An echo-chambered “This Is The Rock” starts off Kiln House, Fleetwood Mac’s latest album, setting the stage for one of the strangest albums this group has ever given us.
Known initially as a blues band, they evolved into a combination of blues, rock and some jazz. Now Fleetwood Mac is into old rock, heard for the most part of this album. “This Is The Rock” is straight out of the world of Gene Vincent with a yelling-singing style, heavy echo, strutting music and echoed back-up singers. ‘Hi Ho Silver’ is more old rock, but done closer to a group singing style.
All these old styles are augmented with Fleetwood Mac’s more up-to-date professionalism, without losing the 1950s flavor. “Buddy’s Song” is an obvious tribute to Buddy Holly, although the lyrics may sound as if they’re making fun of the singer. To a “Peggy Sue” arrangement, they sing “You say you’re going to leave, well that’ll be the day, Maybe baby you don’t know, I left Peggy Sue a long time ago.”
For no apparent reason, but then maybe one isn’t necessary, a good Western song called “Blood on the Floor” pops up. It’s the kind of tune you’d called a “cowboy song,” talking of jails and “I’m not sorry but I’m sore, blood on the floor.”
The album is so varied. “Earl Gray” is an instrumental, “One Together” is close to folk with a heavy touch of country, and “Mission Bell” is done in what seems to be the exact same arrangement of the original hit. Kiln House is an interesting album. Fleetwood Mac seems to have put some fun into its life.
Mike Gormley / Detroit Free Press / December 13, 1970