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Asterix - Asterix CD (album) cover

ASTERIX

Asterix

 

Krautrock

2.38 | 15 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
2 stars "Asterix" isn't a name which can be easily recognized by casual 70s rock fan. But what about "Lucifer's Friend"? Yes, now much better! So I'd like to inform you that "Asterix" is just pre-"Lucifer's Friend" band which includes the same bunch of guys. In fact "Asterix" isn't the only project constructed solely or mainly from "Lucifer's Friend's" musicians, the others are: "Bokaj Retsiem"(heavy psych), "Electric Food"(heavy prog, the most similar to "Lucifer's Friend" output), "Pink Mice"(ELPish symphonic prog) and "Brother T & Family"(heavy psych/prog). All of them are quite decent, but there is one exception: "Asterix", 'cos under this moniker was recorded the weakest material these guys ever written! While on other projects/bands output we can enjoy various forms of prog/psych/hard rock music, "Asterix" is a completely derivative basic rock'n'roll meets adult pop mix of generic "easy-listen" songs. In fact "Asterix" is the only pre-"Lufier's Friend" including their vocalist John Lawton, but believe me, it's the only element which reminds me of LF's classic stuff.

Anyway let's proceed to detailed review (based on CD version with bonus tracks):

1. "Everybody" - album starts with ultimately unmemorable mainstream pop-rocker full of lackluster soul music inspired refrain "Everybody" which is repeated too many times... The only good thing I can say about this turkey is that it includes very tasty (but surely not long enough!) Hammond solo. Enjoy it 'cos it's the only damned B-3 solo in the whole album! Only one organ solo on recording with Peter Hecht? Strange, but it's true. BTW this one and next song feature George Monroe (AKA Georg Mavros) as a lead vocalist.

2. "If I Could Fly" - this one starts promising with some catchy guitar and organ riffage, but after a while poppy rock comes back. George Monroe sounds really ugly in this one...

3. "Look Out" - ...it's good that from this point John Lawton finally took over vocal duties. Unfortunately except not bad, harder guitar riffs they don't offer here anything more than another mainstream sounding pop rocker.

4. "Gone From My Life" - simple guitar riffs and even simpler piano lines. In the middle some nice jazzy-bluesy piano solo but that's it.

5. "Broken Home" - as usual on this album song starts quite promising but after a while guys came back to play another standard rock'n'roll crap. Some extended guitar soloing here can't change my mind about general value of this dud. Compared with this material, Uriah Heep's albums recorded with John Lawton are masterpieces of progressive rock...

6. "Time Again" - finally better composition with slightly dramatic & psychedelic atmosphere. Extended classical inspired piano passages are really great here. Finally some element linked to progressive rock music! Star in a gutter of mediocrity.

7. "Jump Into My Action" - generic fast rocker built upon basic piano & repetitive guitar licks. Why the hell I didn't hear any organs from 4 songs in a row?! Peter Hecht is well known to constantly torture his Hammond in "Lucifer's Friend" or "Electric Food" LPs but we can't listen too much organ on this record. What a pity...

8. "Open Up Your Mind" - another piano and guitar led mainstream rock'n'roller as many others on this disk.

9. "Corner Street Girl" - just like couple of songs before, absolutely nothing interesting here and even a little offensive for our good taste.

10. "Change In You" - slightly similar to material recorded by Lawton with Uriah Heep in late 70s. Not totally bad but also not memorable at all, however guitar riffs are quite catchy so you can tap your foot a little.

11. "Morning At My Dawn" - the longest composition is closing the whole album with slightly better manner. Finally organ came back (not heard too much on this record from "Look Out" song, back there...) to create eerie atmosphere. But about 2nd minute Hammond disappears again and we can listen to nice piano & guitar solos. Later vocals come back again and mellow mood too. Anyway "Morning At My Dawn" sounds a bit like prototype of UH's song "Firefly" but it's not as compelling and successful.

In general "Asterix" is totally mediocre album which almost completely lack significant for "Lucifer's Friend" trademarks, and is nothing more but a collection of simple pop-charts oriented short songs. If you're looking for organ-driven madness you won't find it 'cos only first 3 songs feature reasonable amount of Hammond moments, if you're looking for symphonic elements you can find some traces only in Hecht's classical piano passages in "Time Again" song and if you love Lawton's voice I have to warn you that large portion of these songs are sung by George Monroe and Tony Cavanna instead of your idol. To sum up, I really don't know who can be interested in "Asterix's" music. If you like "Lucifer's Friend" and you want to know other projects connected with that band, please proceed to "Bokaj Retsiem", "Electric Food", "Pink Mice" or "Brother T & Family" records and leave "Asterix" alone. It's not a coincidence that for such a long time there was no review of this album on Progarchives.com website... And I still wonder why so much better and more prog-oriented "Lucifer's Friend"-connected bands as "Brother T & Family" & especially "Electric Food" still aren't included in this website's (prog)archives... Hopefully some day they will be!

However it's not very offensive stuff at all, so I can give these 2 stars for this mediocre effort. Bur remember: (almost) NO PROG-ROCK HERE!

ozzy_tom | 2/5 |

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