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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Calhoun - Native Lands – Drummer Will Calhoun is best known for his work in Living Colour with guitarist Vernon Reid. Native Lands is a release showcasing the influences of jazz, rap, and world music on Calhoun's approach,...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues