EXHUMED: DARK 'Round the Edges' LP

posted Sunday Apr 10th, 2016

Recorded and released (if you could call it that) privately in an original run of no more than 60 in 1972 by the UK band themselves and sold to friends and given to prospective labels (Island showing marginal interest which resulted in naught), DARK’s sole long-player is a pristine piece of progressive-tinted heavy psych/early hard rock with impressionistically poetic, elliptical lyrics running throughout it all. Exceedingly rare, Dark Round the Edges has exchanged hands for as much as £6,600—not a bad showing for something they sold for £3 at the time, and only took £50 to make—with only a few copies of the LP known to be extant (only one in the hands of the band themselves). The group were a mixture of the heavy end of later ‘60s West Coast-flavored psych and mind-shatteringly raw, frenzied, metallic riffery courtesy Martin Weaver (ex-Wicked Lady), with as much guitar savagery and precise arrangement as mellow jazziness filling your ears for the extent of these six tracks.

Without careful consideration you’d peg this platter with predictable rise and fall dynamics, as the first trio of tracks—opener “Darkside” a personal favorite—each play a game of loping melodicism for a few minutes, punctuated with an ascension to rumbling mega-fuzz-filled fantasy. Though, the latter half picks up pace, ending in the pure dynamite of slashing geet sludge and bull-whip guitar orchestrations surging above bass pulsations, “Zero Time.” For once, the deep-pocketed collectors got it right, as this set should be in the collections of anyone sweet on the genres it touches upon. It’s also a treasure that it’s been brought back into print proper with band involvement including a 20-page booklet of rare pics, lyrics, a few reminisces and recording bills & notes, sure to please those searching for the most minute of details. Meant to be played dangerously loud until the neighbors come ‘a knockin’, that’s my word.

Grab a copy at you local record shop or direct from Machu Picchu Records right here.

Check out a RARE live video clip here:

STREAM the full LP here: