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Ozric Tentacles - Erpsongs CD (album) cover

ERPSONGS

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.50 | 76 ratings

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obiter
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The first offering from the Ozrics. I first heard this when a couple of the cassettes were circulating amongst the GAS (Gong Appreciation Society) club at university in 1987.

An absolute must-have for any Ozric fan. Be warned, like all the early tapes the mix is not great. If you've listened to later material then this album is striking for the lack of an ethnic feel: that comes to the fore with John Egan. There are also more synth/electronic tracks: sort of Tangerine Dream like. You also get a couple of fairly free range jams: Five Jam and Oddhamshaw.

Velmwood opens with a synth line speeding and heightening beyond hearing limits as the drum bass and guitars sweep in.This is a very typical Ozric track: upbeat bass driving urging the listener to dance. Ed's lead guitar adding to the mix.It has the feel of a jam: the tempo slows, the bass fills in, stops and gaps with synth fills, then here we go off again in another direction: pulsing bass and a new screaming guitar line before the crash ending. Fast Dots delayed guitar sweeps in, heavy bass riff: synth overlay. Spiralmind has a memorable guitar intro, again with considerable delay/echo.

Synth on a plinth is, suprisingly enough, a pure synth number an atmospheric piece than a tune. Dharma Reggae has a simple urgent repeating synth motif. Tidal Otherness has a strong and simple synth line provides the basis for an extended "jam". Ed lays some heavy distorted lead as he free ranges. The Erp Riff is fairly short, but it feels as if you have merely dipped into an extended jam which could take the band in any direction. I wish there had been more of this. Descension is a slow number with some memorable guitar work at the end. Misty Glass is a synth piece ... bit of a Tangerine Dream feel.

Dots Thots: strong bass riff, delayed guitar chords, the whole being shephered by the drumming of Tig.Plenty of room for the band to jam. Clock Drops: it seems as if someone has said to Roly : "here's an interesting little snyth line: sounds like plinking rain with a chinese feel: see what you want to do with it": the bass dabbles around with a couple of ideas. Then without much warning the whole band chimes in with a great riff (reminds me of something I would expect to find in early Thin Lizzy).

Five Jam sounds like a great rambling jam. If you want structure and form this is not for you. Many of the later Ozrics numbers are stictly structured and use a lot of samples and backing tracks around which the band plays with freedom. This is at the opposite spectrum. There is a smooth bassline providing a core about which Ed, Joie, Tom fill. The jam fades out after 7 minutes or so but you have the impression that it may have cointinued in teh studion for another 20. The last track is Oddhamshaw is another jam.

Essential for any Ozric fan and it could be argued that, as the first offerring from Ozrics, and the dawn of a new age, it is worth 5 stars, but I think most people will be encountering this music as part of a retrospective look at early Ozric.

obiter | 4/5 |

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