shifts into a competent mid-tempo bluesy rocker.
The smatterings of psychedelia make it fairly obvious that these guys are a product of the 60's but you can almost sense them trying to break out of the mold and rock out for all they are worth. It would be stretching the imagination to say that the music sounds heavy in this day and age but it's certainly got a lot of punch that was missing from most of the music at the time. The psychedelia influences go straight out of the window on the proto-metal song 'She's Easy' with its driving riffs and pounding rhythm. The blues influences are quite strong and indeed it would take the likes of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to squeeze those influences out of their repertoire and attain that true heavy metal sound but this is still powerful stuff for its time. 'Evil Woman' sounds naive and amateurish when compared to the sort of stuff that Led Zeppelin would be putting out over the pond on their debut shortly after this was released but it is enjoyable nonetheless. 'Hunter's Moon' is another highlight with its dark acidic riffing, bluesy wahed soloing and loose drumming and apart from a few contributions from Huling on vocals it's basically an extended jam.
This really is a long forgotten gem. The music is consistently entertaining throughout the album and apart from a couple of numbers which do seem rather formulaic you can enjoy this one from start to finish. Vanilla Fudge, Cream and The MC5 are often considered as three of the major influences on the future development of hard rock and metal. This obscure little band from Connecticut show, however, that these glory boys weren't the only ones trying to build upon their blues and psychedelic influences and attempt to deliver something distinctly harder edged.