HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

30 April 2009

Amon Düül - 'This is' (Metronome)

Source: Ross.

You ever wonder why Amon Düül split? I'll tell you the answer - "chops". Amon Düül II, which we'll get to soon, are total wizards with their instruments. I mean, it ain't King Crimson but it ain't the Ramones either. But you listen to this one, and it makes the Ramones look like Yngvie. I'm never one to fellate musicians for their technical ability, and in fact, it's the utter lack of it that makes this record interesting and compelling. The first track is the quintessential hippy strumjam. It goes on and on and on, sounding like a loop of a jam band being filtered through a kazoo. It shifts only so slightly, but mostly stayed locked to it's (somewhat irregular) ryhthm. When the track finally ends (it's hard to tell since the bands aren't clearly marked on the vinyl) it switches to a Teutonic guitar riff for a few moments before the familiar heavy rhythm lurches back into place. Bonehead German hippies - whose fashion on the sleeve make them look more like a biker gang, membership restricted to te back rows of the classroom. Stereo effects galore, mangled vocals, and megathick warm fuzz make a pretty sick blanket to picnic on. Side two "varies" a bit: the pieces open up and changes are actually recognizable. The vocals and synths sound haphazard, if not random, though the songs still don't go anywhere. At the very end we get some heavy tape manipulations overtop of a somewhat more frantic strum; it's fucking amazing and meatheaded and trippy, and unfortunately just too short. I did some Internet "research" to discover that this is the same album usually called Psychedelic Underground, just repackaged/retitled. That is a better title because it really sounds underground, as in covered in dirt and never seeing any sunlight. This (and the two subsequent records) all came from one big jam in '68, supposedly. I like how the songwriting credits on every track are all 'Amon Düül/Amon Düül' - lyrics and music?

No comments:

Post a Comment