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Amon Düül II - Yeti CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II



4.05 | 379 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Amon Duul II: Yeti [1970]

Rating: 8/10

I proudly include myself among the small yet vocal minority that considers Amon Duul II's sophomore release Yeti to be vastly superior to their acclaimed first album Phallus Dei. The band's style has not changed much since their debut; however, everything that was enjoyable about that record has been expanded upon, and many of the things that were dull about it have been trimmed off. The band's transition into the 70s is clear here. While Phallus Dei was undoubtedly a progressive and innovative work, Yeti takes that album's primitive psychedelic jamming to new levels of sophistication and experimentation. Like many krautrock albums, this double-album incorporates two different styles of psychedelic rock: short and whimsical pieces, and lengthy sections of extended jamming. Both styles work quite well; as a result, this album earns its reputation as an integral krautrock release.

The opener "Soap Shop Rock" is a kraut classic. It's a three-part psych-rock track with multiple descents into acid-drenched jamming. The guitar and violin melodies are superb, the vocals are suitably strange, and the pulsating rhythm section is infectious. "She Came Through the Chimney" is a short instrumental that begins in a folk-sounding fashion, but it eventually descends into crazy electronic noodling. When it comes to krautrock, however, calling something "noodling" is a compliment. "Archangels Thunderbird" is a hard-rock tune with zany female vocals and wonderful guitar soloing. The superb "Cerberus" is full-on psychedelic folk, with dual acoustic guitar and light percussion. "The Return of Rubezahl" is a brief and fairly uninteresting heavy rock piece. "Eye-Shaking King" is the most bombastic of the album's shorter pieces, with hard-hitting drumming and wonderfully frantic guitar soloing. The slow ambience and the plodding drum beat of "Pale Gallery" serve as a good foil to the previous zaniness. The eighteen-minute title track introduces the more experimental half of the album. This track is psychedelic improvisation at its finest, with fantastic guitar work, metrical drum patterns, and omnipresent bass lines. "Yeti Talks to Yogi" is more ambient; the guitar, bass, and drums are coated in a heavy layer of electronic soundscaping. The final improv, "Sandoz in the Rain", returns to the folk-inspired side of the band's sound with light flute and rapid acoustic-guitar strumming.

Yeti is essential listening for anybody interested in krautrock. The album represents some of the best the genre has to offer, from the twisted 60s-rock of "Soap Shop Rock" to the psych-folk of "Cerberus" to the hard-rock energy of "Eye-Shaking King" to the improvisational madness of the title track. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Yeti is that it has managed to remain fresh 40 years after its initial release; this is a feat that many psychedelic/kraut albums fail to achieve. It's easy to get lost in these hypnotic rhythm sections and fiery psychedelic guitar lines. Also, the eclectic approach keeps things fresh throughout the album's 70-minute duration. Yeti is not an absolute masterpiece - some sections feel overextended and self-indulgent - but it is an enormously fun and interesting listen that should be experienced by anybody who even slightly appreciates this style of music.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |


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