Exposé Online banner

The Norman Haines Band — Den of Iniquity
(Esoteric Recordings ECLEC2301, 1971/2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-05-09

Den of Iniquity Cover artNorman Haines was the keyboardist and main songwriter in the band Locomotive on their only release We Are Everything You See, from around 1970. As things sometimes go, it wasn’t working out for Haines and he left the band before their album was released, took a little time off to rethink and plot a new direction, and then started assembling his new band. Meanwhile his former bandmates recruited new members and went on to become The Dog That Bit People, another story for another day. Here, Haines and band dwell mostly in a gritty organ-driven proto-progressive rock sound, with jazz, folk and blues influences. Vocals are shared by Haines (also the chief composer), guitarist Neil Clarke, and bassist Andy Hughes; the band is rounded out by drummer Jimmy Skidmore, who along with Hughes, propels the bottom end with verve. The album really has three phases; the original first side has five song-length compositions, the first four being catchy rock tunes kicked off by the powerful title track, followed by the Hughes co-composed "Finding My Way Home" which was the a-side of one of the band’s singles. A reworked and retitled version of Locomotive's "Mr. Armageddon" –now "Everything You See" follows, much improved over the original. The bluesy hard driving "When I Come Down" is next, before the side closes with the tasty acoustic Hughes composition "Bourgeois." The second side of the original LP features two extended pieces, kicked off by the four-part thirteen-minute Clarke composition "Rabbits," which evolves into a ripping jam that is without a doubt the album's high point. Closing the side is the eight-minute introspective keyboard instrumental "Life Is So Unkind." What follows on the CD are a gaggle of bonus tracks which include a single version of "Rabbits," the a- and b-sides of a non-LP single "Daffodil" / "Autumn Mobile," and another single recorded by Haines with different musicians after the band split, which was almost as soon as Den of Iniquity was released. Overall, this is an essential slice of British rock history.

Filed under: Reissues, 2011 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): The Norman Haines Band

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Random Acts of Happiness – It has been said that jazz is all about Swing. I’ll go along with that — as long as I get to define Swing my own way. Swing is more than just a particular rhythmic feel; Swing, to me, is...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues