Salem Mass - Witch Burning

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Akarma
Catalog Number: AK-092
Format: LP
Total Time: 35:35:00

You would assume the group Salem Mass is from Massachusetts right? Wrong.

In 1971 four young men from Sun Valley Idaho; Jim Klahr (keyboards), Mike Snead (lead guitar and vocals), Steve Towery (drums and vocals), and Matt Wilson (bass and vocals) decided that would be a good name for a group. I was attracted to them because of their name. I am from Massachusetts and I have a fascination with the time period in history when the persecution of innocent victims took place. I also happen to really enjoy most music that was made in the seventies. Psychedelic rock wasn't one genre I really knew anything about, as my time for really listening to music of my own choice was around 1972, when there was a shift to heavy metal and psychedelic rock was becoming a memory. All of this wonderful music has been a revelation of discovery for me every time I sit and listen to another group.

The album starts off with the title track "Witch Burning." The lead vocals are high pitched and irritating, yet the music is powerful and subsequently sweeps that negative factor right under the table. I am not sure who handles vocals on what track because it's not indicated on the album liner notes or cover. That is the only song that lacks vocally, the rest of the album has strong vocals to match the far-reaching and authoritative music. "My Sweet Jane" follows and it put any doubt that I was feeling to rest quickly. I found it to be the best track on the entire album. This music sounds fresh even today. I noticed that the sound quality on a few tracks needed to be cleaned up some, as its muddied and uncharacteristically unclear for an Akarma reissue. This doesn't deter from the overall experience however. I felt that each song had merit and above all the music itself is imposing. Gear Fab Records and Akarma Records team up and do a fine job of reissuing this previously unheard of music.

* The liner notes by Gear Fab's Roger Maglio are always superb and informative. Gear Fab has released several great albums including the Psychedelic Crown Jewels series (three volumes) and most notably a Soul, Inc. collection available on a double LP and two CDs. Check out their website for more information.

Also released by Gear Fab (GEAR 117) in 1999;

Side One: Witch Burning / My Sweet Jane / Why

Side Two: You Can't Run My Life / You're Just A Dream / Bare Tree / The Drifter

Jim Klahr - keyboards
Mike Snead - lead guitar and vocals
Steve Towery - drums and vocals
Matt Wilson - bass and vocals

Witch Burning (1971/2001)

Genre: Psychedelic/Space Rock

Origin US

Added: August 21st 2001
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Artist website:
Hits: 899
Language: english


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