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Lisker - Lisker CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.10 | 20 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Of all the Basque "folk" groups, Lisker might be the one least Basque folk (bar the hard rocking Sakre), but it is certainly not the least interesting, on the contrary. While their folk roots can still be heard (at times), it is clear that Lisker preferred a good hard-rocking psych rock, powered by a fuzz guitar and a gorgeous flute. This double guitar and flute quintet recorded a sole eponymous album in 79, released on the second Basque label Xoxoa and sporting an intriguing old window artwork. The quintet is build around Ernesto Gomez (ac guitar and vocals), and develop a mainly instrumental high energy prog filled with enthralling solos and good interplay, which can be anachronistic given that it comes a decade late

Obvious comparisons to early Jethro Tull are correct, but one might want to think also of De De Lind in the heavier moments. Actually the crystal-clear and crisp flute answers brilliantly to the over-powering fuzz bluesy guitar. While often rocking hard, the album knows how to respect a truce: the lovely acoustic arpeggios of Ametz Jazarriak are a pure joy, and the build up is very impressive. This is easily the opening side's highlight, but the other two tracks are both excellent. Indeed Bakardade Tristea starts on acoustic arpeggios and a flute (worthy of Genesis' Tresspass), before the group enters and Gomez's singing, fitting well the group's psych feel but not really meaningful lyric-wise, and Alberdi's soaring guitar send the track on orbit into your mind. The flipside has only two tracks, the heavy-riffing Garajeko Melodia, which develops is a wild jam (some lengths are observed, but nothing worth recriminating about), and the even lengthier finale which holds some excellent interplay, but is also slightly demonstrative, but again nothing to be worried about: this is more suited to the early 70's than the early 80's.

Only two of the five lengthy (minimum 5:30) tracks are sung (in Basque), but the music remains quite accessible with a healthy rock feel and plenty of prog tricks, including frequent tempo changes and great interplay. Don't get me wrong, this is more psychedelic prog than symphonic prog (or folk prog, except for some intros), but this rocks hard, is not indulgent: even the drum solo (yes, in 79!!!) is kept very short (I suppose that the Franco-repressed Basques at least had to resort once to a drum solo ;-) and all musicians are quite competent. Quite pleasant an album, Lisker sole effort can be safely investigated for the progheads preferring spontaneity over careful planning and too precise/cold calculations.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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