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Klaatu - 3:47 E.S.T. CD (album) cover

3:47 E.S.T.

Klaatu

 

Prog Related

3.27 | 72 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Canadian Beatles?

Yes, this is the band, back in '76 when they released their debut effort, 3:47 EST people started proclaiming that they were The Beatles reformed under an alias. It certainly isn't hard to see why when listening to the album - you have some good, wholesome rock mixed with a bit of psychedelia elements and the vocals actually do sound closer to The Beatles than one could expect possible at some points. Beatles comparisons aside, this is a good first effort from the Canadian group that apparently made for an amazing follow-up when they released Hope a few years later. This effort is something of an 'immature' one, the songs bounce between being dead serious and being so off-the-wall strange that you'd think someone like Zappa could have written them (only without the perversion).

Where Klaatu really makes the best of their time is the songs that are most akin to prog on the album. While many of the other songs on the album are a bit shorter, bluesier or rockier they just don't measure up to the book-ending excellent tracks that are on the album. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft sounds creepily like The Beatles combined with David Bowie while at the same time having the same kind of space rock qualities of Floyd. Little Neutrino is the final track on the album and the song which really makes the album into a solid one. Its also the lengthiest track, clocking at just over 8-minutes. The use of vocal effects and subtle instrumentation really makes for a big build to the tune which explodes at moments to make the fullest effect of the song.

Some of the shorter songs on the album are quite good as well. California Jam is a rocky tune with some good melodies, and Sub-Rosa Subway has some excellent moments as well between the chorus and guitar riffing. The even more rock in flavor, True Life Hero has some excellent guitar parts to match the vocal parts, and actually makes for a rare moment on the album where it turns almost into pure rock thanks to the distortion. Dr. Marvello really does enforce that Beatles sound once more with the use of eastern sounds and the vocals, once again. It also calls to mind acts like The Moody Blues with its sombre atmosphere.

Unfortunately there's a couple of songs that do hold the album back from greater things. It would seem that the band really didn't know what they wanted out of the release, and so the album ping-pongs between that serious mode and the more sarcastic mode, which can be a little frustrating when you're listening to it. Anus Of Uranus is the better of the two more annoying songs, it has a grumbly and bluesy guitar riff but there's just something about it that makes you go, ''eh?''. Still, a good tune that doesn't break the momentum, unlike the completely whack-job Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III which almost sounds like, It's A Wonderful World thanks to the voice, but it's not. Nothing particularly impressive about the song, and the 'sailor boy' harmonies at the end of the song are quite painful. Best just to reach for the skip button on this song, particularly when it's followed up with something as fantastic as Little Neutrino.

An uneven album that certainly has some fantastic ups and some really downing downs, but overall it's an album worth getting for anyone who likes a little rock in their psychedelia, or who really believe that The Beatles never broke up, they just moved to Canada.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |

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