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Tamam Shud - Evolution CD (album) cover

EVOLUTION

Tamam Shud

 

Crossover Prog

3.06 | 7 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Aussie proggers designed for the acid soaked rebellious 60s generation.

"Evolution" is a very psychedelic album from the Australian surf acids rockers Tamam Shud. There are moments of pure psych prog and other moments are simple rock structures reminiscent of early 60s rock. The vocals of Lindsay Bjerre are raw and unpolished, the songs are short and to the point for the most part, and there were strong rhythms; they were a no frills Aussie product of the psychedelic 60s. A lot of the songs are throwaway 60s fodder but there are a few shining moments.

'It's a beautiful day' has a staccato riff that pulsates along with a simple guitar motif, and then the time signature becomes odd. The guitars have a spacey quality, with very pronounced arpeggios. The lyrics are strange and non sensical; "it's a beautiful day the sound of the symphony...to a house of no ending, the minds are bending..." The time sig completely changes toward the end to an almost whimsical tune.

'Mr Strange' is a rocker with a driving beat and heavy guitars, the drumming is relentless and overblown with crashing cymbals that are constant. The psychedelic lyrics are notable; "it's been a while since we saw you I thought it was very strange, how does it feel Mr Strange, how is the weather today, you've been walking round in the rain... the bird has flown now your seed is sown..." Another blazing rock number with raucous guitars.

'Falling Up' has a quirky riff that sounds a bit like the Crazy World of Arthur Brown in structure and feel. The lead break is a cool surfie refrain typical of the underground 60s, similar to The Sonics or acid rockers The 13th Floor Elevators.

'Jesus Guide Me' is another rocking song and the lead singer Lindsay Bjerre is almost screaming the words 'Jesus Guide Me' as if he is crying out in desperation for help. Perhaps this is like the cry of the Jesus freaks, the long haired hippies that were searching for meaning during the late 60s.

'Lady Sunshine' has a metronome swinging beat that drives it and some unusual guitar noises. The vocals are melodic with typical 60s flower power themes, "lady sunshine let that sunshine in". The stoner rock of the album is evident on these types of throwaway tracks, that seemed designed to get high to rather than to admire any type of musical virtuosity.

The final song is 'Too Many Life' with a very strange structure, a driving beat that moves in metrical shapes slow to fast, and lead guitar breaks that flow along simply but effectively. The lyrics are rebellious anecdotes and the cry of wanting to be free from the system, the cry of the 60s youth; "Too many people using my time, blowing my mind, too many juries, judging my time, jailing my mind..." After the freakout ending, there is a male scream of pain and then a female screaming like she is being murdered and then we hear footsteps down a hallway. It really freaked me out as I wasn't prepared for that disturbing ending. In a way it is like a scream of agony from the youth wanting to be set free from the expectations of conforming to the rules and regulations of the late 60s.

The band are not virtuoso musicians on this album but they make their intentions known in their no-nonsense style in a bunch of songs less than three minutes, with some almost clocking 4 minutes and one clocking in at 7 minutes. They were not designed for prosperity or longevity, Lindsay Bjerre even admitted in a GTK interview that they were not good enough for an American tour and pretty much kept to the surf and sun of Australian shores to bring their music to the masses. Certainly the band were a product of their time and this album was a solid debut; a taste of the underground 60s sound of Aussie prog and is quite a curiosity worth hearing.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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