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Guru Guru - Don't Call Us - We Call You CD (album) cover


Guru Guru



2.90 | 34 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Well even if you can still hear some traces of the wild experimental early Guru, it is clear that this is a new group, which decided to move on, but has yet to find a proper new direction, but will take a couple more years and a break up to find it, really! Still directed by drummer extraordinaire Mani Neumeier, backed with guitarist Ax Genrich and new bassist Hartman (replacing Trepte was definitely no easy task), the group recorded their fifth album in the summer of 73, the first for their new label Atlantic. With a kitsch artwork and a dumb name (but we know this never stopped Germans to make good rock music), this album was (as mentioned above) a change in direction.

Even with the 12-min+ opener Africa Srteals the Show, the double Guru shows right off the bat that they've taken a much more commercial approach: often corny, sometimes grotesque and cheesy in some cases. I must say that this Guru period is still a problem for me to accept fully, as I tend to dismiss these albums as a troubled transition period, where the group will even disband and reform a bit by a stroke of luck. Don't get me wrong, there are some fine moments in all these albums, but there are also times when the German cabaret spectre and the Oktoberfest beer binging music. Coming back to the lengthy opener, the track gets lost in an average drum solo, but gets saved by bells percussions. While the music is well played, it is completely patchy, disjointed and directionless, even going through a bluesy passage calling to their Kanguru album, even if most of the time evoking fun times. The next track (Round Dance) is starting out with the old space rock, but it is rather tamed compared to the wild stuff of their debut, but offers a bit of nostalgia, but follows it with pseudo Amerindian chants (they hit European's imagination that year with their last uprising of Wounded Knee) and then a guitar work out with Genrich gets a chance to let loose a bit. Completely patchy, but maybe my fave track on the album.

After such a bizarre first side, one had to hope the second one would make more sense, but not really: the three tracks are just as lost as before. The opening track, the aptly-named 200 Clichés sounds like some Hot Tuna, but fails to show the bass and guitar genius, even if the drums are superior to Jorma's group. The following track takes the almost grotesque side of Gong (but lacking the genius or humour) and extends it with a Latin feel guitar, tries to sound like a Pixie (almost manages too), but will remain a Pothead. The closing track Guru Ltd starts Flamenco then veers JL Hooker- blues, before heading to early Tuna again, then a folky Floyd, followed by a cheesy country banjo piece, etc. Gather you'll have understood by now. Finishing in bubbly Hare Krishna chants with a kazoo. Shhhiiitttt!!!!.. Not funny!

While this album is much more even than its predecessor, it fails to have any real highlights either, no tracks sticking out as particularly special. At the end of this album, another original member Ax Genrich will leave the group providing another real blow. Prestigious and experienced guitarists will try to fill his shoes: Nejadepour (from Eiliff) and the immense Conny Veit (from everything, really), but to no avail. Not really essential for the average proghead or the casual fans, but if you are a confirmed fan of Guru, this is still a worthy album for you.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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