ROLLING STONE OCTOBER 29, 1970
THE UNSPOKEN WORD (Atco SD 33-335)

The Unspoken Word has been a working unit for about four years now. They have survived a lousy deal with United Artists that bore an albuim that suffered fromn over-production and inexperience and a pleasant single that was quickly covered by The Sunshine Company. For the next three years, they avoided recording studios and recoprd executives, content to work out their music in every shit-kicking discotheque from Long Island to Camden.

At last, they have put together a representative and satisfying album on Atco.

The group is essentially built around the powerful vocals of Dede Puma and the lead guitar and singing of Zhenya (Gene) Stashuk.

The purity of their vocal quality is made clear on the two folk selections, "Sleeping Prophet", accompanied only by piano, and "Sleepy Mountain Ecstasy", accompanied only by acoustic guitar. Both songs are beautiful, flowing, personal (and universal) hymns.

But most of their songs are rock and roll. Not dated nostalgia, but rock and roll in the genre of Spooky Tooth, the old Small Faces, or, more specifically, Spirit's "I Got A Line On You". Rhapsodically powerful and infectious music without pretension or ornaments.

The Unspoken Word is no derivitive band: they are not running after some bandwagon with the current "in" trends. With roots in the folk era of the early Sixties, they developed their music in dance joints during the embryonic stages of "progressive rock". Two flaws: Albert King's "Personal Manager" is given an imitative vocal treatment from the group's now departed keyboard man. And probably because of the inability of the producer, they do not achieve the fullness of sound that their music deserves.

Nevertheless, a thoroughly enjoyable album, the kind you play repeatedly.

Michael Cuscuna

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