Growers of Mushroom
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2005
This is a very solid release if you are looking for the heavier side of early 70's hardrock albums. Yes, it sounds very much like Led Zeppelin, especially the first track, but this album still has so much orginality that it surely can stand on its own. I bought this album after having heard "In hearing of" by Atomic Rooster on which Peter French does the vocals. He really has a great rock'n'roll voice that fits so well with this kind of raw and bluesy hardrock. Extensive liner notes in the booklet, provides new info on this lost classic. And the icing of the cake, separating this even more from earlier editions is the addition of the last track, from the NEW forthcoming Leaf Hound album. And yes, its a good track, clearly vintage sounding, no need to change a winning forumla. And Pete's voice is in good shape. In my opinion this is somewhere between 3 and 4 stars though, since the songs in the end, can sound a bit meandering and repetitious. Especially some guitarsolos should have been shortened. Some more variety in the "in-your-face tracks" would have greatly improved this album also. Thus, needless to say probably, I enjoy "In hearing of" by Atomic Rooster even more than this album.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This album is great, a lost treasure to be sure. I can kinda hear the Led Zep influence some here have cited, I think they sound more like Trapeze during the Medusa era. Early 70's rock, with tasty licks and strong vocals. Great package with extensive liner notes, and history of the band. Recomended
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2002
Leaf Hound was formed from the ashes of Black Cat Bones who added Keith Young on drums and continued on under a new name in 1971. Other members included vocalist Peter French, guitarist Mick Halls, and the Brooks brothers Derek and Stu on guitar and bass respectively. The band's only album contained an acid guitar based psychedelic sludgefest of blues based rock. The band sounded like a raw combination of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Tracks which stand out include "Freelance Fiend", "Stray" and "Sawdust Caeser". However, the entire cd is good. French's vocals fit the mood of the set perfectly. The set has some solid acid guitar playing but nothing really fancy. This reissue also includes two bonus tracks, a non-lp single b-side and a previously unissued track. It is worth noting that vocalist Peter French was later a member of progressive rockers Atomic Rooster, the power boogie band Cactus and the German band Randy Pie. He also unsuccessfully auditioned for Deep Purple after Ian Gillan left the band but David Coverdale was hired instead. This is a highly recommended reissue of powerhouse psychedelic blues based British rock. The original lp is exremely rare so buy this reissue before it goes out of print again.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2005
As a 40 yr. old African American who listens to everything from classical to neo-soul, Let me say that this rare stoner is one of the better obscure releases that I have ever had the pleasure to absorb. Tripped out rhythm and lyricism, psychedelic arrangements and soul-searing guitar licks make this one a great find for those searching for hard hippie/stoner styled rock.

Upon listening for the first time, I was blown away by the bands ability. I don't like to make comparisons, But this group reminds me a lot of Led Zepplin (vocals) and Black Sabbath (arrangements and guitar leads). This is very evident on the tracks "Stray" & "Stagnant Pool". Instantly, I was reminded of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid"...Much in the same vein as "Fairies Wear Boots" & "War Pigs".

Very good piece for its time...Get it, Get stoned and Get educated.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2001
Don't know if the stoner/retro-heavy bands trying to recapture early-70s riffs 'n' spliffs qualifies as the 'next big thing' these days or not, but if you like that sort of squawk, Leaf Hound - an authentic 1971 slab o' granite - is mandatory listening. Five ugly, hairy, red-eyed Picts, standing in a field of psilocybin, glare at you from the cover, looking for elves and sprites to beat unconscious. Not only did Leaf Hound come from (and return to) nowhere, they were barely here at all: this, their only album, was recorded in eleven grueling hours (shades of BLACK SABBATH, recorded in six!) The resulting cd combines early Sabbath waltzing-brontosaurus tempos with banshee-wail blues chug a la Zeppelin's first two longplayers. And truthfully, GROWERS OF MUSHROOM ain't bad at all. Frontman Pete French (later of Atomic Rooster & Randy Pie) nails the sweat-soaked grittiness of Plant without the peacock feathers; his rock-solid wailing vox really deliver, especially on 'Drowned My Life In Fear'. In fact, Leaf Hound might surprise you as a very credible working-class Zep, though the guitars of Mick Halls & Derek Brooks veer closer to Iommi than Page throughout. Wish I could rhapsodize about the legato work and soaring twin leads, but there aren't any. Leaf Hound just want to bludgeon you, lift your wallet and go drinking: there are worse ways to take a pummelling. 'Freelance Fiend', 'Sawdust Caesar', 'Stray' and the other original tracks (plus two bonus) are crisp, to the point, and devoid of the eccentricities a title like GROWERS OF MUSHROOM would indicate, but despite what seems like a lotta potential negatives, this was, for me, a highly satisfying trip into the Time Tunnel. Meat and potatoes hard rock like it used to be.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2005
As anyone can tell from the five stars, I love the Leaf Hound record dearly; it's one of theeee very best Brit blues-based rock 'n roll records there ever was (right in there with The Groundhogs, probably). That said, I don't know how anyone can reasonably be so disrespectful as to compare ANY 30-something-year-old record to... The Black Crowes (who everybody knows owe everything to Goats Head-era Stones anyway; but I digress...). Chronology backwards. And although there's clearly the blues thing very strongly here, it's far more Anglo-fied than any old Led Zep. And lo, I was saying to my friend just earlier tonight that I absolutely HATE Led Zeppelin and always have done- not only because of unpleasant jocky associations but because of their flagrant "borrowing" of many a blues song. Not so Leaf Hound, who it says here (in the liner notes natch) got their name- and all of the song titles- from a collection of short horror stories by someone named Herbert Van Thal. At any rate, definitely a classic record with a unique kind of occulty vibe all its own (and a helluva little title track too, by the way). A bargain at twice the price too, as the vinyl is supposedly worth something like $2000 (yes, with THREE zeroes). If you're into the early '70s Brit blooze, give this obscure little band a try. So obscure, in fact, that apparently no pictures of Leaf Hound even exist. Hmmm, now that's odd...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2005
A friend turned me on to this band and when I listened to it the first time through, the singer reminded me of Chris Cornell of Soundgarden. Not a big fan of Alternative, I was not sure I liked Leaf Hound.

However, upon second listen, I got used to the singer and though a bit much a times, he fits the music perfectly! To my ears they are definitely in the stoner rock mold. At times they remind me of Lucifer's Friend, except the keyboards are not really there. There is also the vague Black Sabbath flavor to it. The riffing is good, and the general guitar work is a real kick!

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Originally released in 1971. This was the band's only album they had ever put out. Basically just good old school early '70's British hard rock. Tracks I was most impressed with were "Freelance Friend", "Sad Road To The Sea" (great vocals), "With A Minute To Go" and their previously hard-to-come-by B-side single "It's Going To Get Better". Personnel: Pete French-vocals, Mick Halls & Derek Brooks-guitars, Stuart Brooks-bass and Keith George Young-drums. Just might appeal to some fans of Cactus, Atomic Rooster, Free and Savoy Brown. Check it out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 1999
Ok, so they're a Led Zeppelin sound alike. But a very GOOD Zeppelin sound alike! Even though vocalist Peter French (ex Atomic Rooster) sounds more like Rod Stewart in places then Robert Plant it in no way detracts from the music. In fact I personally believe his raspy bluesy voice enhances the songs. Some of the riffs at a few places seem to have been lifted right off of one of the first three Zeppelin albums, but LEAFHOUND has added their own creative interpretation to the songs so they can easily be considered origonal. If you wish Led Zeppelin had put out just one more album in the vein of their earlier stuff, then I heartily reccommend this album for your collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2011
I had never heard of the band until I found this album on Amazon off a link from something else. Holy jeez! This is great music. I get the Led Zeppelin references, but they sound far more like Free than Led Zep. Most of the people commenting probably don't even know who Free is, so I will forgive them.

I have played this album for probably 20 different people and all of them are shocked that this album wasn't a huge hit.

The album was rated "the most collectible rock album" a few years ago because it is so good and hard to find. Get this now... every song is REALLY good and you can impress your friends by finding a GREAT album that they have never heard of.
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