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Mellotron Storm
5 stars I must admit I felt a lot of excitement during my first listen of this as I realized that this band sounds very much like ONE SHOT. Both are from France and I have no doubt ONE SHOT was an influence here. This is all instrumental with guitar, Fender Rhodes, bass and drums just like you know who. Unfortunately the liner notes are all in French as there is a little blurb with a couple of the tracks but it's all Greek to me.

"Hum Hum" opens with a guitar melody that is repeated over and over as the bass joins in then Fender Rhodes and drums as that repeated guitar line continues. Love the random drum patterns. It ends as it began. "Victor F." opens with guitar and drums and i'm thinking MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. Again I love the drum work. Some cool sounding fuzzed out bass. It kicks into a steady groove after 2 minutes. Nice. Some experimental excursions after 3 minutes. Just killer! Check it out after 4 1/2 minutes with the Fender Rhodes, drums and bass just smoking. The guitar starts to grind away 6 1/2 minutes in. One of my favourites.

"Tomahawk" opens with drums and some very growly bass, man the bass is filthy here as the keys and guitar join in. It turns jazzy and more uptempo 2 minutes in with guitar and Fender Rhodes leading the way. The intensity ends before 5 minutes as that fuzzed out bass retruns with drums and some nasty guitar. He's shredding on that guitar late. "Paiens" is an impressive uptempo number. It's the Fender Rhodes/ drum show a minute in. "Dancin' Dogz" sounds pretty amazing to start as it builds in intensity before they all kick in. Great sound before 3 minutes with that Fender Rhodes and some nasty guitar wreaking havok. A complex track. "Goban" opens with atmosphere with sparse sounds coming and going. It's slowly building. The drumming is so good late.

"Spirales" sounds pretty incredible with the Fender Rhodes playing over top. It turns more powerful before 3 minutes to the end. "Les Carpates" has this intense drum intro with Rhodes sprinkled in, then we get a steady groove before a minute. It's the drum/ Fender Rhodes show 2 minutes in. Great sound! Killer bass 4 minutes in then the guitar starts to solo over top. An onslaught! Pulsating Rhodes reminds me of Miles Davis 6 minutes in. The guitar is ripping it up! I like the way it slows down like a train to end it. "200 Toiles" is laid back and atmospheric, a little like "Meeting Of The Spirits" as it very slowly builds. Check out the guitar creating suspense and fear.

"Nebuleuse Part I" has such a great guitar intro that reminds me of LANDBERK for some reason. Very classy as cymbals shimmer and drums roll. It kicks into a steady sound after a minute. I really enjoy this. Love the keyboards, so melancholic. After 2 minutes of silence we get a hidden track called "Newtown The King" according to the RYM site. This is just over 5 minutes in length. Laid back keys give way to a full sound with the guitar leading. Contrasts continue. So good! Ripping guitar with fuzzed out bass, drums and Fender Rhodes all help out.

Man I can't even come up with a top three here when it comes to my favourite tracks, they are all so good. If your into ONE SHOT i'm sure you'll dig this big time. This is listed under Zeuhl but I feel they should be Jazz/ Fusion like ONE SHOT is as both have but a Zeuhl flavour.

Report this review (#1460159)
Posted Sunday, September 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ten seconds into this album you'll find yourself rummaging through the attic and digging out your worn, crimson, mid-length Montgomery Ward leather jacket, growing a mustache and hoping you still have that small packet of quaaludes from that trip to France back in your senior year. Did I just step into 1970? Wait ... (double take), this came out in 2013? Can't be! Sounds too authentic. Caillou have really captured the zeitgeist of the late 60s and early 70s both in songwriting, but moreover in record production. I would love to know more about the band and how this album was produced -- but as it stands, little can be found online.

This is probably my favorite current Zeuhl album next to Chicago's Ga'an. Though Ga' an is steeped in the traditional Zeuhl with those cosmic, trippy vocalizations and repetitious themes, Caillou is instrumental with leanings towards Mahavishnu Orchestra. The instrumental mastery is epic. The synth sounds are exciting and spacey, the drums are a wash of vintage cymbals and seething with that Glyn-John's method of drum recording, and the bass sounds like my stomach after a 24-hour fast for the doctor -- hangry! There's so much dirt, grime and fuzz about this album, you'll need to take 3 showers just to get everything out of the cracks. A very exciting, instrumental record!

Wishful concert pairing: Caillou and Universal Totem Orchestra opening for Ga' an. Three modern day Zeuhl giants.

Report this review (#1588316)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2016 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Unfortunately this album is remained a "one shot issue". I remember when I was involved in the evaluation of Callou (means "rock" or "stone" in French) . It was a no-brainer for Zeuhl, with the more atmospheric parts resembling of the other excellent one shot band of the same period, XING SA and the most rhythmic parts as a sort of MAGMA meets Jazz-rock fusion.

I think the garen dwarf on the album cover is quite iconic. Even after six years I recognize it immediately.

Of course, what matters more is the music. It's a very skilled quartet, each member coming from other bands to form a sort of supergroup, performing instrumentals which differently from many Zeuhl bands, don't indulge too much with obsessive repetitions. There are many variations of theme and tempo inside the same track, as common in other prog subgenres. Personally I prefer when they calm down as they are able to create an excellent soundscape which can conquer also listeners not familiar with this genre.

Instead of going track by track, just mentioning the opener "Hummm Hummm" and "Tomahawk", I want to spend few words on the last one: "Nebuleuse". Afer some minutes of usic there is more than one minute of silence then something new arises. I don't know if it's part of the same track or was intended to be a ghost track, but the last minutes are really remarkable. The music is so contaminated by jazzy elements that the name of PEKKA POHJOLA comes to my mind. I don't know if this album can be considered an absoulte prog masterpiece. Surely it's an excellent album full of good music, without weaknesses and with highlights, like the three mentioned tracks. Strongly recommended

Report this review (#2219237)
Posted Friday, June 7, 2019 | Review Permalink

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