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Bachdenkel - Lemmings CD (album) cover



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4 stars Bachdenkel was a Birmingham psychedelic rock band, named "U Know Who". they changed their name to Bachdenkel when they early in their carreer moved to France to live and record there. Their debut album was recorded in 1970, but wasn't released untill 1973 (though different sources contradict each other on that point), which made the sound seem a bit out-dated, with influences of the late 60's psychedelic scene including Procol Harum, The Beatles, The Byrds and Pink Floyd.

Lemmings is an often overlooked gem, with very good stellar psychedelic Rhythm & Blues tracks, mainly focussing on guitars and drums, with some organ and piano songs and passages thrown in. The voice is a bit an acquired taste, but works well certainly on the more relaxed pieces. Highlights on this fabulous album are the increasingly powerfull Strangerstill and The Settlement Song, and the almost metal song Come All Ye Faceless. No weak tracks really. The bonus tracks are great aswell and fit right in with the 'original' album tracks.

Lemmings is a must listen album for those who like early Pink Floyd and late Beatles albums, and assorted bands like The Byrds, early Deep purple (Mark I), May Blitz and Procol harum. A masterpiece, I think so at least. Rounded down to 4 stars because it sounds a bit out-dated, even for the time it was released.

Highly recommended to all.

Report this review (#102535)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lemmings is a rather psychedelic album with a slight punk guitar tendency. There are many visceral hard rock parts. The tracks are not very progressive. I do not find the record very good, despite the presence of many good passages: the problem is that those passages do not last for a very long period of time. The value of the record lies between ordinary an good. The music sounds pretty deja vu, since there are no elements that allow Lemmings to be distinguished from a bunch of similar albums. The guitar sound quality is above average, though, and the global sound of the music is slightly comparable to Nektar's. The overall rhythm is surprisingly slow. The keyboards are rather subdued. The compositions often lack some structure and sometimes sound a bit amateurish, reminding a bit a garage rock sound.
Report this review (#124028)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album has a kind of religious feeling in it, maybe due the organ driven sound resembling little the tones of Arzachel. It is opened by a very beautiful melancholic chord progression, sad but still full of hope. The mellow hazy hymn slowly gains strength and leads to a more aggressive passage, resembling slightly tamer version of Van Der Graaf Generator's sound maybe. Backward running treatments and folk-oriented motives fit to the of first track, and the whirlpool deepens on "An Appointment with The Master" by march of descending melody harmonies, drawing the listener deeper to the depths of melancholia. Following "The Settlement Song" starts as a quiet hymn for an organ and a voice, transforming to slow guitar chord progressions. The oppressing basis of this song has different parts, constructing a powerful art rock suite. "Long Time Living" is another short ballad, melody sounding little like John Lennon composition. The duller parts start to emerge on the later pieces, sad slow mantras with hazy vocals, and some calm and acoustic marching shimmering with magnificent power. I think the music creates a solid entity pleasing fans of downer music, and it is quite serious and humorless. If you like melancholic British keyboard driven prog, then this might be a worth of checking out. I personally felt the album starting totally wonderfully, but during the spins grows less enthusiastic from its content. Somehow the wonderful elements of the album are not treated in most profitable manner, or there are some contrasts or ideas creating a powerful dramatic curve missing.
Report this review (#128215)
Posted Thursday, July 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Bachdenkel 's French adventures were so different and varied forms that their first album Lemmings, started in 1970, took almost three years to finish and saw the light of day in the summer of 73. By that time (and by living in a remote part of deep southern France), their album sounded quite dated (many traces of 60's psychedelia lingering in the rock), but in all fairness it has aged rather well. The trio, augmented by sound, light, occasional keyboardist and producer Karel Beer played a guitar-oriented prog rock (although both the bassist and guitarist also add some keyboards) that could easily fall under both meaning of Proto Prog

It is clear that the group's roots lay in psychedelia, as the album is filled fuzzed out instruments and vocals, sometimes sounding like a Floydish Beatles (Appointment With The Master), vocally both lead vocalist Swinburne and back up Kimberley sing in late 60's fashion as well. Settlement Song has some slight tinge of the very early Status Quo (Matchstickable Man) but ends in a furious guitar indulgence, the whole group going through a seriesof patterns quite convincingly. A first highlight. With its intro partly pumped on some religious theme, Faceless is probably the heaviest track around on the album and illustrates the back cover artwork with a typical but constantly evolving war-march beat.

The three bonus tracks taken from an EP are more or less in line with the album, and actually melt in the mass of it, so that you barely noticed them after the first few listens other that there a bit wordier and the voices are a bit higher perched.

Although due to its relative lack of notoriety, both their albums have become scarce (no reprints) and sent unreasonably through the roof the prices, but although good, I find Bachdenkel's legend a tad over-rated and would rather direct you towards the more or less legit issues of the Cd, rather than the vinyl (apparently counterfeited

Report this review (#193325)
Posted Monday, December 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars A strange one this, by a band with a terrible name with a penchant for complex, King Crimson-lite prog-rock. However, it's not all bad news, as 'Lemmings' is actually a rather good album marred by some rather grandoise themes and ideas that borders on the pretentious. Maybe some of it's earnestness can be atttributed to the fact that it was released in 1970, in the early years of prog's popularity, making this, in the loosest sense of the term, a pioneering studio album in terms of sound and technique. 'Lemmings' is by no means a classic but several tracks do stand out, such as the excellent 'An Appointment With The Master' and the epic 'Settlement Song'. The rest, however, is pretty mediore. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Report this review (#282836)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I listen progressive rock approximately from twenty five years, now I think I know what I like and what not and with the passage of time, the surprises have made increasingly rare. Bachdenkel was a really big surprise. A good surprise! Their sound is very full-bodied, guitar-oriented but not heavy, very dynamic and sometimes sweet, with a great sense of construction, of sound structure and melody; but most importantly it is epic. In their compositions, I perceives a great preparation, everything is well calibrated and perfectly framed. It is not an album that hits at first listen but equally does not leave indifferent. The only flaw is the registration, unfortunately is not the clearest. Great music hidden in the folds of the early seventies. This is my opinion.
Report this review (#453905)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I can't believe that I just heard about this band this year.They were formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 and this their debut.These guys play the style of music that really clicks with me. It's melancholic with good contrasts between the mellow and energetic sections.The guitar is raw and in your face but to me the important thing is that these guys simply wrote some great songs here and when played in this style I must admit i'm blown away somewhat. So why the poor ratings ?! Haha, I know it's a matter of taste but for me this is like a lost classic.

"Translation" opens with gentle guitar and floating organ. A light beat then reserved vocals after a minute. Piano follows as this mellow song plays out until it kicks in at 3 1/2 minutes. Oh yeah it does. Killer stuff ! Love the guitar. "Equals" puts the focus on the laid back vocals, piano and acoustic guitar.This short track does get fuller with drums. "An Appointment With The Master" has some intensity to it with vocals.This is so good. A great instrumental section comes in after 1 1/2 minutes and later after 3 minutes with some outstanding guitar.

"The Settlement Song" is another favourite of mine that opens with floating organ and quiet vocals. It kicks in around a minute but then settles back quickly. Contrasts continue and they are kicking ass after 8 1/2 minutes. "Long Time Leaving" is a short ballad-like tune that is melancholic. "Stranger Still" opens with what sounds like two guitars playing along with a beat.Vocals before a minute. A guitar solo comes in before 3 1/2 minutes that goes on and on until before 5 minutes. Nice. "Come All Ye Faceless" is quite uplifting early on then it turns heavy a minute in.Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. It settles back before 5 minutes before turning heavier again later.

A very solid 4 stars for this one.

Report this review (#544864)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With an adventurous story on their backs, Bachdenkel from Birmingham, UK, evovled from the Psych group U No Who in 1967 with guitarist/keyboardist Colin Swinburne, singer Peter Kimberley, drummer Ron Lee, bassist Dave Bradley and a second singer named Terry Hidland.Slowly developing a cult status within the city's borders, Bachdenkel were among the greatest lesser known Psych/Prog bands of the country, eventually settling in France in late- 60's reduced to a trio of Swinburne, Kimberley and drummer Brian Smith.Between June and August 1970 they recorded their debut ''Lemmings'', but at the time there was no interest by a label to release it.Three years would pass before Phillips gave a shot to Bachdenkel's debut.

The album has a more than evident late-60's British Psychedelic Rock flavor all the way, but comes as a mix of shorter Psych Rock tracks with occasional harder moments and longer, more developed compositions in a Proto Prog/Psych Rock style.While not particularly complex, the album shows hints of a more demanding musicianship in the trend of the time, yet the short tracks retain more of an early-60's mood and a bit dated Rock style with sensitive vocals, strong guitar movements and powerful drumming, while sometimes even some BEATLES-like melodies pop up here and there.However there is a certain attempt by the group on the longer ones to come up with a more inventive sound.Dynamic guitar workouts, heavier use of organs and changes between mellower vocal moments and heavier guitar-based passages, but again the psych elements remain in the forefront.

The Ork Records CD release seems the more attractive of all the album's reissues, featuring three bonus tracks Bachdenkel recorded around the time in a similar vein as with ''Lemmings'' tracks, while there are three extra tracks from the band's late-60's days (among them an early version of ''An Appointment With the Master'') in a great, powerful Psychedelic Rock style, confirming why Bachdenkel were among the most talented groups of the age.

Good and passionate Psych/Proto Prog Rock with an intense British flavor.Fans of the sound will simply love this, but moreover it is recommended to check out ''Lemmings'' for its inner strength and well-crafted atmospheres.

Report this review (#875586)
Posted Friday, December 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Despite the Germanic-sounding name, Bachdenkel were formed in Birmingham, England in the late 1960's. Their first album "Lemmings" (1970) was far superior to their later album "Stalingrad" (1977). Although "Lemmings" was recorded in 1970, the album wouldn't see release until 1973. The album was recorded at a time when the Psychedelic Rock era was merging into the Progressive Rock era, and this is very much reflected in the music contained within the album. "Lemmings" is a real treasure of the era for Psychedelic and Progressive Rock lovers alike.

The album features a superb opening track, "Translation", with a deliciously slow build-up of laid-back, mellow vocals and electric guitar and then exploding into life towards the end with some really wild and intricate guitar virtuosity, very reminiscent of the psychedelic sixties era. Track 2, "Equals" is a short continuation of the opening number with a return to a gentler guitar sound again, together with hazy-sounding vocals. The third track "An Appointment With The Master" is outstanding! The song has a triumphal, marching rhythm to it, combined with uplifting, feel-good vocals and superb psychedelic guitar mastery which leaves one feeling euphoric. Track 4, "The Settlement Song", the last track on Side One and the longest track on the album at over 11 minutes long, opens with a deceptively quiet beginning with dreamy vocals before launching into a powerful rhythm and pounding electric guitar. The song sounds in places like it could be the Beatles on a crazy psychedelic acid trip. The epic song returns to a more laid-back pace during the middle section before the tremendous finale, featuring the heavy, pounding electric guitar and drum rhythm, a prevalent feature of the album as a whole.

Side Two of the album opens with a short duration 2-minute song "Long Time Living" with a more laid-back pace and featuring the gentle sound of an organ playing in the background. The sixth song on the album "Strangerstill" has an impressive build-up with the familiar pounding guitar, bass and drum pattern heard on previous songs. It's another classic song combining wild psychedelic guitar riffs and grandiose major chords, which will sound familiar to Prog_Rock fans everywhere. The final track on the album "Come All Ye Faceless" is a 9-minute masterpiece and it makes a fitting highlight to a great album. The song starts off gently and gradually builds up into a tremendous crescendo of wonderfully wild, psychedelic guitar freak-outs and sonorous organ playing for the majestic grand finale, rounding off a first-rate album in magnificent style.

If you don't want to follow the crowd and be a "Lemming", then give this often overlooked and under-appreciated album a listen. You may like it and might even grow to love it. All of the superb tracks on the album blend perfectly together and make the album as a whole a rock masterpiece. This rare album treasure still sounds fresh and original 50 years on. Highly recommended for lovers of classic Psychedelic & Progressive Rock from the early 1970's era.

Report this review (#2270060)
Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | Review Permalink

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