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The 2nd of May

May Blitz

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Album Review

The second and final May Blitz album basically picked up where its predecessor left off, with the thunderous and foreboding "For Mad Men Only," and then bludgeoned on from there. Except, where May Blitz concentrated on weight, 2nd of May is more interested in mood and even mirth — "25th of December 1969" would be almost jovial, if the lyrics weren't so harsh, while the balladic "Just Thinking" closes the album with the sweetest of whispers. It's a tighter disc than its predecessor. Just two of the eight songs really top five minutes, as the band learned how to cram maximum impact into minimal space, and layered the virtuosity on from there. The helter-skelter blur of "Eight Mad Grim Nits" is as electrifying a guitar workout as you're likely to hear, with the axe panning wildly while the rhythm section soars like a steeplechase behind it; while "High Beech" takes the opposite tack entirely, a psychedelic dream that builds so gently that the effect is almost boleric. "Honey Coloured Time," too, has a gentle mood that puts one in mind of labelmates Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan," as performed by the Full House era Fairport Convention. And, while a lengthy Tony Newman drum solo doesn't really repay repeat listens (well, not unless you like drum solos), still 2nd of May remains one of those albums that you will find yourself returning to again and again, while wishing May Blitz had held on long enough to cut a follow-up.

Biography

Formed: 1969

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

May Blitz was one of the first four bands signed by eminent progressive and heavy rock label, Vertigo, along with future legends Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and the largely forgotten Juicy Lucy, whose less fortunate fate they would unfortunately share, in the end. Although usually attributed to former Jeff Beck Group drummer Tony Newman (who had played on the all-time classic Beck-Ola), May Blitz was in fact first envisioned in early 1969 by relative unknown James Black (lead vocals and guitar), who...
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The 2nd of May, May Blitz
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