Satan and Desciples - Underground (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:16 AM

C’mon, regardless of what you think of the music, you’ve got to admit the band name and the cover art (courtesy of William Mahood) were pretty hysterical. Besides, if it featured Freddy Fender, it had to have something going for it.

I can’t tell you much about this outfit. They apparently started out as a New Orleans bar band and recorded at least one single as Satan & Satin’s Roses (‘Devil Time’ b/w ‘’ xxx catalog number ), before mutating into Satin & the Desciples (sic). The goofy cover shows them to have been a quintet, while the liner notes provide a Lake Charles, Louisiana address for Goldband Records, providing some additional support for the notion they were Louisiana-based. There are no production, or performance credits, though the lineup apparently consisted of lead singer … Bates, Childs and Denson were credited as writing the material.

1969’s “Underground” is one of those album’s most folks will find thoroughly appalling. Lyrically, musically, thematically, and sonically it’s hard to argue the point. To be honest, a bunch of 5th graders could have probably come up with something at least as good. That said, there’s going to be a select group of folks who think the album is so bad as to actually have merit. Call it a character flaw, but I guess I lean towards the latter category. Overlooking the obvious characteristics, this is one strange effort. About half of the collection recalled Sam the Sham and Pharohs-styled garage rock (had they been forced to play with one arm behind their backs). With his sing/song vocals on tracks like the crazed ‘Devil Time‘ and ‘Satan On Universe’ the anonymous lead singer sounded like Sam Samudio, or Root Boy Slim after soaking in warm Budweiser for a week. Exemplified by material like ‘Satan’s First Theme’, ‘Ensane’ (sic) and the seemingly endless ‘Book of Alpha’ (and you though high school science class dragged on), the predominant satanic theme was about as ominous and threatening as a teletubby. Maybe it was just me, but backing vocals that included the phrase ‘he’s the booger man’ didn’t really serve to frighten the listener. The other half of the album was given over to strange folk and country material. ‘Why the Seas’ Are Salty’ and ‘Black Sheep’ (the latter including an accordion solo) were hysterically inept – imagine your drunk uncle deciding to sing the next time he showed at the local pub.
I’ve never seen of heard it, but there’s also a non-LP single: ‘Mummies Curse’ b/w ‘Cat’s Meow’ (Goldband catalog number 1188).
01 Satan’s First Theme – 7:45
02 Why the Sea’s Are Salty (L.G. Childs) - 2:02
03 Black Sheep (Roy O. Bates) – 2:41
04 Devil Time (Denny Denson) – 2:03
05 Satan On Universe (R.O. Bates) – 2:44
06 Ensane (Roy O Bates – Denny Densen) – 2:09
07 Book of Alpha (Roy O. Bates) – 8:17

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