Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Truth and Janey - No Rest For The Wicked (FANTASTIC HARD-ROCK US 1976)

3 October 2009

Truth and Janey - No Rest For The Wicked (FANTASTIC HARD-ROCK US 1976)

truth_and_janey,No_Rest_for_the_Wicked,Denis_Bunce,Steven_Bock,Billy_Janey,psychedelic-rocknroll,hard_rock,1976,monster records,front"TRUTH AND JANEY - NO REST FOR THE WICKED" (FANTASTIC HARD-ROCK US 1976)

Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa bassist "Steven Bock", drummer "Denis Bunce" (original percussionist "John Fillingsworth" lasted less than a year) and guitarist "Billy Janey" started their musical careers working under the burden of a major "Jeff Beck" fixation.
Taking their name from the seminal "Jeff Beck Group"'s album Truth, began penning original material, recorded a pair of singles in 1972/1973.
Slogging through the Mid-West club scene, Truth and Janey's first brush with popular success didn't come until 1972 when they signed a one shot recording deal with the small "Sound Communications" label.
Released without promotion, or support the trio's debut single "Midnight Horsemen" / "Under My Thumb" ("Sound Communications Records" no 81472, 1972), wasn't anything special and quickly vanished without a trace.

truth_and_janey,No_Rest_for_the_Wicked,Denis_Bunce,Steven_Bock,Billy_Janey,psychedelic-rocknroll,hard_rock,1976,monster records,shotTruth and Janey left to right: Denis Bunce, Steven Bock, Billy Janey.

In 1973 Truth released a follow-on single "Straight Eight Pontiac" / "Around And Around" on their own "Driving Wheel" label. At the same time having discovered the name Truth was being used by another band, they opted to avoid a potential legal confrontation and modified their name to "Truth and Janey".
Unable to interest a label in signing them, the trio spent another two years slogging away playing clubs throughout the Mid-West and Canada.
"Truth and Janey" did a fair amount of touring from 1973-1975 including some dates on a "Leslie West" tour, shows in Canada, Kansas, Illinois, Nashville and other Midwestern sites as well as a huge Music Festival with "Blue Oyster Cult" in Davenport that drew 20,000 Hard-Rock fans.

Increasingly frustrated with their seeming fate, in 1976 the band used their own resources to finance recording sessions at Ames, Iowa's A&R Studios.
They laid down the tracks that would form the now infamous "No Rest For The Wicked" album released later that same year.
The record featured six original tunes and two traditional Blues covers revved up in true powerhouse "Truth and Janey" fashion.
Only 1,000 copies of the album were pressed on the local "Montross Records" (Montross MR 376, 1976).

truth_and_janey,No_Rest_for_the_Wicked,Denis_Bunce,Steven_Bock,Billy_Janey,psychedelic-rocknroll,hard_rock,1976,monster records,inlayTruth and Janey left to right: Steven Bock, Billy Janey, Denis Bunce.

With no apparent career-advancing prospects in their near future, "Truth and Janey" disbanded the following year.

"No Rest For The Wicked" is surely one of the greatest Hard-Rock albums of all time.
It's tightly constructed and tightly played, with more memorable riffs and solos than the entire careers of a dozen other similar bands.
The bass playing is monstrous and the drumming solid but, believe it or not, tasteful. The singing is only average, and the band tends to compensate with multi-tracked, highly reverbered lead vocals, not really the worst way to deal with the issue.
And song that illustrates the best features of the band is "The Light", which opens with a combination of low and high guitar riffs, a melodic bass line and precise rhythm guitar.
Not too many bands could resist the urge to go crazy with extra solos or spastic drumming, but this just works its way through a cleverly composed pattern, creating the right kind of tension and intensity.
It's perfect.
The best song is probably the nine-minute "Remember".
This album doesn't have a lot of overdubs, but the production is quite professional, and it's Heavy from start to finish-not a wussy moment on it.
Guaranteed to blow the mind of any mainstream Hard Rock fan, and, of course, it sounds equally good to those of us who enjoy "Tin House" and "Sir Lord Baltimore" as much as "Blue Oyster Cult" and "Black Sabbath".
This is one of those albums where you keep thinking "the next song can't possibly be as good as what's come before", but it always is [AM]


Anonymous said...

Good to see you have a great blog!!


Psychedelic-Rocknroll said...

thank you so much Psteven!!!

i hope to write some interesting posts for you!

see you soon!


Anonymous said...

hi alessandro!

thanks a lot for this post

.el camaleon