“Hog Child” is the fourth track on Good Morning Starshine, Strawberry Alarm Clock‘s final LP from 1969. The overall vibe of “Hog Child” is bluesy, organ-fuelled rock, in keeping with the general feel of the album (especially as compared with the group’s previous LP, the curiously lush The World In A Sea Shell). SAC uses the song to again show off some interesting arrangements and studio trickery, including a backwards guitar solo and some really cool tempo changes. At over five minutes, “Hog Child” is one of the band’s longer workouts.
Mark Weitz’s keyboards are shown to be particularly adept on “Hog Child”; his screaming solos wouldn’t be out of place on a Deep Purple album. The bulk of the middle section of “Hog Child” is dominated by the lengthy aforementioned backwards guitar solo — that’s the frequency, R.E.M.! The vocals of Jim Pitman are again gruff and hollered, and rather heavily echoed — a noble effort but not particularly potent, when all is sung and done. At around 3:20 in the song, there is a great transition from one section to another that is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s dramatic “Come On, Part 1” from Electric Ladyland, just before Jimi unleashes his great solo.
The end of “Hog Child”, after the band has worked itself into and exhausted its various frenzies, is one of the stranger little audio collages Strawberry Alarm Clock came up with on any album: some snorting hog noises beside hyper-sped up crying/laughing human voices. It’s like the end of the Beatles’ “Good Morning, Good Morning” meets the Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett outtake “Scream Thy Last Scream”. Weird.
LP: Good Morning Starshine (1969)