1. Race With the Devil
2. The Sad Saga of the Boy and the Bee
3. Rupert's Travels
4. Yellow Cab Man
5. It Won't be Long (Heartbeat)
7. Rat Race
8. Take off
9. Drives you Mad
10. Don't Look Back
11. Runnin' Wild
Gun was a UK power trio whose heavy psychedelic rock could also be considered a very early forerunner of heavy metal. This is their self-titled debut album; a blend of progressive rock (in the form of orchestral touches that add a depth and beauty to everything) and awesome hard rocking psychedelia. The cover -Roger Dean's very first sleeve design btw- is stunning in a spine-shivering sort of way, and the music matches.
Adrian and Paul Gurvitz might be better known for their travels with Ginger Baker in the Baker Gurvitz Army, but in the late '60s the brothers helmed the heavy rock trio Gun and caught a whiff of success in the U.K. with their debut single "Race with the Devil." Using the less-ethnic surname Curtis, Adrian (guitar) and Paul (bass) teamed up with drummer Louis Farrell and pounded out some distinctive psych-flavored proto-metal.
Floating about in the mix along with the guitar pyrotechnics and drum workouts are brass and string sections that aren't always welcome, but "Race with the Devil" uses these potentially square instruments well, adding texture to an otherwise brutal stomp. "Yellow Cab Man" is the highlight of the set, a hard pop number with a buzzing guitar hook and frantic, heavily distorted soloing from Adrian. The obligatory freak-out comes with the finale, the 11-minute "Take Off" which begins with the sound of jet roar, then explodes into feedback, drum solos, backward guitars, and silly psychedelic exhortations to "take a deep breath and try to count to five."
Elsewhere are half-baked orchestral interludes and some questionable songwriting chops, but the band is truly firing on all cylinders throughout and their interplay is solid like a fist. When Gun pours it on, the results are visceral and exciting enough to forgive the occasional wrong turn.