taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of the moment

THE ELIMINATORS — Loving Explosion

The Eliminators’ 1972 release Loving Explosion within their horn- and percussion-focused arrangement. Loving Explosion looks at every possible outcome within the group’s dynamic, setting Donald Clark’s mighty preacher-man wail against the harmonies of uncredited female backing vocalists on the title track to open and pairs Clark with the gentle tenor of Levon Meyers on the heavily sampled “Get Satisfied.” Everyone gets their moment to stand out; Clark channels Wilson Pickett on “Love Your Woman” and Meyers shines on the smoldering “Try, Try, Try.” The instrumental passages are where Loving Explosion excels most, however. The guitar duo of Calvin Rhodes and Robert Burris is a scintillating combo of quasi-psychedelic and rolling wahwah that recalls Eddie Hazel and Dennis Coffey on Ruth Cope land’s solo album Self Portrait. The album’s doesn’t show all of its cards right away. Rather, the legendary Winston-Salem funk and soul outfit’s lone release is not surprisingly one takes great care in probing and revealing its own sprawl- of its best, with James ing intricacies over the course of 10 tracks. The album’s buoyant flute Funches real-time evolution from sparkling pop-soul (“Loving taking turns with Explosion”) to knee-buckling breaks (“Rump Bump”) Rhodes’ heavily reverbed guitar while sax and trumpet bleed in.

If there’s any single standout thoughout, it’s producer Alonzo Tucker who coaxes greatness out of what would be the band’s only offering. That their follow-up would never see the light of day is a testament to the album’s lightning-in-a-bottle excellence.


The Eliminators will reunite for a performance this Saturday at Winston-Salem State’s Anderson Center. Tickets are $30.

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