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