13 May 2016

Aquila: "Aquila"

Bargain-bin classic and sunshine-driven ambition
Aquila is a popular name among bands and music groups. The one in question here i the semi-obscure 70s prog band from the UK. Like so many underrated bands from this era they only ever made one LP, the eponymous Aquila album. If the original gatefold version from RCA Victor, which fetches a pretty penny, is too pricey for you, Klimt Records as late as 2014 reissued the album on crisp, black vinyl.

"Although largely a direct result of mid-to-late sixties experimenting rock music... ...Aquila aims at new, untainted land."

The album is completely composed by band leader Ralph Denyer, formerly of Blonde on Blonde, who on the back cover is seen playing a doublenecked guitar. This speaks in a way of the ambition Denyer had with Aquila, and the majestic profile of the eagle on the cover matches his yearning for boundary-pushing rock music. Although largely a direct result of mid-to-late sixties experimenting rock music - and hardly a rare sight in the early seventies, stylewise - Aquila aims at new, untainted land. The band's carefree sunshine rock flaunts wildly spinning flute sections, flurries of the easily recognisable hammond organ and gently but sternly working guitars that harmonise with the laid back basslines.

For a band that never really made it big there sure is potential on the album. The way they mark their chords in conjunction with the creative percussion makes their sound very distinctive. Aquila's mildmannered psychedelic outings are as hearty as they are relaxing, meeting halfway somewhere between the baking desert and the warm shores of a nice lake setting.

Though every part of the album serves as a piece to make it a whole, every track also stands great on its own. The B side, The Aquila Suite movements one to three could've easily been a release in itself, but also epitomises everything Aquila are about and that ambition of Denyer's mentioned above in such a way that it would have almost been a shame to not include them.


Released in 1970 by RCA Victor


Follow TONEwood on Facebook for daily updates!

No comments:

Post a Comment