Mid-1970s Canadian hard rock bands aren't exactly a novel concept. So, on the surface there wouldn't appear to be much to distinguish Emerald City from a slew competitors. The fact that today the band (singer/guitarist Matthew Enright, bassist George Gardos and drummer Patrick Saraceno), is hopelessly obscure would seem to reinforce the contention these guys didn't have much to offer. Wrong, wrong, wrong !!!
Released by the small Canadian Hippopotamus Records, the trio's 1976's debut "Waiting for the Dawn" was recorded in Quebec with Joey Perno and Enright producing. With Enright credited with penning all ten selections, tracks such as the instrumental 'Guiding', 'Hold Of My Soul' and the pseudo-funky 'Rythmn Highway' (sic) offered up an intriguing blend of surprisingly commercial moves and Hendrix-styled guitar. At the risk of scaring some of you off, mid-'70s Frank Marino and Robin Trower come to mind, though it isn't an exact comparison. While Marino and Trower worshipped at the Hendrix alter, these guys kept a respective distance. Among the few complaints, the female backing chorus was occasionally disconcerting ('Hold of My Soul'). One if the biggest surprised I've discovered the last year and an album that regularly visits our turntable. (via Badcat Records) (BUY IT!)