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Yezda Urfa - Sacred Baboon CD (album) cover

SACRED BABOON

Yezda Urfa

 

Eclectic Prog

3.90 | 144 ratings

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Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars God what a band. After years of prog hunting it's not often the cynical and jaded fan comes across a true masterpiece they hadn't already heard. But that's exactly what Sacred Baboon will be for many. And though magnificent, Yezda Urfa (a name taken from regions in Iran[Yazd] and Turkey) was not as tight as Yes, precious as Genesis, bold as Crimson or cool as Tull. They were just one of the finest American prog bands ever and this 1976 recording - a proper session made after the Boris demo - is so full of consistently high-quality material, it's hard to fully digest at times. Other than the easy Gentle Giant comparisons, the closest thing to these five ingenious madmen would be S.F. avant-garders Cartoon, though technically YU out-do even them.

The silly song titles belie a fantastically intricate and demanding paradigm of whimsy and obsessive brilliance, as on 'Give em Some Rawhide Chewies' and 'Cancer of the Band' with the group's vocal rounds negotiated flawlessly by lead singer Rick Rodenbaugh, keyboardist Phil Kimbrough, bassist Marc Miller who also handles cello and Vibes, and Mark Tippins on guitar. 10-minute 'To-Ta in the Moya' and the two cuts that follow will be familiar to fans of the Boris re-release [also Syn-phonic, thanks for a great production Greg!], will remind of Yes's more adventurous periods and features mind-bending key changes, modulations and rearrangements. Really cool track.

Pop music this is not and I don't wonder they were completely missed in their time, or any time for that matter. I mean, what were these guys?; Avant garde? A hippie art band? Tragically misunderstood or indulgent crap? No, just progressive rock at its best and most troublesome. 'Flow Guides Aren't My Bag' proves it with calamitous playing between drummer Brad Christoff & bassist Miller, Tippins' sure acoustic ax, and an urgent, popping arrangement by Kimbrough. Split personalties of brilliantly mad '(My Doc Told Me I Had)Doggie Head' and '3,Almost 4,6,Yeah' closes the show.

That bands like this actually existed at one time - on the planet we currently reside - is enough to add this glory of glories to your prog collection. Even if you hate it you'll love it.

Atavachron | 5/5 |

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