Classic Cuts (August 2014)

The Groundhogs

The Groundhogs were one of the most overlooked bands of the psychedelic blues-rock era of the seventies. In 1971 they released their second album simply titled Split. Guitar legend Tony McPhee, who wrote every track on the album, delivers some of the most amazingly haunting vocals along with some insanely crazy guitar playing throughout the entire album. There are plenty of hooks and blazing guitar licks, tons of feedback and some exceptionally trippy use of the wang and wah wah.

Side one of the original vinyl album consists of the title track being split into four parts although each track stands independently with the only real connection being found in the lyrics. Apparently McPhee suffered a series of panic attacks in 1970 that inspired him to express his feelings of panic, confusion and paranoia within these four tracks, Split part one, part two, part three and part four.

Side two opens with Cherry Red, a hard edge rock song with some mind damaging guitar work . This was to become a bit of a favourite amongst fans at their live shows. A Year In The Life is a slowish dirge sounding much like it may have been written and performed in a cemetery in the middle of the night. Junkman is an amazing track that conjures up eerie visions of evil and adversity with its’ many groaning and howling sound effects which are unbelievably all done on guitar.

The final track Groundhog demonstrates the ease at which this guitar god steps into the solo arena with an amped up acoustic guitar and delivers the final moments of an album that leaves you wanting more.

A brilliant and creative album that somehow got missed at the time. Every fan of 70’s heavy stoner blues-rock should have this album in their collection!

Ray McGrotty is the owner/manager of Record City Collectables, 433 Nepean Highway, Frankston. Record City stocks a vast array of memorabilia, cassettes and vinyl, rare and unseen releases as well as current favourites. If you’d like to suggest a Classic Cut, drop him a line at