Grown In U.S.A., Uni­ver­sal Record­ing Artists, US, 1972, £750+

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

Formed in 1967 while the mem­bers were study­ing at Texas State Uni­ver­sity, San An­to­niobased band Homer re­leased three de­cent psy­che­delic-rock 45s prior to record­ing Grown In U.S.A. But when their deal with Columbia Records fell through, the al­bum was even­tu­ally re­leased lo­cally in late 1972 with a press­ing of just 1,000 copies.

Record­ing and pro­duc­ing the al­bum them­selves took the best part of a year, which may have cost them some im­por­tant mo­men­tum, as up to this point the band had built up a sig­nif­i­cant lo­cal fol­low­ing and were at the fore­front of the Texas rock scene. And they should have had a wider au­di­ence, as Grown In U.S.A. is an ex­cel­lent al­bum that mixes ru­ral rock with oc­ca­sional psy­che­delic pro­gres­sive touches, aided by fre­quent, taste­ful use of Mel­lotron.

Homer were fronted by two lead vo­cal­ists, Phil Bepko and Frank Coy, and the gui­tar play­ing of Galen Niles and Howard Gloor is ex­cep­tional. Opener Cir­cles In The North, dis­plays all of their tal­ents per­fectly and is a great slice of melodic hard rock, Tak­ing Me Home and Daw­son Creek take a de­tour into coun­try, and so the band come across like a strange mix of The Byrds and The Moody Blues. There aren’t re­ally any all-out heavy tracks, al­though there are some good heavy mo­ments, con­trast­ing well with the ru­ral pas­tures.

Due to lack of air­play and na­tional me­dia cov­er­age, Grown In U.S.A. wasn’t re-pressed, and Homer folded in 1974. LD

‘An ex­cel­lent al­bum that mixes ru­ral rock with psychedelia.’

Riches from the rock un­der­ground

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