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Faust - So Far CD (album) cover





3.56 | 152 ratings

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5 stars Yeah, I read the warning about the 5 star reviews, but this one deserves every star I can give it. By trimming down some of the white noise sprawl of their debut, Faust unknowingly created their masterpiece, on a par with Can's Tago Mago or Neu!'s first album. Be warned their are still some pretty abrasive (and alien) passages in here, this is Faust after all!

And what better way to get things going than with Faust's best ever song "It's a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl". It plays like a big, shiny cartoon version of the Velvet Underground: repetitive beyond belief with drums that will pound your head into mush, distorted acoustic guitar, nicely off-key vocals chanting the title of the song, and a guitar solo that's all feedback. As if that weren't enough we also get (why not?) a harmonica and sax solo just for good measure...

"On the Way to Abame" follows with soft acoustic guitar, one of the few "pretty" sounding tracks Faust made. A little medieval sounding perhaps. But we can tell things are about to turn ugly: some dark synth tones are lurking deep in the mix.

All hell breaks loose on "No Harm": after a brief intro reminiscent of Atom Heart Mother, a police siren comes in and splattery fuzz guitars start panning all over the place and we are launched headlong into a psychedelic jam, yet with a distinctly German groove. About 4 minutes in the band starts screaming "DADDY, TAKE THE BANANA! TOMORROW IS SUNDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!", and this continues for some 10 minutes. All this sounds like a mess on paper, but it's incredibly fun to hear. Quintessential Faust.

"So Far", another fun track with the band playing a lopsided R&B groove and ambient electronics in the background, which get louder and louder until they swallow up the song entirely. Some heavily processed drums are faded in, forming the base for "Mamie Is Blue". This track is really advanced for 1972, a dadaist proto-industrial groove that quite literally sounds like the inside of some futuristic robot factory! Pure genius, especially when you consider that this predated Nurse With Wound and Throbbing Gristle by 5 years or so.

"Iv'e Got My Car and My TV" sounds like a lullaby-for-children-you-hate, or maybe it's from some German-language Sesame Street ripoff. In all honesty it doesn't matter, it's a quick silly little song. The lyrics seem vaguely satirical. It's less than a minute before we head into the theme from "Picnic on a Frozen River" (although not labeled as such) with some jazzy sax and guitar solos. Faust would later re-record this for Faust IV.

The track that is labeled as "Picnic on a Frozen River" is a 40 second blip of musique concrete. It sounds like they were trying to compose a song with short clips of found sound. It ends as quickly as it started and we hear...

...another 40 second blast of musique concrete. "Me lack space in the spirit..." the voice creaks, sounding like what a rusty water spigot might sound like if it could sing, and all manner of crazy noises are going on in the background. The album concludes with, of all things, a music-hall ditty. More dadaist lyrics bring everything all back home with a woozy brass section to boot. Proof positive that even Faust's supposedly "normal" albums are still weirder and funnier than anything a normal rock band could serve up!

All in all, one fiendish rollercoaster ride of an album, not as abrasive as their debut, but just as entertainting to those with an open mind. If their is any album to start your Faust collection with, it's this one.

TheGreatGlorph | 5/5 |


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