Leaf Hound
Growers of Mushroom


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
April 10th, 2015 | 35 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A wild, blues, psych infused predecessor of stoner rock.

Back in the early ‘70s and long before Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Spiritual Beggars developed stoner rock as we now know it, there were bands that played a certain brand of music that was the product of the amalgamation of influences from the forefathers of heavy metal. This brand of music is now called proto metal and boasts a number of brilliant albums one of which is Growers of Mushroom. However, Growers of Mushroom is not just a proto metal album but proto stoner, a predecessor of stoner rock.

All the characteristics of the subgenre are present on here; highly distorted guitars, mid tempo song structures, raw production and audible bass. Leaf Hound are wilder than Black Sabbath, heavier than Led Zeppelin and more psychedelic than Deep Purple MK II. The band’s music is riff driven and benefits from a solid albeit basic rhythm section. If the vocalist reminds you of someone, it’s because you’ve probably have stumbled upon him on Atomic Rooster’s In Hearing of Atomic Rooster. Peter French, with his soulful delivery is easily one of the highlights of the album. His technique will remind to some of you that of Robert Plant even though he’s not that good but bear in mind that French was one of the candidates for Deep Purple after Gillan quit the band so he has to be talented.

Moreover, the influences from Led Zeppelin are quite obvious especially in tracks such as “Drowned My Life in Fear”, “Stray” and “Stagnant pool”. Actually, “Stray” features some sweet drum fills that would make Bill Ward happy. In addition, the epic “Work My Body” with its jazzy mood sounds like something Alice Cooper could have recorded in the early ‘70s even though it sounds a little disjointed at some point. The band’s music, besides its aggression, benefits from a strong blues influence reminiscent of early Free and Cream. In fact, Leaf Hound are an evolution of Black Cat Bones who played a psychedelic brand of blues very similar to Cream. The acoustics “Sad Road to the Sea” and “With a Minute to Go” will appeal to fans of The Who while the drug infused “Growers of Mushroom” – which is similar to some psych outbreaks of Cream – is probably the album’s low point even though it’s by no means an awful track.

To make a long story short, if you’re a fan of all or some of the aforementioned bands you’ll probably enjoy this LP. Over the years Leaf Hound’s debut has become somewhat of a holy grail for collectors of vinyl and was recently sold at a price of almost £4,000 on eBay. There are literally hundreds of obscure bands from the early ‘70s that have produced albums of quality and Growers of Mushroom is certainly one of them.



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user ratings (58)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Back in the saddle again with a review for a forgotten gem.



Full album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8bGgtU1bwA



Your comments are appreciated.

Titan
April 10th 2015


23861 Comments


The history lesson continues! This sounds awesome and enjoy a pos bro, well done.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude. I appreciate it.

DrJohn
April 10th 2015


1041 Comments


Great choice for review. Very informative write-up manos, pos.

zakalwe
April 10th 2015


36851 Comments


"To make a long story short if you're a fan of all or some of the aforementioned bands you'll probably enjoy this LP"

I don't know if it's your superb taste in no frills rock or what but you can't half trim away the unnecessary fluff mano dude. Obviously pos'd

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha thanks guys. This is some awesome shit. You can't go wrong with mushrooms anyway.

Sabrutin
April 10th 2015


8963 Comments


Interesting and well written, pos'd as always man.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Sab.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


27542 Comments


"Leaf Hound are wilder than Black Sabbath, heavier than Led Zeppelin and more psychedelic than Deep Purple"

sold haha. cool review man, never even heard of these guys before but write-up was informative for sure

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. This is my way of saying that they're not as heavy as Black Sabbath nor as wild as Deep Purple but still a great band haha.

deslad
April 10th 2015


645 Comments


Really nice review manos; it sounds really captivating.

JamieTwort
April 10th 2015


26988 Comments


Major props for reviewing this, manosg. This is up there with some of my favourite 70's psych albums.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks des and JT. This is definitely one of my favorite '70s psych as well.

FunkyClaude
October 30th 2015


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review man. Great album. These guys deserve more recognition.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Claude and agreed.

guitarded_chuck
November 12th 2015


18070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if blue cheer and led zep had a baby

manosg
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2015


12626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Spot on, Chuck.

Piglet
January 31st 2016


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

been listening to this for years and it never gets old

BenThatsMyJamin
February 9th 2016


3994 Comments


They obviously take a lot of cues from zep but damn if this doesn't rock so so hard. Freelance fiend is one of the raunchiest songs I've ever heard, Pete French is a freaking amazing vocalist

BenThatsMyJamin
February 9th 2016


3994 Comments


And great review also, described sound perfectly!



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