Elias Hulk - Unchained

Elias Hulk – Unchained


Very much a product of their time and flying the freak flag of the Edgar Broughton Band etc, Elias Hulk run through every blues rock cliche imaginable, but strangely it works.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: Elias Hulk
ALBUM: Unchained
LABEL: Youngblood Records
YEAR: 1970
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Pete Thorpe – lead vocals * Granville Frazer – guitar * Neil Tatum – guitar * Bernard James – drums * James Haines – bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Can Fly * 02 Nightmare * 03 Been Around Too Long * 04 Yesterday’s Trip * 05 Anthology Of Dreams * 06 Free * 07 Delhi Blues * 08 Ain’t Got You

WEBLINKS: Bournemouth Beat Boom Site


Elias Hulk were a legendary hard rock band from the English south coast, Bournemouth to be exact. Just look at that cover! I wonder if the artist landed a job a decade later in the Shrapnel label’s art department. Terrible stuff, but I digress since the album cover and small pressing only add to the reputation of this megabuck rarity.

As the story goes, Elias Hulk gigged heavily throughout southern England, even making their way into Wales before recording a demo at Strawberry Studios with 10cc‘s Eric Stewart. It landed them a contract with the London based Young Blood Records. More touring followed including gigs at The Marquee and Eel Pie Island, but boredom and cash flow issues eventually spelled the end of Elias Hulk and the group split in 1971.

The Songs

Based on appearances, ‘Unchained’ is not as heavy as you would imagine. The image and sound are at odds with each other, similar to fellow Brits Life and their 1974 set ‘Life After Death’. This is partially due to Pete Thorpe’s schizophrenic vocal style that ranges from pastoral Justin Hayward on the opener ‘We Can Fly’ to Ozzy and a2qQBlack Sabbath – lite on ‘Yesterday’s Trip’.

Very much a product of their time and flying the freak flag of Edgar Broughton Band, Groundhogs as well as Canned Heat, Elias Hulk run through every blues rock cliche imaginable, but strangely it works.

A solid set of no fuss, no muss rock and I especially like the raw aggression of ‘Nightmare’ where the Grounghogs comparison is especially appropriate. The Eastern psychedelic jam of ‘Delhi Blues’, the very tripped out Ladbroke Grove – Notting Hill and I imagine they went over quite well with the stoned out Hawkwind/Pink Fairies fan base.

In Summary

I had the pleasure of holding an original copy of ‘Unchained’ in my hands that was selling for well over $700 at a record convention several years ago. Naturally unaffordable, it was a rush to finally see the real thing. Since then there have been multiple CD and LP reissues from a variety of labels (click on the Discogs Reissue Link above) all of which are now easy to find and of course very inexpensive.

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