Why has The Netherlands never produced a band successful outside its own country? There have been a few one-hit wonders and of those Shocking Blue and Golden Earring made some other good records, but nothing long-lasting. It isn't as if none of them are much good, as Group 1850 proved here, although they were obviously too 'out there' to make it big. This CD features a very trippy, experimental album plus nine bonus tracks which are, on the whole, more conventional. All of it was recorded during 1967/8.
The album has an intimidating atmosphere, due to a cavernous echo, shimmering lead guitar, vocals in a deep register and a liberal sprinkling of sound effects. The centrepiece is the thirteen-minute 'I Put My Hand On Your Shoulder' which is not so much a coherent composition as a patchwork collage held together by some ad lib drumming from the school of early Nick Mason (hit 'em hard). They could make beautiful music when they wanted to , however, as on the tracks 'Refound' and 'Reborn'.
As for the bonus tracks, they are a mix of rhythm and blues in the style of American garage bands such as Shadows of Knight, straight pop in the mould of The Fortunes, and more spaced-out freakiness. Their most feted track seems to be 'Mother No Head', three versions of which are presented here, and which was their sole track to be selected for the superb 'Rubble' compilations. It starts and ends with a Bo Diddley rhythm, but morphs into a doomy Druidic-style chant in between. Group 1850 were nothing if not original