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Far Out - Nihonjin CD (album) cover

NIHONJIN

Far Out

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.82 | 45 ratings

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christianh1
4 stars This is a fascinating album, reminding me sometimes of Wish You Were Here era Pink Floyd (particularly the long instrumental sections of Shine On You Crazy Diamond) which is quite an achievement considering that this album was released in 1973, two years before Wish You Were Here. There are also similarities in places to Black Sabbath, with one of the guitarists grinding out a very Iommi like riff midway through "Too Many People" (using an electric sitar no less!) Nihonjin is also a fantastic track, culminating in a mantra-like freak out suddenly ending in an eerie Japanese bamboo flute solo. The band are very talented musicians, with the drumming and bass playing deceptively simple but highly inventive, anchoring the Gilmour-like soloing of the lead guitarist and the interweaving electric sitar lines of the 2nd guitarist (who cannot really be described as just a rhythm player). The vocalist's soft, almost pleading vocals (which are still capable of rising to a ravaged howl during the closing sections of Nihonjin) are very moving at times, relaying very simple heavily Japanese accented English lyrics which still tug at the soul. My only gripe with this album is the bonus tracks. Although it is laudable for a record label to provide extra music on a CD, particularly as the original album has a running time of under 40 minutes, these bonus tracks are not the same band. These tracks are taken from a later Far East Family Band album called "The Cave Down To Earth" which, although it has the same vocalist as the Far Out album, has different musicians and a different musical style. These tracks are also, in my opinion, inferior to the two long opening tracks which make up the original Far Out album. However, they are just that - free bonus tracks, and I guess it would be churlish of me to look a gift horse in the mouth. It is also possible that there are no unreleased demos or live performances of the original Far Out band in the record company archives, so they decided that this would be the next best thing. By the way, my CD copy of the album is simply called Far Out - exactly the same as the band, and not Nihonjin although I believe that there was a later Far East Family Band album which had this name and also contained a reworking of the Far Out album track of the same name. The original Far Out album can be recognised by the cover artwork - a child's white mitten hanging on a clothes line with a vast blue expanse which I assume to be sky behind it. Pretty cool, if you think about the name of the band and the album. Anyhow, I suspect that I'm beginning to ramble now, so I'll close by saying that this album is recommended and you can always just stop the CD after the first two tracks if, like me, you're not too keen on the bonus ones.
| 4/5 |

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