Friday, July 15, 2011

Electric Sandwich - Electric Sandwich 1973

With plenty of Mellotron lending itself to a base of jazz-rock fusion, the members of Electric Sandwich used improvisation and the skills they had learned from other bands to create a spirited self-titled album. Each track grasps a different type of progressive rock element and tempo so that something new arises with every cut. The lyrics are intelligent and conceptual, effusing a folklore essence in their poetry. But the words soon become overshadowed, especially in the introductory track entitled "China," thanks to the peculiar swing and quiver of the saxophone. "China" is easily the album's strongest, combining a hippie-esque sway to the beatnik pounce of the background drums. When prominent, Jochen Carthaus' vocals reflect a semi-gruff fringe blues sound that clings tightly to the instruments, even when the keyboards are accompanying him. "Devil's Dream" soars on the unaccustomed texture of Carthaus' singing, but it's the mysterious-sounding guitar riff and an unsteady, unfamiliar rhythm that makes it unique. In "Material Darkness," the unmitigated horn work makes for an expansive jazz-like backdrop for the guitar and keys. On the whole, Electric Sandwich is a rather pleasing assortment of numerous progressive styles, all of which are steered unwaveringly by a rock-induced composite. Sadly, the band's talents wouldn't prosper any further. After this album, many of Electric Sandwich's personnel demanded the band take on a jazzier sound, which led to a dismantling of the group a short time after this release. AMG.
listen here (new link)


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