When you first hear the name Electric Toilet your brain will, almost certainly, fire up a proper bell-ringing, shark-jumping alert. After all, by 1970, when this Tupelo band's album was released on the Nasco Revelations label, the hippie revolution's heavy lifting was done and giving yourself such a strikingly silly name could only add to the idea you were some newbie, face-painted arriviste. However, In The Hands Of Karma is, in fact, a fantastic record, as one listen to the album opener Within Your State Of Mind will confirm. Built on a supremely solid and utterly funky backing track, the Toilet – shall we call them that? – stretch out for a full eight minutes, allowing plenty of room for dancefloor-friendly Hammond-pumping (somewhere between a lobotomised Booker T and a youthful Charlatans) and a great ocean of skilfully manipulated feedback that weaves in and out of each instrument for a full five minutes.
Revelations and Don't Climb Nobody Else's Ladder are far bluesier than most psychedelic bands would attempt (the latter is positively Stax-ian), while the title track is a down-tempo fringe-shaker lifted onto a whole new plane by a richly melodic Gospel chorus. Something raucous was clearly going down wherever the Toilet hung out as, even 47 years later, their mix of country-inflected, choogling blues-rock and acid-fuzz still sounds quite remarkable. As befits a gang of young men with heads bursting full of ideas, they played with the idea of death: "is there a reason why, for me to keep on living?" they sang on Goodbye My Darling (whose four-minute outro is an absolute treat in itself), "I'm ready to die…" About a fortnight after this was released (in minute quantities, an original will cost you about $400) two of the members died in a car accident and that was the end of that for The Electric Toilet and everyone who sailed in her.
by Rob Fitzpatrick
Alfred Wayne Reynolds and three other bandmembers were on their way to Searcy, Arkansas to pick up band equipment. Before reaching their destination they were involved in a autombile accident,inwhich,two of the bandmembers were killed. Alfred Wayne Reynolds was one, the other Grady Pannell...
1. In The Hands Of Karma - 4:53
2. Within Your State Of Mind - 8:05
3. Revelations - 3:58
4. Mississippi Hippy - 3:15
5. Goodbye My Darling (Betts, Davis) - 6:18
6. Dont Climb Nobody Else's Ladder - 2:52
All songs by Dave Hall except where noted
*Dave Hall - Vocals, Guitar
*Alfred Wayne Reynolds - Bass
*Jimmy Morgan - Drums
*Johnny Wigginton - Guitar
*Larry Nichols - Keyboard
*Grady Pannell - Lead Vocals
the Free Text