Fraction: The Cover's Better than the Album

Fraction: The Cover's Better than the Album

You know what’s actually not cool at all, pretending bands sound like the Doors. You know what’s worse, claiming that some recording approximates what the Doors would have sounded like if good ole Jimmy hasn’t gone and croaked. Apart from the fact that it’s highly likely the band would have wound up sucking if Morrison and company had made it through the seventies, there are still some spotty moments of what we were given in the first place. Anyway, Fraction really doesn’t sound like the Doors. And if one disregards Jim Beach’s occasional howling, his vocals don’t reference Morrison’s at all. Whatever the case, Fraction issued a single, low run long player back in 1970. Supposedly, there were only two hundred copies originally pressed with those fetching thousands of dollars from collectors. Ridiculous.

Moon Blood was reissued on CD not too long ago. But even with a few bonus tracks, it’s difficult to sanction such a bland, middle of the road disc. Granted, live, the band would most likely have blistered your skin. But CDs are seldom as good as those live renditions, that’s all we’re left with.

The ridiculously titled “Come Out of Here” opens with an album highlight as the rhythm section drools out something vaguely funky as the band’s guitarist drips a twisted solo out for a brief moment before Beach’s vocal kicks in. The singing’s all throaty and croaky, not quite kitsch, but close enough to immediately appreciate the band more than the singing. Some of that howling crops up here for a moment, but not for a concerted amount of time and certainly not enough to save the song from being much more than a decent way to fill up time on the album. Admittedly, the tempo changes and corporeal drumming work, but not well enough to warrant a second go ‘round.

“This Bird” sounds tied to the Bay Area scene more than anything else. Composed in a slow tempo, with a bit of interesting guitar work thrown in, Beach simply croons like some mug taken off the street and asked to turn in an uppity performance. So late in the album, hearing that wah-wah gets tired pretty quickly. And while some might be smitten with drawn back take on psych stuff, Fraction doesn’t do enough on its own terms to be remember for much other than recording an album folks pay too much money for.