Rasputin’s Stash – 1971 – Rasputin’s Stash
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A killer debut from Rasputin Stash, a funky group who work with all the long-haired inspiration you’d expect from their name!
The groove is a mix of guitars and tight horns – undercut by the kind of heavy basslines that later made the group a good fit for Curtom Records, and lots of cool percussion touches that pepper the bottom of the rhythms nicely – with a pretty spontaneous feel! At times, there’s almost a Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band vibe to the record, but mixed with some of the trippier influences of the Westbound crew – especially on the guitar – and like those artists, these guys have no trouble at all dipping into a touch of rock here and there to trip out their groove.
A1 Your Love Is Certified 2:09
A2 I’d Like to Know You Better 3:53
A3 What’s on Your Mind 2:22
A4 Take Me on Back 3:47
A5 Mr. Cool 3:30
B1 You Better Think 5:29
B2 Freak’s Prayer 2:45
B3 Dookey Shoe 3:40
B4 You Are My Flower 3:38
B5 I Want to Say You’re Welcome 2:11
B6 Epilogue 1:30
Review By Soulmakossa
The cover may lead one to believe one is in for a Funkadelic-styled, unwholesome, vile stew of dark, heavy, funk rock. Yet, aside the fact that it does have a trippy ‘psyched’-out atmos to it, it lacks the haunting sense of doom so prevalent on Funkadelic’s first three LPs.
“Your Love Is Certified” is the monster track, with its droning, buzzing, distorted guitars and bombastically loud drumming. Psy-soul at its best.
“I’d Like to Know You Better” sounds a little more traditional, a great soul gem with a nice double-time bridge built in and some super tight, tex-mex horn riffing. There are some ghostly, ghoulish Funkadelic-like backing vocals here at the end that give it a slightly unsetteling vibe.
Things get truly trippy with “What’s On Your Mind“, which kicks off with a vamp of psychedelic noise and then swiftly starts riding a speedy, horn-induced groove. Incessant congas further deepen the beat, and the whole band singing together really ads that tribal touch of voodoo funk.
“Take Me on Back” is something of country-fried ballad, drenched in howling harmonica and delicate guitar noodlings. Folksy funk, with a hint of gospel piano and a bunch of strings. The rhythm gets more upfront as the song progresses, but it’s basically the requisited Side A ballad. “Mr. Cool“, however, shifts matters back firmly in laid-back, spacey funk rock territory; droning organ, quirky chord progressions, echoed vocals and layers and layers of brass.
More psychedelic weirdness sparks off the disc’s longest jam, the truly bizar “You Better Think“. A powerful message tune, it sports a ferocious, lazily struttin’ groove over which the entire Stash harmonize about the importance of education. That ominous, scratching guitar moves under the rhythm like a snake on the prowl, with blasts of horn all over the place. And as it started, “You Better Think” dissolves into psychodelized beeps, blurts, sounds and thangs.
“Freak’s Prayer” is a showcase for the congas; another sweaty, communal celebration of the Funk, hypnotizing in its no-let up groovin’, with some pretty snazzy acoustic guitar soloing on top of it.
Fatback funkin’ fun is up next with the slow-grinding monster jam “Dookey Shoe“, the LP’s most lighthearted joint, before Rasputin’s Stash close their premier LP with the more subdued, mid-tempo, poppy sounding “You Are My Flower” and one last blast of acid-drenched souladelica with the Sly Stone-esque “I Want to Say You’re Welcome“.
A superb slice of psychedelic-soul-funk-rock extravaganza.