Local Anaesthetic / Songs of Love and Praise

(Cherry Red)


You might be forgiven for thinking Local Anaesthetic is a lost album by Seattle grungers Nirvana from the early 90s. Actually it is the third album by the UK based prog rock band of the same name released in 1971, which along with 1972s Songs of Love and Praise have just been reissued on Cherry Red Records on CD for the first time.

Local Anaesthetic is basically three conceptual prog rock movements combining a miscellany of songs and sounds. The first of which appears to be a scream combined with a synthesiser, leading into a medley of songs including the bands 1971 single The Saddest Day of My Life (which also gets included in its 7 inch single format as a bonus track).

While Local Anaesthetic is progressive and conceptual, 1972s Songs Of Love and Praise is more of a pop album and shows a very different side to the band. There are revisits to Nirvana’s late 60s recordings including the 1968 chart hit Rainbow Chaser and the uplifting Pentecost Hotel which features backing from a delightful children’s choir. Reminiscent in places of early Tyrannosaurus Rex, are some great pop harmonies on I Need Your Love Tonight while the band close the album in style with the mammoth orchestral laden stadium.

Personally, the pop of Songs of Love and Praise stands up better for me than the experimentation of Local Anaesthetic but no doubt there will be fans out there who are delighted to add both very different albums to their CD collections.

Andy Howells