Exposé Online banner

The Norman Haines Band — Den of Iniquity
(Esoteric Recordings ECLEC2301, 1971/2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-05-09

Den of Iniquity Cover artNorman Haines was the keyboardist and main songwriter in the band Locomotive on their only release We Are Everything You See, from around 1970. As things sometimes go, it wasn’t working out for Haines and he left the band before their album was released, took a little time off to rethink and plot a new direction, and then started assembling his new band. Meanwhile his former bandmates recruited new members and went on to become The Dog That Bit People, another story for another day. Here, Haines and band dwell mostly in a gritty organ-driven proto-progressive rock sound, with jazz, folk and blues influences. Vocals are shared by Haines (also the chief composer), guitarist Neil Clarke, and bassist Andy Hughes; the band is rounded out by drummer Jimmy Skidmore, who along with Hughes, propels the bottom end with verve. The album really has three phases; the original first side has five song-length compositions, the first four being catchy rock tunes kicked off by the powerful title track, followed by the Hughes co-composed "Finding My Way Home" which was the a-side of one of the band’s singles. A reworked and retitled version of Locomotive's "Mr. Armageddon" –now "Everything You See" follows, much improved over the original. The bluesy hard driving "When I Come Down" is next, before the side closes with the tasty acoustic Hughes composition "Bourgeois." The second side of the original LP features two extended pieces, kicked off by the four-part thirteen-minute Clarke composition "Rabbits," which evolves into a ripping jam that is without a doubt the album's high point. Closing the side is the eight-minute introspective keyboard instrumental "Life Is So Unkind." What follows on the CD are a gaggle of bonus tracks which include a single version of "Rabbits," the a- and b-sides of a non-LP single "Daffodil" / "Autumn Mobile," and another single recorded by Haines with different musicians after the band split, which was almost as soon as Den of Iniquity was released. Overall, this is an essential slice of British rock history.

Filed under: Reissues, 2011 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): The Norman Haines Band

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Il Bacio della Medusa - Il Bacio della Medusa & Giovane Amante – Il Bacio della Medusa (Medusa’s Kiss) are relative newcomers on the Italian prog scene, though like many they’ve been smitten by the sound of the early 70s. Their self-produced debut caught the...  (2008) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues