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Emergency - Get Out to the Country CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.16 | 17 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Comprised of German and Czech musicians, Emergency were a brass-dominated jazz-rock band who released two strong albums in the early Seventies before initially imploding. A reworked version of the group (their third by that point) incorporated members of Twenty Sixty-Six and Then, heavy Krautrockers Orange Peel and even King Crimson shortly after, with the results of the new union being the 1973 release, `Get Out to the Country', issued on the legendary German label Brain.

Compared to the earlier LP's, `Country...' is initially underwhelming on the first few listens. Mostly gone were the long jams and honking power of the previous works, replaced by a polished and reigned-in sound, with a new vocalist, Peter Bischoff, that reminded of white soul singer Chris Farlowe of Atomic Rooster and Colosseum fame. The priority of the group had now mostly shifted to classy pop/rock tunes, often with blues, country and even gospel touches, but still given tasteful instrumental backings, and somewhat similar in parts to the more overtly commercial moments of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago's early years, with fleeting moments of If as well.

`Country...' definitely gets the LP off to a superb start. Opener `I Know What's Wrong' and its frantic momentum holds plenty to interest prog fans, and the skittering drumming, swirling synths and slivers of icy Mellotron help it call to mind Scottish rockers Beggars Opera. `Jeremiah' slinks with a bluesy saunter, but the chorus is a boisterous country-flecked spiritual proclamation, `Take My Hand' is a gentle gospel flavoured soft-rocker that picks up in tempo with some wilder sax soloing in the middle, and `Confessions' is a chilled boogie.

The flip-side's `Early In The Morning' is a reflective Mellotron-laced ballad with a hopeful chorus ("When the sun is born again, I can start a new day far from pain" is a lovely lyric), `The Flag' is a funky n' punchy jazz-rocker, and `Little Marie' is swooning romantic pop with a smooth vocal and catchy chorus. Finally, there's plenty of drama and build to the twelve minute closing title-track, being mellow and floating one moment, punchy and driving the next. It reveals good use of reprising themes, has rousing vocals, and all the musicians are highlighted by standout solo spots.

While `Country...' mostly lacks the drifting atmospheres and open spaces of the earlier albums, there's still signs of greatness that pop up throughout the fine song-writing, where even the more pedestrian moments are still full of interesting little instrumental details at all times. While it's hardly essential, and newcomers should definitely explore the previous two albums first, there's plenty of charm to be found here, and the frequently joyful music helps make `Get Out to the Country' a real grower.

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |


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