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Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation - Remains To Be Heard LP
Not Bad Records
Although the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation broke up in late 1969 after their third album, singer Victor Brox was convinced by manager Bryan Morrison to assemble a posthumous fourth LP. Unfortunately, Remains to Be Heard came close to being the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation in name only. For drummer-founder Dunbar is only on four of the ten tracks, and the rest include contributions by various musicians who weren't in the group, among them Brox's wife (singer Annette Brox), drummer Keith Bailey (who played with Graham Bond for a while), and some African drummers. The material isn't up to the group's usual standards either, with three of the tracks being leftovers from their third LP, 1969's To Mum, From Aynsley and the Boys; cut by the quartet of Dunbar, Brox, guitarist Jon Morshead, and bassist Alex Dmochowski, the recordings had been left off that record since they were cut prior to Tommy Eyre (who appears on all of that LP's tracks) joining the band. Sadly, even some of the tracks with Dunbar aboard aren't up to snuff; you know an outtake should remain an outtake when it begins with the lyric "be my monkey woman, I'm gonna be your monkey man" (as "Invitation to a Lady" does), though "Downhearted" is a worthy effort in the downer-blues-with-organ style that was perhaps the group's strongest suit. Many if not all of the post-Dunbar recordings sound kind of like demos and/or unfinished songs in progress, and none sound especially worthy of future attention, except maybe for the brooding, jazzy "Toga" (with violin, wordless hummed vocals, and African-tinged percussion), though even this seems like a sketch with lyrics that have yet to be filled in. It all adds up to a sad and unrepresentative end for a worthy group, desirable only for completist collectors.