Orexis of Death:
Not to be confused with American outfit of the same name, mysterious British band Iguana was formed in Southampton in early 1970s to release one excellent album and then disappear without a trace, The core of the band was guitarist/vocalist Bruce Roberts, bass-player John Cartwright and drummer Pete Hunt, The trio was augmented by strong dual brass-section – Ron Taylor on alto sax and tambourine and Chris Gower on trombone. The solid presence of horns together with excellent songwriting is what makss. Iguana’s only offering truly unique.
Despite the album being released on the well-known Polydor label, it quickly became one of its most obscure items, since for some strange reason nobody was interested in the great blend of loud jazz-rock and energetic heavy rock stuffed with progressive elemenets. Surprisingly enough, even Tapestry:.Of Delights, the Bible for any British psych/prog fan, missed this one! Time has come to unearth this minor classic.
The sound of Iguana is rich and colorful, based on permanent juxtapositions of heavy, some what funky guitar sound and jazzy saxophone riffs – most of the songs are catchy and easy-to-get-into, in spit'e of their complex structures. Though most of the tracks are vocal-driven, there are enough space foi" adventurous instrumental excursions, the band achieves a perfect balance between song-oriented stuff and sophisticated progressive compositions (such is the longest piece on the LP, almost 9-minute "Price of Love”, reminding me of Colosseum, Mogul Thrash and other prcminent brass rockers of the eariy 1970s). Actually Brainchild's "Healing Of The Lunatic Owl" would be the closest comparison to Iguana’s. debut, only if Brainchild work was closer to progressive realms, Iguana veers more towards pure rocking sound, making the accent on sheer frank intensity of the early British rock music.
Unable to get the recognition they deserved, the musicians of Iguana almost decided to call it quits, when they've got noticed by prominent songwriter Jess Roden (ex-Alan Bown Set, ex-Butts Band). The whole Iguana line-up became Roden's backing band, touring with him for several years and helping hini to record several highly acdaimed LPs in the mid-1970s (including Keep Your Hat On"). Although the col-laboration with Roden might probably be lucrative for Iguana musicians, it must be pointed out that'.it ended their short career as independent songwriters. However, the sole Iguana LP from 1974 proves they could really do a talented, original and highly creative music.
02. "Southampton Blues" 1:53
03. "Price Of Love" 8:48
04. "Power Of Love" 3:48
05. "I Don't Need No Buddy" 3:19
06. "Ron's Tune" 4:26
07. "Prostitute" 3:35
08. "Grey Day Lady" 3:24
09. "Celluloid Samba" 3:27
Ron Taylor - Alto-sax Tambourine
Bruce Roberts - Guitar & vocals
John Cartwright - Bass guitar & Finger Drums
Chris Gower - Trombone & Tambourine
Pete Hunt - Drums & Congas