Black Merda Forces Of Nature

Black Merda are the godfathers of "Black Rock." The term should be an oxymoron. African-Americans, after all, created rock and roll. Being a black rocker isn't easy, however, as the odysseys of the late Arthur Lee and Jimi Hendrix or Living Colour, the Family Stand and Mother's Finest, to name a few, can attest. Credibility, recognition and mainstream acceptance (when possible), or lack thereof, can be a bitch. Black Merda first tasted success backing up Motown legend Edwin Starr on the classic "Agent Double-O Soul," yet it was their two albums recorded in the early 1970s of psychedelic funky blues-based rock that ensured their cult following. The 37 years since their last release have mellowed the trio. Much less psychedelic than its predecessors, Forces Of Nature sees them throwing down with more organic and laconic funk-based cuts, like "Maintain," that are less intense than you might accept, but still pack a wallop. Nature really dominates when this unit gets conscious, no more so than on the self-explanatory "Stop The War" or the chilling anti-drug tale "18 For 20 Years." For anyone interested in an oft-neglected and continuing story in American music history, Forces Of Nature is a must-hear. (Vampisoul)