Folllow Me on Twitter

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rare Bird - As Your Mind Flies By

While most of the Prog bands were following in the footsteps of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper, there was one band that took the underground scene in London into the world of Religion. That band was Rare Bird. The music wasn't just like Yes and Rick Wakeman's bombastic tradition of King Arthur on ice and gigantic baloon lobsters filling up the stage, it was more of a beauty and the Canterbury sound material-like sound. The group was founded in 1969 with Mark ashton on drums, the soulful voice of bassist Steve Gould, and two keyboardist that would get Wakeman wish that he was in this band with Graham Field and David Kaffinetti to get that dark image and almost medieval rock. While their first debut self-titled album is a classic, their second album, As Your Mind Flies By is another classic with heavy organs and an ultimate sonic sound.

The opening track What You Want To Know, a sexual encounter with a love one that becomes an organic ballad with a 10 feet high man that tells the girl about he feels about her in a Otis Redding piece becoming more of a Genesis tune. Hammerhead is a sinister taste of the bibilcal gods duking it out in the battlefield. The classical music harpischord love-soung quintet of Down on the Floor becomes a baroque tradition in the 1600's in jolly old england. The wedding music of Prog in I'm Thinking is a special treat while it goes into a bluesy fast speeding tradition and then becomes a gospel rockin' sound about the good years flashing back before getting married and the 19-minute epic Flight, gets a real rollercoaster ride of Prog epics.

Rare Bird would have various members including Nic Potter of VDGG fame. They released three more albums before calling it a day in 1975. Even though they wehre ahead of their time, They are the best Prog Rockers that would defintely get a real kick out of.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Amon Duul II - Tanz Der Lemminge

While the Krautrock scene was changing the waves in the early '70s with Ash Ra Tempel, NEU!, Can, Cluster, and the Cosmic Jokers, there was a band that had a combination of the Grateful Dead meets Pink Floyd. Amon Duul II were one of the bands that took the Krautrock genre on the bandwagon with its musical genres of avant-garde experiementations and atmospheric sounds. The group was founded back in the psychedelic-era of the late '60s after the fall of Amon Duul. They released their debut album Phallus Dei (God's Penis) a classic krautrock album along with Yeti in 1970 which according to MOJO's disc of the day "Hippy-punk communards from Munich chase drug refracted pagan gnosis!" and in 1971, Tanz Der Lemminge (Dance of the Lemmings)

A science-fiction star trekish experimental album with the space music taking you to a different world of weird insanity. The first three tracks are 15 to 19-minute suites that takes the listener inside the monolith with bizarre titles such as Restlesss Skylight-Transistor Child, Syntelman's March of the Roaring Seventies, and the foundation club to Norma Jean among the cult with the Marilyn Monroe - Memorial Church.

While the suites are like something out of Stanley Kubrick's 1968 stoner classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, the last three shorter tracks take a steeping breath of psycedelia. Chewing Gun Telegram has a reminiscent of a hard rockin sound of the Grateful Dead while Stumbling over Melted Moonlight is a prequel to their kraut punk classic Between the Eyes with its fuzztone bass sound and the gritty technique. Toxicological Whispering becomes a jamb band session into the mind of Jefferson Airplance. Weird, bizarre, and something you would defintiely get stoned over, Amon Duul II doesn't pull any punches.

CAN - Delay 1968

These were pre-Monster Movie sounds before Can released their 1st album in 1969. Delay 1968 was originally going to be their first album in a bizarre title called 'Prepared to meet thy Pnoom' catchy title ain't it? But the record company wanted them to do something different and that was when they released their first album Monster Movie. Here with this album, you could tell Can weren't sitting on their asses and doing nothing, but more of a darker session feel on the 1968 delay.

The pounding rhythm introduction on Butterfly, is a combination of PiL and early Faust recordings with a mixture of Punk Blues that would make a screeching terror sound from any Velvet Underground album. Pnoom is a 20-second avant-garde jazzy number as it goes into the heavy nugget stax destruction soul number of 19th century man. Thief which would later be covered by Can fans Radiohead, is the killing track. Mixed with a dark guitar solo from the late Michael Karoli and Malcolm Mooney's gothic voice, the band go into an evil territory. Man named Joe an R&B/Punk tradition again, but this time an homage of the 50's rock scene in an experimentation style while Uphill is a tradition of Iggy & the Stooges meets the Jimi Hendrix experience into a metal funk jam session while Little Star of Bethlehem closes the album into a hip-hop '60s style from Malcolm and then becomes a soulful Krautrockin' Mothers of Invention madness.

A mixture of soul, '60s garage rock, early Pink Floyd, and a bit of Hendrix meets Lou Reed's Transformer? They know the score!