In the current CD re-issue series Vicious Sloth continue to trawl through Australias rock heritage in an effort to unearth those criminally underrated and overlooked gems from the early seventies. As gems go Melissa's 1971 album 'Midnight Trampoline' takes its place alongside the other albums in this series as an extra fine listening experience. Originally known as Molten Hue, Melissa was one of the first bands on the Sydney "head" scene of the early seventies to include obscure West Coast material in their live set. Forever caught between the totally dedicated flower children out for their dose of psychedelia and acid-rock, and the simple popsters of the day, the band members must have suffered no small identity crisis. At its peak Melissa was able to play concerts at Paddington Town Hall and Sydneys famed Arts Factory alongside renowned underground outfit Tully, as well as commanding a large following on the suburban dance circuit. The original Melissa line-up came together in 1969 around Robert Gunn (flute, vocals), Rick Barrett (guitars), Ken Frazier (bass, vocals) and Warren 'Wal' Spark (drums). Not long after the band s formation, Irishman Joe Creighton replaced Ken Frazier. From early beginnings playing acid-rock, Melissa developed into an innovative rock band incorporating subtle country and jazz-blues overtones. The story of Melissa's debut album, Midnight Trampoline, is your typical saga of bad deals and lost opportunities. Recorded over a period of nine months, the album eventually appeared on the Banner label to little response at the end of 1971. 'Midnight Trampoline' stands as an intriguing artefact that combines esoteric, folksy-rock redolent of Jethro Tull ('Matalla', 'Getting Through'), Moody Blues-styled pastoral pop ('Out in the Country', 'Jennifer In New York'), progressive blues-rock ('Cuckoo'), and two Van Morrison covers ('Young Lovers Do', 'Madame George'). The band was obviously taken with Morrisons Astral Weeks album, and indeed Creighton bore a remarkable vocal resemblance to Van the Man. Prospects looked promising, but various pressures and frustrations brought to bear over the album severely undermined any sense of unity. By the time the album appeared there was a new Melissa line-up, but the band continued to tour before finally breaking up at the end of 1972. Mastered from the original tapes, here once again for your enjoyment Melissa with 'Midnight Trampoline',
in the original artwork with added liner notes.