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The Souls of Inspyration

The Souls of Inspyration - The Souls of Inspyration

The Souls of Inspyration
Columbia - 1970

Michael Panontin
Red Lake, Ontario soft-psych rockers the Souls of Inspyration made the requisite bar slog across Central Canada before setting up shop in Sherbrooke, Quebec in late 1968. There, they recruited keyboardist Raymond Cloutier, morphed their sound into a murkier psychedelic mix and toured Quebec with the likes of Vanilla Fudge and Tommy James and the Shondells, thus solidifying their fan base across the belle province. A battle-of-the-bands competition at Montreal's Man and His World exposition in July 1970 won the band a fortnight slot at the Canada pavilion at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan.

Awash in accolades and promise, the band inked a recording deal before cutting their lone wax offering for the then-progressive Columbia Canada label (whose adventurous roster also boasted the Magic Bubble, Mashmakhan and It's All Meat). Peddling the same somewhat hoary riffs as their fellow Quebeckers Mashmakhan - breezy Hammond organ, airy acoustic guitar and buoyant but blinkered lyrics - The Souls of Inspyration lamentably founders more than it floats. There are pockets of potential here - 'Eyes of Nature' is blithe and spacious post-psychedelia, recalling Jerry Corbetta's brighter moments with Sugarloaf. However, much of The Souls of Inspyration - the drug-addled lyrics and limp songwriting to be specific - is best left to languish in obscurity.

For psych completists only.

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