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Andromeda - Andromeda CD (album) cover





3.84 | 69 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars One of the original power trios that ushered in the hard rock 70s, ANDROMEDA was formed in 1967 by the legendary guitarist John Du Cann best known for his stint with Atomic Rooster. After two years of releasing singles in the psychedelic freakbeat band The Attack, Du Cann shifted gears and wanted to form a band that was both heavier and jumping on the progressive bandwagon. After recruiting his buddy and bassist Mick Hawksworth, later of Fuzzy Duck and Alvin Lee plus drummer Jack McCulloch who would soon be replaced by Ian McLane, ANDROMEDA was born and haunted the London circuit with a new heavier blend of psychedelia and more aggressive rock.

The band was enthusiastically supported by none other than DJ John Peel who was trying to woo them onto his Dandelion Records label however Cann was swayed by the self-producing aspects that RCA promised and the band released its first and only self-titled album in 1969 however RCA didn't really know what they got themselves into and didn't have the expertise to market a heavier band as the hard rock proto-metal sound hadn't become a commercial enterprise at this stage. The lack of promotion and label support ultimately caused Du Cann to accept an offer to join Atomic Rooster leaving ANDROMEDA a thing of the past.

A truly powerful and for the most part heavy album for 1969, ANDROMEDA prognosticated one of the major developments of the psychedelic rock scene in the late 60s and that was the increased heaviness of the rock paradigm. More hard rock than prog, the latter is showcased in the excellent three suite "Return To Sanity" which showcased Du Cann's more sophisticated songwriting aspects which would win him a slot in Atomic Rooster. The album begins with the heavy rocker "Too Old" which showcased what these days sounds like typical 70s hard rock but this was 1969 before these types of bands existed. ANDROMEDA somewhat served as one of those bridges between the heavy psych of bands like Cream and Blue Cheer and the whole slew of proggy hard rockers such as Captain Beyond, Stray, Groundhogs, T2 and beyond.

The album features plenty between blistering hard rockers with heavy fuzz laden riffing, beefed up bass grooves and a drumming technical prowess that was above the 60s norm. The opening "Too Old" introduces the brave new world of souped up heavy psych but the band also delivered a softer side as heard on the "And Now The Sun Shines" but these tracks are overshadowed by the power surge that amplifies the heavier moments that sound like Jimi Hendrix on methamphetamines. Another highlight is the closing three-part "When To Stop" which pulls out all the bluesy hard rock touches prog style. The album is actually pretty diverse in its approach even though it pretty much sticks to the blues rock paradigm and the exclusive instrumentation of the guitar, bass and drum.

While a flash in the pan as far as bands go, ANDROMEDA nevertheless has been recognized as one of those albums that provided the perfect transition between the heavy psych 60s and the hard rock 70s. Of course Atomic Rooster would take Du Cann even further into prog territory with the inclusion of a prominent keyboardist but ANDROMEDA was well underway into a complete metamorphosis into a prog butterfly. The original vinyl album LP fetches an insane price these days but luckily the album has been reissued many times including a newer remastered version with an extra disc of demos, bonus tracks and all kinds of goodies. All in all, ANDROMEDA delivered a hard rockin' album that was the perfect way to say goodbye to the psychedelic 60s.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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