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Flied Egg / Strawberry Path - Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine CD (album) cover


Flied Egg / Strawberry Path


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3.75 | 14 ratings

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4 stars I'm glad that Shigeru Narumo's two projects "Strawberry Path" & "Flied Egg" were finally added to Progarchives (following my suggestion:-). Here is my review of first Flied Egg's album:

First album recorded as Flied Egg called "Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine" is surely the best record Shigeru Narumo & his friends ever done. Improvement over "When The Raven Has Come To The Earth"(recorded as Strawberry Path) is really huge. The most important is that band's leader extended his keyboard instruments equipment by adding to his traditional Hammond organ and piano such classic prog keys as Moog synthesizer, celeste, harpsichord and even...toy instruments (?!). Compared to previous album he also uses them much more often here and very often places his guitar sounds behind the wall of multi-layers analog keyboards. Another change was occurred in band's line-up. Additional musician - bassist Masayoshi Takanaka - much improved rhythm section and gave more freedom to Narumo which was previously responsible for bass duties (using bass pedal). However the biggest change was in overall music which became much more interesting and prog-oriented compared to blues-rock/early psych oriented previous effort (which was already very good record anyway). Jimi Hendrix influences were mostly replaced by Uriah Heep/Deep Purple/Birth Control ones. Especially Uriah Heep seems to be the biggest source of inspiration this time. It's especially evident in fantastic harmony vocals & Hensley- like organ playing. To be more interesting Narumo probably was also under Emerson impression and it can be heard in instrumental "Oke-Kas" composition. In general music seems to be much more "focused" and songs are really well-written here.

Let's move to the details:

1. "Dr. Siegel's Fried Egg Shooting Machine" - album kicks-off with quite funny song which is still rather the weakest spot on this great album. In the beginning we can hear some foot steps and short "conversation" which seems to be spoof of Superman movies/comic books: "Excuse me sir. Look up the sky. It's a bullet, it's an airplane. WOW! It's flied egg. Oh! Fried egg!". Such humor :-). After that we can hear something is falling down (probably flied egg...or rather fried egg) and the song finally begin. It's fast-tempo rocker with incredibly silly lyrics and to be honest it's one of only few moments on this album where you can hear that the vocals are sang by non-native speakers probably because here drummer/lead vocalist Hiro Tsunoda is heavily supported by his companions. To be honest I prefer when Hiro takes the leads and other "supply" the song only with background "aaaaa...", 'cos the drummer has really great, deep voice. I could bet my bottom dollar that he's British guy!! (but who knows maybe for British guys his accent isn't so good? I'm not native English speaker myself :-P ). Anyway after brief electric guitar solo supported by organ waves, around 3:30 min. few sound effects are presented and song moves into its mellow part. Vocal become much better here and piano lead with Hammond background sounds really tasteful. Before 5 minutes music return to its previous rock'n'roll form with somehow "razzle-dazzle" feeling.

2. "Rolling Down The Broadway" - first song was a mixed-bag. Fortunately next one called "Rolling Down The Broadway" is completely different! Heavy, but in the same time very melodic and catchy guitar riff + fantastic, Uriah Heep/Queen oriented harmony vocals with its "AAAAAAAA" singing. And centre part is occupied with great soloing, at first guitar which later transformed into Hammond organ showcase and finally come back to another guitar one. You can say that it's only well arranged hard rock song heavily influenced by blues-rock, but I enjoy it more than many Led Zeppelin or Nazareth's rockers!

3. "I Love You" - I'm almost sure that most of hard rock and prog rock elitists will pretend that they hate this song. They will call it cheesy, lackluster or corny...but it will surely stuck in everybody's head. It's just very soft love-ballad with Hiro Tsunoda very "British" lead vocal (I can't help to praise his voice abilities). Only vocal, acoustic piano & drums + tasteful string arrangements. And in the middle we can even listen to trumpet solo! Great song for me, really.

4. "Burning Fever" - another fast rocker in the vain of "Rolling Down The Broadway" song. Lots of screaming electric guitar catchy riffs and blistering solos. Masayoshi Takanaka's bass is also very evident here, it's one of his better performance. Only a pity that voices are a bit too much buried in the background, but probably it was intentional mix. This song is a bit similar to tracks from their last album called "Goodbye"(more blues-rock oriented, also no keyboards) but it's still much better.

5. "Plastic Fantasy" - just like titled song, this one has two faces. The first part of "Plastic Fantasy" is just magnificent. In the beginning 30 seconds intro, pompous, loud piano along with thrilling organ & violin (?) can bring goose bumps. Than the vocals starts (surely it isn't Hiro Tsunoda, maybe Narumo sings here? Not sure) and we already know it's one of the highlights of the album. Beautiful piece of art led by sparkling piano & fat organ chops in a real symphonic manner. However around 3:30 we can hear some toy piano motif, after a while music starts to sound a bit too childish. Unfortunately song finishes with silly refrain which is repeated again and again until the song fade out. Anyhow it still remain to be a good song, and one of the most progressive here.

6. "15 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Sabbath" - 15 seconds of All three members sing in Gregorian choir manner. Sounds fantastic for me. It's a pity only 15 seconds... BTW I think that Black Sabbath must have listened to this track before they recorded "Supertzar" several years later!

7. "I'm Gonna See My Baby Tonight" - here comes another winner! Fantastic heavy prog song. I know that it's mostly ripped-off from Uriah Heep's "Look At Yourself", but it doesn't change a thing that I love listen to this one a lot. Narumo plays his organ like his life would depend on it and his colleagues spit their lungs to deliver as spooky harmony vocals ("AAAAA") as it possible. Groovy rhythm all over the place and magic guitar/organ soloing in the middle. If somebody asked by what heavy prog is, I'd show him this song.

8. "Oke-Kas" - whatever the title means this is surely one of my favorite compositions here. As I said before this track was without doubt composed under strong influence by ELP music. It starts with magnificent, powerful Hammond organ chops followed by supportive acoustic piano. After more than a minute organ solo kicks-off. But it's not typical organ solo 'cos sound is fully distorted and it seems to be reminiscence of Emerson's noise- making show-offs. After that Shigeru plays truly crazy Moog synthesizer solo in the vain of Rick Wakeman or Keith Emerson. What a pity it seems to be his only Moog performance in career (anyway recorded one). Composition finishes with main motif played with sheer virtuosity and...furious. Prog gem!

9. "Someday" - along with "I Love You" this is another ballad on the record. And it's equally good or maybe even better. String arrangements are a bit more discreet here and piano/harpsichord (or maybe celeste?) melodies give a bit Baroque feeling here and there. Good pop-ballad with soulful vocals and clever arrangements. I can also add that it was a very good move to place this song between 2 progressive rock monsters.

10. "Guide Me To The Quietness" - and here comes the EPIC of course. In this moments I'm almost sure that Flied Egg tried to create something as "Look At Yourself 2" album. We have something like their own version of guitar-driven "Tears in My Eyes" called "Burning Fever" here, we can find 2 sweet (what other word can I use here?) ballads "Someday" & "I Love You" which seems to be reply to "What Should Be Done", "I'm Gonna See My Baby Tonight" has very similar rhythm to "Look At Yourself" song, "Oke-Kas" borrowed experimentalism of "Shadows of Grief", so now it's time for their own..."July Morning" of course!! And I have to admit that "Guide Me To The Quietness" is a worth-listening successor to Uriah Heep's mini suite. This is surely the best composed song, no filler moments and pure passion & enjoyment of playing. Keyboardist again pull off all his strength to deliver the most powerful organ passages when it's necessary and the most melancholic tunes in other moments. Acoustic guitar in more mellow moments is beautiful and drummer's voice is soulful and stunning. It seems he's almost crying most of the song, so "UUUUU" harmony vocals suite incredibly well with his passionate singing. And of course organ solo in the middle is another highlight and sound as clever rendition of Hensley's solo on "July Morning".

To summarize: for me this is one of the best rock albums ever recorded in the country of blossoming cherry. Not because it's ultra experimental and avantgarde recording, but 'cos it's extremely enjoyable one. All song has good melodies and vocals, along with tasteful guitar and analog keyboards soloing. And when we need some experiments we can also find them here from time to time ("Oke-Kas", "15 Seconds Of Schizophrenic Sabbath"). I can heartfully recommend this album to fans of Uriah Heep. It will surely sound like hidden UH's recording from early 70' which was lost long time ago on some music manager's shelf :-). For sure Deep Purple, Birth Control, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath (among others) fans will also find lots of interesting music for themselves here. It's a pity that after this one Flied Egg recorded their weakest, blues-rock album "Goodbye"...and then disappeared forever.

I'd like to give them 5 stars, but I have to admit that it's rather derivative album so "only" 4,5 stars.

ozzy_tom | 4/5 |


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