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Can - Monster Movie CD (album) cover

MONSTER MOVIE

Can

 

Krautrock

3.80 | 326 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars A few years ago I had a bit of a Krautrock fascination which resulted in me purchasing quite a few Can albums without realizing what I was getting myself into. After listening to Tago Mago and Future Days it was clear that this music sounded nothing like the stuff that I was used to. The next album on my list was Monster Movie which was actually the album I was looking forward to the most due to the beautiful cover art.

Unlike my two previous experiences this album sounded much more like a product of the experimental rock music of its time. The closest resemblance would be that of The Velvet Underground, although, by this time, John Cale had already departed for then band taking most of the avant-garde sound with him. Still, Monster Movie has its fair share of originality with much longer compositions and groovy instrumentation Can created a completely different aura around them that will later be associated with the Krautrock-movement of the late '60s and early '70s.

The album kicks off with one of my all time favorite Can compositions titled Father Cannot Yell. This is everything that one would come to expect out of experimental rock, except for the energetic performance from Malcolm Mooney and Michael Karoli that kicks it up a notch and create one of the most trippiest, while energetic, performances of their career. Unlike most of the later Can material, this track can actually be enjoyed without the need of any vision enhancing pills!

The two other tracks on side one aren't really as exciting. Mary, Mary So Contrary sounds like a typical Lou Reed song from that period and had it not been for the underlying guitar work, that even features an excellent guitar solo, the whole performance wouldn't actually be all that interesting for a 6+ minute track. Outside My Door is just a straightforward Proto-Punk composition that almost sounds like a the Doors song, except with a guitar! At times it almost seems like the band is making fun of the Doors and their style but I might be just imagining it.

The album's side two is completely occupied by a 20+ minute jam called You Doo Right. This is where Can show what they go for and will continue to pursue over the next few years. According to Wikipedia the performance originally consisted of a six-hour long improvisation that was edited down to its current format. The music incorporates an almost hypnotic rhythm with Malcolm Mooney reading excerpts from a love letter over it. I'll leave my description at that since words can't describe the energy this track transmits through the speakers.

Monster Movie might at times sound like a product of its time but make no mistake since this album is definitely one of the corner stones of the Krautrock-movement and is a must-have album to fans of the genre and anyone who wants to broaden their music horizons. To me and everyone else its simply an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection!

***** star songs: Father Cannot Yell (7:00)

**** star songs: Mary, Mary So Contrary (6:19) You Doo Right (20:28)

*** star songs: Outside My Door (4:08)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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