BLOG TO COMM GRATUITOUS TOSS-OUT, 11/8/08
Maybe I should have had the following disques (and book) ruminate in the fertile soil of my imagination a bit before committing my opinions to type, but since I was so anxious to get a post out to you reg'lar readers I figured that some half-gestated reviews would be much better than no reviews at all. Anyway, here are just a few of the newies that graced my ears (and eyes!) since we last gabbed!
***Various Artists- KRAUT-BLOODY-RAGEOUS! (THE FOURTH INCARNATION OV THEE OBSCURED HUNGRY KRAUT DADDY DEMON) CD (no label info)
Always being on the search for more great proto-whatever early-seventies high energy dig ins to soothe my savage boobies, I decided to latch onto this by-now obscurity to acquaint myself with even more wacky krautrock that somehow didn't make itself known the first time around. And sheesh, what a bunch of no account LOSERS these acts be! Now I know how Andrew Lauder felt listening to the hundreds of tapes sent him by various Teutonic wannabes trying to get onto the United Artists label! All funnin' aside, this collection, like just about any other gatherin' of various scene-related odds and sods, has its good moments, maybe one or two bad ones and of course a whole load of feh. Amongst the former include the b-side of Jo Hamann's single ("Wild Woman") which reminds me of something Lauder would have had the good sense to sign to UA with its pretty hot kraut proto-punk drive and zeal as well as this Can rarity taken from the soundtrack to a German tee-vee special (kinda cheap spy-music-ish, nothing that different from a load of late-sixties euro soundtrack musings, complete with a guest saxist honking away) that probably would have sounded more "in place" on a bootleg devoted to the group. The rest of it ranges from slightly interesting (unreleased Monks!) to aural dribble that passes through you faster than prune juice. Coulda used more of the ear-turning energetic stuff, but I have the feeling that it is all in rather short supply.
***Raven-BACK TO OHIO BLUES CD-R (Owl)
The second Paul McGarry ripped Cee-Dee-Are to hit the laser launching pad, this item had various fans of the seventies local-release brigades skiddin' shorts ever since its recent re-release and subsequent discovery by folks who I guess have nothing better to do than follow the reissue scene for whatever that is worth. Raven was (is?) some Ohio guy who not only made the trek to Columbus Ohio's Owl Studios to make these blues/folk rock recordings but actually got this loner-rock album released on their very own label! Dunno much more about him, other than his album is really nothing much to toss the cornflakes about with standard mid-seventies rock moves backing up his acoustic folk rock cantatas and FM rock blooze chooze which were pretty much overdone by this time these '75 sessions were laid down. Frankly, I can't see why any serious underground rock fan could get excited over this, unless it's because the reissue scene has dried up to the point where just about anything would sound good to even the follower who would've laughed this off the face of the earth twennysome years back. For completists only, if you're into the stoned folk blues bag self-pressed aesthetic I guess.
By the way, the Owl Studios where Raven recorded is the very same one where, around the same time, Cleveland underground legend Mirrors recorded a whole album's worth of tracks which to date have only been released in part. And as you'd probably already know I'd much prefer to hear an album of that than I would this, but as R. Meltzer once said "Wha' th' hey?"
***Slade-PLAY IT LOUD CD-R (Polydor)
Another McGarry burn, and and pretty haute one too as it captures the famed British "glam" band Slade right before they started to make inroads into the local scene during the just-post psychedelic washout days of the very early seventies. Slade were, at least to me, an erratic band but I still find them, at their best, one of the more exciting things to happen (as far as show-offy English poof rock goes) during a time when they had to restrain Greg Shaw from plugging up the cracks and turning on the gas because it sure wasn't "coming back"! After a good six or so years of piddling around with good albeit missout records Slade started to hone their sound on this 'un...they're still in the post-Beatles hard-pop bag of their Ambrose Slade material, yet with more of a working class crunch that sorta separates them from other Beatle wannabes like Barclay James Harvest and even the Move. Nice sublime energy current here, and while this is a far cry from the heavy metal that the group would eventually excel in before making their fiery late-seventies crash it still holds up fine next to most of the British competition of the time. And, as to somehow make a comparison between the Slade of 1970 and the hit-making version of a few years later there are three bonus tracks from the group's infamous funny spelled title days which shows off the hand-stomping mania and obvious T. Rex inspired schmooze these guys would wow the entire continent, not to mention Lydia Laske, with! Well, at least you had good enough taste to make a copy of this for me, eh Paul?
***BARBED WIRE ON THE PRAIRIE (A LUCKY LUKE ADVENTURE #7) book by Morris and Goscinny (Cinebooks England, 2007)
After the Lucky Luke roundup a few posts back, I decided to lasso up this recent English translation which is part of a new series being published over in Merrie Molde. Unfortunately it ain't of one of Luke's earlier adventures when the artwork was crisper but it'll do until some of those make their way into the public sphere. Basically the tale of Luke helping out some farmers in the middle of a cattle war (complete with the standard LUCKY LUKE sarcasm and historical relevance), BARBED WIRE has got enough action packed slam-bang-pow to satisfy any Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kid you'd care to think of and it's a shame these didn't get around in Ameriga back in the day when they really woulda been appreciated on a mass scale. And, considering the b-movie subject matter of the plot, it's pretty amazing that this kind of western action was actually conceived in 1967 (the year when the original Belgian edition was published) because by that time the "adult" western pretty much put the old style to bed, or at least to endless Saturday afternoon broadcasts on your local UHF station. But if you still have a soft spot, or maybe even soft head for the traditional western style, BARBED WIRE will amply fit the kit, Carson!