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Osage Tribe - Arrow Head CD (album) cover

ARROW HEAD

Osage Tribe

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.88 | 29 ratings

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coasterzombie
2 stars The members of power trio Osage Tribe would all go on to bigger and better things: Bassist Bob Callero and guitarist Marco Zocchedu quit in 1972 to form the far superior Duello Madre, and drummer Nunzio Favia later found success with I Dik Dik. But before they left, this uneven offering was discharged on an unreceptive public. Arrow Head hasn't exactly aged well, either. Hopelessly behind the times upon release, Osage Tribe's psych-rock-cum-prog pastiche sounds even more dated today. The album does have a few redeeming moments, and actually does rock quite a bit, but I get the sense this band was A LOT better live and the studio recording doesn't really do them justice. But this is what we have to go by, and giving any more than two stars for this one would be undue.

One shining star is "Hajenhanhowa," which mysteriously and quietly begins the album. The intro no doubt was inspired by original member Franco Battiato, who left prior to recording the album and would of course go on to much solo success. The enjoyable introduction lasts about five minutes after which Callero pounds out some fuzz bass and Zocchedu doubles on guitar and keys. Then a rap breaks out. Seriously, this has to be one of the earliest known examples of proto-hip-hop in history. Weird stuff, but oddly enough it just works. Zocchedu then rips off some Clapton-inspired licks and heavy riffing. If all of this sounds insanely appealing, don't get your hopes up; it's all downhill from here.

The title track is a raunchy minor blues, reminiscent of Gleemen or Garybaldi. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Osage Tribe that the Hendrix fad was over and far more interesting things were happening in 1972. "Cerchio di Luce" is better, as the band starts to incorporate some more disparate elements like jazz and symphonic rock into their arsenal. "Soffici Bianchi Veli" and "Orizzonti Senza Fine" are testosterone-driven jams hardly worth mentioning. Normally this could be overlooked, but at a total of 19 minutes, or nearly half the album's length, this self- indulgence cannot be forgiven and ultimately destroy any momentum from the first side. And the two bonus tracks, despite Battiato's involvement, are nothing more than banal pop with a juvenile guitar solo. There's just not enough worthy content here to bump Arrow Head to a three-star rating, but I suppose collectors will find something to like.

coasterzombie | 2/5 |

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