The Stillroven - Too Many Spaces
Label: Sundazed Music – SC 6041 2003
Dave Rivkin, Mike O'Gara (vocals, guitar);
Dave Berget (vocals, bass);
Dave Dean (keyboards);
Phil Berdahl (drums).
Recorded at Universal Audio, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 1968, A&M Studios, Los Angeles, California, between October and November 1968, and Norman Petty Studios, Clovis, New Mexico, April 1969.
Pieced together from September 1968 demos in Minneapolis, auditions for A&M recorded in Los Angeles in October and November 1968 (including re-recordings of three of the four Minneapolis demos), and (just one song from) an April 1969 session at Norman Petty Studios in New Mexico, this amounts to an unreleased Stillroven album. Though the sound is very professional, it's only average late-'60s psychedelic rock, influenced by the day's heavy blues-rock, California acid sound, and a little bit of soul. Funky backbeats, wah-wah guitars, drifting melancholy melodies (particularly "Girl in Blonde," which could pass for an unknown 1968 San Francisco rock recording), good-time get-in-the-groove urges ("Can You Dig It?"), relatively light good-time sounds ("Happiness Is"), and son-of-Youngbloods country-influenced happy rock ("Country Tune") -- they all surface at various points. The result is a versatile set and certainly performed with competent tightness, but lacking in character. You can't fault the documentation, though, which has thorough liner notes and track-by-track commentary from the group's Dave Dean and Phil Berdahl.