If there is any artist who could be considered as having followed a tangential path from Hendrix to Big Star to Spacemen 3, that would be The Bevis Frond...and that's not hyperbole, the evidence is to be found in countless albums over 30 years of thrilling musical innovation that few have matched. Filtered through The Groundhogs, The Who, Neil Young, Captain Beefheart and Kevin Ayers, this is an iconoclastic collision of distinctly British psychedelia, space-rock, grunge, slow-burning soulful laments, even grizzled folk and more than occasional moments of sublime pop genius. Yet, he remains the best kept secret in Rock ‘n' Roll – isn't it about time you discovered one of England's finest songwriters and insightful lyricists.
The Bevis Frond is guitarist and songwriter extraordinaire Nick Saloman who's prolific output has seen him hailed as "a Hendrix devotee ever bit as tough and contemporary as the serrated guitar chorales of Sonic Youth and Pixies" by Rolling Stone's David Fricke and become a cult figure in his own right. Saloman has released no less than twenty-two albums under The Bevis Frond name with many collaborations and releases under various pseudonyms. Sounding as bracing today as he did then, he constantly writes with his musical journey beginning as The Bevis Frond Museum and later The Von Trap Family.
1994's Sprawl, originally released on Woronzow, features Nick with Jimmy Hastings (flute), Tony Aldridge (violin) and Andy Ward on drums. Vocals here were provided by Ade Shaw, Dean Carter and Mick Donovan along with Current 93's David Tibet guesting with spoken word on the spiritual "Right On (Hippy Dream)." Hypnotic 12 minute psych piece "Awake" is interspersed with instrumentals and the grungy guitars of "The Puller" are offset by Aldridge's strings. The tenth studio album release in less than a decade since and Sprawl – once again – demonstrates Nick's immeasurable song writing power.