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Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation - To Mum From Aynsley & the Boys LP
Not Bad Records
Although a fourth Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation album (Remains to Be Heard) would be cobbled together from outtakes and recordings done without Dunbar, their third LP, To Mum, From Aynsley and the Boys, was truly the final proper full-length release by the original group. Dunbar had expressed some interest in moving further afield from the blues-rock format around the time the record was done, and the addition of keyboardist Tommy Eyre (from the Grease Band) to the lineup was one step in that direction. The enlistment of John Mayall as producer was perhaps another step in attempting to refine their sound. Still, much of To Mum, From Aynsley and the Boys is pretty standard late-'60s British blues-rock, in line with the previous two albums by the band. Eyre does inject some of the arrangements with a jazzy, more R&B feel, particularly on "Leaving Right Away" and the instrumental "Unheard," the latter of which sounds like a rock band trying to do modern jazz and finding themselves a bit out of their depth. You also hear the quintet trying to stretch boundaries a little with the eerie, trumpet-overlaid intro to "Don't Take the Power Away," which has the downcast ambience typical of quite a bit of the Victor Brox-sung Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation material. There's also some exceptionally funereal organ in the march-plodding instrumental "Journey's End." Otherwise, though, much of this is rather-run-of-the-mill, if always well played, British blues-rock.