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Ten Light Claps and a Scream

Otis Waygood

℗ 1971

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Otis Waygood • 1971 • Ten Light Claps and a Scream

Ten Light Claps and a Scream is the third and final LP by South African rock band Otis Waygood. It was released in 1971 by EMI-Parlophone, at the height of the Big Heavies' popularity - a sudden wave of white anti-Apartheid South African hard rock groups (the tag would be made official with the release of a 1972 compilation LP). Incidentally, Ten Light Claps and a Scream was produced by Julian Laxton, leader of Freedom's Children, another Big Heavy. By this third opus, Otis Waygood had developed an impressive group sound that built on the energy of bands like Free and Bloodwin Pig, adding to the wailing guitars and growling organ a bit of raspy, gnarly saxophone. The resulting sound is startlingly similar to H to He Who Am the Only One-era Van der Graaf Generator (although nothing could suggest that they were an influence on Otis Waygood). The songs are dark, yearning, and heavy blues rock numbers, with 'A Madman's Cry' (featuring two lead singers barely under cntrol), 'Easy Way,' and 'Devil Bones' being the highlights. Everything (down to the mix itself) is heavy, the sax adding a surprising freak-out element. Singer Rob Zipper has a somewhat limited range, but he puts a lot of soul in his delivery. Not everything here is gold, and the album is a bit short at 32 minutes, but it's a great period piece and a fine psychedelic/freak rock record in its own right - and better recorded than Freedom's Children's Astra.

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