Andy McCarroll (UK)

Through Different Eyes D&A 1975
Most modern collectors will recognize Andy from his aggressive new wave 80's band Moral Support. Their sole album Zionic Bonds (as well as classics by Ishmael United, Rev Counta, and Bill Mason Band) ushered in a British Christian punk era. Well, in time, after hearing of rumored pre-Moral Support material, I was pleased to finally confirm the existence of these two solo lps. Now we couldn't expect Andy to be doing punk rock back in 1975, but what he does deliver on the custom lp Through Different Eyes Now is far from laid back. Yeah, there are a few ballads, but they're never sappy. A good deal of the lp is aggressive folky rock and roll with a full band sound and Andy's harmonica wailing in the foreground. And talk about exuberance! This guy has a childlike excitement about Christ that is unquenchable. This lp may well win the most- references-to-Jesus award: the album opens with 'Thank You Jesus', then on to 'Jesus Jesus'. Balanced with a strong compassion for the lost, as on 'Nightmare', a vision of souls 'damned to hell forever'. Andy's humor peeks in occasionally as on 'Back On The Road Again' ("I was a mule, I was such a fool"). Comes in a textured basket-weave cover. KS

Epitaph For A Rebel Grapevine 1978
Epitaph exhibits more of a commercial pop rock sound, pushing even towards MOR at times and is hence less satisfying for me. Most of the folk elements are gone, with the exception of the 9- minute Dylanesque epic 'Tombstone' which is nothing but Andy, guitar, and harmonica. Here the simple folk protest style is used to protest who else? - the devil. Side two comes up with a pair of more energetic rockers, making up for the somewhat bland ballads that dominated side one. By all means get your British friends to track these down. KS