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McChurch Soundroom - Delusion CD (album) cover


McChurch Soundroom



3.60 | 51 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars Every once in a while an album pops up that seems like it had the perfect band name and album cover for an entire different musical genre that wouldn't appear for decades after its release. I mean doesn't a band name like MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM cry out the perfect doom metal band? Add to that a black mass inspired skull with candle wax melted all over it as the album cover and an album titled DELUSION and it just sounds so right, for a Candlemass album maybe! But lo and behold, despite emerging in 1971 with one album in the days of metal's birth pangs in the wake of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM were an eclectic jammy blues rock type of heavy psych. Although lumped into Germany's greater Krautrock tag, this Swiss band from Basel was more on the accessible side of the Kraut movement light years away from fellow Swiss trippers Brainticket.

Despite the Swiss nationality, MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM sound more English than continental as they copy and paste aspects of Jethro Tull flute oriented folk with hard blues rock that sounded like any old band of the era only with an ethnic percussive bombast. Lead singer Sandy McChurch (a guy) not only nails the Ian Anderson vocal style (at times but not always sounds like JT) but also worships his flautist abilities as well. While the album begins sounding like a long lost JT album, the album is more diverse and jams quite a bit with lengthy drum soloing (as on "Dream Of A Drummer") and psychedelic organ trippiness straight out of the 60s. In fact the album sounds like a long lost 60s archival release with a nonchalant approach to musical composition with lysergic mind trips popping in with studio effects and extended mind bending weirdness.

Weird indeed but not weird enough despite appearing on the German Pilz (Mushroom) label which hosted some of Kraut's most out there bands of the day including Anima, Wallenstein, Bröselmaschine, Flute & Voice and many others. MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM on the other hand sounds very much like an ordinary blues oriented rock band of the day that happened to pay extended tributes to the trippier parts of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." The music is very much based in a bluesy boogie rock with psychedelic organ frosting lacing it with Haight-Ashbury period psychedelia. While drummer Norbert Jud steals the show with his energetic and eclectic percussive styles, unfortunately the rest of the band is pretty standard for the latter end of the 60s. I think MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM didn't get the memo that prog rock was well underway at this point and DELUSION sounds a good two years behind the pack with only occasional detours into more creative progressive outings such as on "What Are You Doin'"

Despite the rather dated feel to the album, the extended jamming sessions that make up "Dream Of A Drummer" and "What Are You Doin'" do flesh out various moods that justify their lengthy meandering into the trip-o-sphere. Krautrock is a devilish beast with some of the most adventurous music in progressive rock having emerged within its confines, however MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM is one of those that played it a little to safe for my tastes. The compositions aren't melodic enough to inspire a killer hard rock based blues album and it's not nearly creative or adventurous enough to enter the true psychedelic bizarr-o-sphere either. DELUSION sits somewhere in between. Decent and non-offensive to the ears with nothing to really help it stand out from the burgeoning crowds of the era. It's apparent that the band had kernels of nascent creativity gestating as DELUSION rolls on but a sophomore album was never meant to be. Unfortunately, i love the album cover and preconception of what the album should've sounded like more than the album itself. Despite it all, it's not a bad listen either.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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