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Klaatu - 3:47 E.S.T. CD (album) cover

3:47 E.S.T.

Klaatu

 

Prog Related

3.26 | 75 ratings

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J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Canadian progressive rock outfit Klaatu released their debut 3:47 EST - referring to the time that the alien emissary "klaatu" arrived in Washington DC in the 1951 film, The Day The Earth Stood Still - in 1976 to a rather interesting response. Rumored to be a secret reunion of The Beatles, Klaatu received a fair amount of commercial attention due to these speculations. While this rumor did obviously turn out to be proven incorrect, the style of psychedelic pop heard on 3:47 EST is very likely to appeal to fans of the Fab Four's later material.

While this album may have been released in 1976, almost everything about it brings late-sixties' proto progressive rock acts like The Beatles, Procol Harum, and The Moody Blues to mind. In addition to the organic production, the tracks here have a psychedelic and mildly progressive flair that sounds rather different from what other bands were doing by this point in time. Though 3:47 EST has a few hard-rocking tunes like "True Life Hero", Klaatu shines brightest in the more progressive songs like "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (a superb sci-fi epic that was clearly influenced by The Moody Blues) and the Beatlesque "Sub-Rosa Subway". Speaking of The Beatles, "Doctor Marvello" sounds almost eerily like something from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - the use of backward tape loops, trumpet lines, vocal harmonies, harpsichords, and Indian instruments make this track sound like pure Beatles worship.

Being a fan of the Fab Four, I don't have much of an issue with Klaatu's strong Beatles influence throughout 3:47 EST, but I feel like the listen is rather inconsistent as a whole. While the band does try some unique things here, especially in "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", it seems like they borrow ideas from The Beatles as a bit of a crutch. The record's abrupt changes from moody space rock to rather generic hard rock and psychedelic pop, and even strange theatrical stuff on "Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III" makes for a somewhat disjointed listen, but Klaatu thankfully have penned solid enough material to make this recommendable to fans of progressive pop music. It's definitely an interesting curio from a band with a lot of promise, and I'll be interested to hear to the rest of Klaatu's discography in the near future.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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