Granicus – Same (1973)

FrontCover1Granicus was an American hard rock band formed in 1969 in Cleveland. Performing in clubs in Cleveland, the band were then later signed by RCA Records on March 15, 1973 and released their eponymous debut album in the same year.[2] Disbanding in 1973, the group later reunited after finding their first record selling in Europe. They reunited in 2009 and released their unreleased studio album Thieves, Liars and Traitors on an independent label in 2010. The group had experimented with several genres ranging from heavy blues rock and progressive rock to experimental psychedelia and metal, incorporating a musical style similar to first-album Rush.

Formed by drummer Joe Battaglia, the group would practice in his home but later moved to a Cleveland warehouse, a better-suited environment to compose their music with high energy. Commentating on coming of age in a Vietnam back-dropped America, the groups music was highly influenced by late-60s psychedelic rock artists such as Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Blue Cheer as well as early-70s hard rock giants, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. The influence would greatly been shown when lead vocalist Woody Leffel would sing in a high-pitched voice similar to Robert Plant, Ian Gillan and Geddy Lee. (by wikipedia)


Cleveland’s enigmatic Granicus recorded just one eponymous LP before fading into rock & roll oblivion, but boy, it’s an absolute gem! Quietly released by RCA in 1973, Granicus is truly an album out of time — especially its own — which perhaps explains its eventual commercial failure. Years on, the record acts as a veritable time capsule, taking the listener back to that tenuous transition point where late-’60s progressive rock and experimental psychedelia finally gave way once and for all to what is now considered the classic ’70s hard rock sound. Indeed, it’s this convoluted transformation process that simultaneously informs the album with its edgy, nervous energy and helps explain its mysteriously lasting appeal. Elements of the old ways pervade the wistful interlude “Twilight,” the prog-tastic “Nightmare,” and the 11-minute freakout “Prayer,” while ballsy hard rockers like “You’re in America” and “When You’re Movin'” reflect the new world order imposed by the church of Led Zeppelin.

Granicus02Somewhere in between, an optimum balance is struck by excellent single “Bad Talk,” the scorching, self-affirming tirade of “Cleveland Ohio” (where singer Woody Leffel scats his way through every insult ever aimed at his hometown’s citizens: “Uncool, unheavy, ungroovy, unfunky, unhip, greaseball!”), and the amazing hard boogie workout that is closer “Paradise.” As for the bandmembers, their technical prowess and taut interplay drives all of the above into truly impressive realms of inspiration, and with his piercing shrieks and bluesy falsetto, Leffel is a positively eerie sonic precursor to Rush’s Geddy Lee. Rock & roll history may have dealt them a losing hand in the end, but there’ll always be a place in musical anthropologists’ hearts for both Granicus the band and Granicus the album. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

Wayne Anderson (lead guitar)
Joe Battaglia (drums)
Dale Bedford (bass)
Woody Leffel (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Allen Pinell (guitar)

01. You’re In America 4.08
02. Bad Talk 2.49
03. Twilight 3.05
04. Prayer 11.05
05. Cleveland Ohio 3.29
06. Nightmare 8.19
07. When You’re Movin’ 3.17
08. Paradise 7.15
09. Cleveland Ohio (bonus track, extended version) 7.56
10. Interview I 0.51
11. Hollywood Star (bonus track, unreleased track) 4.36
12. Prayer (live, bonus track) 10.27
13. Interview II 1.38

Music: Wayne Anderson – Joe Battaglia – Dale Bedford – Woody Leffel – Allen Pinell
Lyrics: Woody Leffel