Those who remember the Monty Python skit about the "groovy" Royal Navy recruitment campaign will be left jaw-dropped by Hell Below, an archival release featuring participants in actual US Army "Battle of the Bands" contests from the late 1960s.
The successful entrants – funk groups East Of Underground, The Black Seeds and The Sound Trek, and hapless wannabe-hippies Soap – had their efforts released in a ludicrous bid to boost flagging recruitment during Vietnam. Underground were the best, a flamboyantly-attired, multi-racial show band in the Family Stone mould, whose covers of Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield and Santana tingle with the excitement of escape from military drudgery. Sadly, only one member of the four bands has since been traced – for potentially more tragic reasons than usual.
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