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Selections from my Record Collection : Primevil - Smokin' Bats At Campton's (1974)

I really dislike cliché categorisations of artists and music to "trendy" genres. I do not consider myself a professional music writer or an "industry" expert but the 30-plus years that I have been listening and purchasing almost all kinds of music, entitle me to my own opinion. Primevil are one of these bands of the seventies which have been frequently labeled as "proto-stoner" in an attempt to commercially "push" their rare (thus expensive) album by "jumping in the bandwagon" of stoner rock.

Originating from Indiana, this short-lived Hard Rock group comprising of teenagers vocalist Dave Campton, guitarists Larry Lucas and Jay Wilfong, bassist Mark Sipe, and drummer Mel Cupp (Moe Whittemore contributed synthesizers in the studio) released their debut and only album Smokin' Bats at Campton's in 1974. Being less heavy than Black Sabbath and more blues oriented, the material of Smokin' Bats at Campton's despite the awesome guitar work and the very distinct bass playing, failed to attract recognition and commercial success for Primevil at their time. Due mostly to its rarity and less to its virtues (as it usually happens in such cases) it became a collector's item getting sold at high prices in discogs and e-bay and seeing several (inevitable) bootleg releases before finally the greek reissue label ANAZITISI Records printed a proper and decent version of the vinyl (which is also now sold-out and rare).

I am not a fan of bootlegs but I would also never pay an amount in the range between 100-500 Euros for getting this album. Maybe hardcore collectors of the subgenre would, however casual fans of early Hard Rock (like me) can accommodate themselves with the CD.

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