You what, is this fucking Record Collector? Falling straight off the dandruff-dusted top of yer GRANDAD's wants list and onto our PERT YOUNG BLEMISH-FREE laps, the cut-in-'69-but-mind-flaying-for-all-time monster Escalator, sole offering from Sam Gopal, Malaysian-born TABLA virtuoso - backed here by a tuff lil unit of heavy-browed Brit upstarts, including the soon-to-be-toad-throated opinion splitter Ian Willis aka LEMMY fae Motorhead / Hawkwind.
Think heavyweight, no-bollocking-about UK psych and the mind darts straight to the spiralling studio wizardry on the likes of Keith West’s Tomorrow or JULY’s self titled stormer (rocketed into eternity by Tom Newman, who went on to be Mike Oldfield’s chief studio berserker). Released a year later, by comparison Escalator at first maybe seems a bit unambitious production-wise (JUST ABOUT ready to forgive them for fading out at the end of opening track 'Cold Embrace' when the lads sound like they are about to TAKE OFF!) but it doesn't take long for total murderation to manifest. The unknown Trevor Walters at the controls unquestionably does the business, allowing Gopal’s tabla - aye TABLA - to lead the charge on most tracks, duckin and jabbin like a well-trained featherweight around D’Elia’s spangled guitar strokes and Phil Duke’s skull-rattling basslines.
Young Lemmy’s lyrics already show a weariness of life (it’s only gonna get worse, pal) as well as some proto-hair-metal mysticism, with plenty of “Death has set me free”, “Hell is waiting” etc in the opening one-two before diving HEAD-first into all-time loner jam 'Sky Is Burning' - surely one of the only contenders that might stand a chance in FUCKING HELL in a toe-to-toe with Sabbath’s 'Planet Caravan'!?! 'You’re Alone Now' bangs it back down to earth and grinds it face-first into the floor, with pulverising molten riffage that could swallow Fun House whole and still have room for lunch. Obviously the title track delivers the fatal blow here, distorted, thrashing chaos with the big boy screaming shit like "YOU'RE GONNA LOVE ME WHEN I'M DEAD"...
Time to reclaim this class-A FIREBALL from the soap-dodging sixtysomething sociopaths who would drop £700 on an original pressing but haven't felt an actual human emotion in decades. Red vinyl reissue with bonus 7", not that it matters.