Howard Eynon’s quick blip on the recorded radar is a mixed bag of folk styles executed with skill, from the eccentric pen of a Brit-born Australian transplant (relocated there by his parents at the young age of 11). Though, he’s more recognizable by most as Diabando (a member of Toecutter’s motorcycle gang) in 1979’s Mad Max, or a few other flashes on the silver screen. Eynon split his time between gigging as a musician (touring with the likes of Hunter S. Thompson) and theatre work in Melbourne before being afforded the opportunity to record his sole offering for the private Basket/Candle label in 1974.
…Apricot Jam is shot through with Eynon’s Anglo-Australian voice and wit, moving from gentle finger-plucked fancy, and touches of the baroque, to acerbic rambles. He’s equally adept at weaving a whimsical tale (“Wicked Wetdrop, Quonge and Me”), referential to his forebears (a humorous nod to Donovan in “Hot B.J” —Blackcurrant Juice, before you get any ideas!), and tackling larger issues in the political, propulsive, drum-heavy “French Army.” Not a simple man and guitar affair, the set brims with possibilities using Mellotron (“Now’s the Time”), French horn, synths, flute, violin (ascending and moaning amid poetic recitation in “Village Hill”), and in-the-red electric piano in the epic, set-closing “Shadows & Riff.”
Eynon’s single album resonates more deeply than the catalogs of some, making sense out of the collect-ability of the original. …Apricot Jam is highly recommended for fans of the introspective, literate, idiosyncratic tones of Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett, and there’s hope this reissue raises him out of complete obscurity.
Check out "Shadows & Riff" right here, and pick up the LP right HERE.