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Electric Sandwich - Electric Sandwich CD (album) cover


Electric Sandwich



3.46 | 41 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars German band Electric Sandwich's self-titled debut from 1972 appeared on the legendary Brain Records label and was produced by German rock notable Dieter Dierks, but any suggestions that it has connections to Krautrock are pretty much completely inaccurate. However, the terrific English language album has much to recommend about it, having far more in common with psychedelic, soul, blues, R&B and horn-based rock with a touch of jazz here and there, with traces of Hendrix, Ten Years After, Santana band, Nosferatu, Message and even Out of Focus popping up throughout.

Eight-minute opener `China' certainly comes the closest to the Krautrock tag, an acid-rock instrumental with stormy washes of drifting distortion, exotic percussion and Jörg Ohlert's fuzzy electric-guitar soloing. `Devil's Dream' is a smouldering vocal rocker (not a trace of an accent in sax/harmonica player Jochen Carthaus's voice, though!) with bluesy guitar soloing weaving around Wolf Fabian's nimble drumming throughout an extended lightly jazzy improvised middle, and just listen to the way the distorted sax melts and bleeds from about the 3:47 minute mark! Side one closer `Nervous Creek' then jumps between the frantic and mysterious passages of fellow German band Message's first two albums `The Dawn Anew is Coming' and `From Books and Dreams', but also adds in a splash of wild Hendrix-flavoured rock.

There's more bluesy rock on `It's No Use to Run' with a rough n' raspy vocal, spirited harmonica and plenty of slow-burn electric guitar licks, and `I Want You' is purring and dreamy with tougher bursts of relentless harder-edged guitars, tasty Out of Focus-like sax wafting and whirling Hammond organ. `Archie's Blues' is unsurprisingly a bluesy meander that's a real showcase for guitarist Ohlert and his killer strangled electric guitar slinging, and `Material Darkness' closes the album with drowsy chiming guitars and almost whispered vocals that are punctuated with dirty sax blasts, trickles of pristine Mellotron veils and Klaus Lormann's thick bass. It's definitely one of the more ambitious moments of the album, although it proves to be a little anti-climactic with not much in the way of a big ending.

The CD reissue includes a short infectious bonus track of exclusive 1973 single `On My Mind', a cool and confident pop/rocker with strident electric guitar around a raw lead vocal, as well as its b-side, a three minute remix/edit of the album opener `China'.

Although it's far too structured and `clean' to be considered a Krautrock album, `Electric Sandwich' is endlessly melodic with strong song-structures that still allows for plenty of jamming and improvised instrumentation that the talented young musicians deliver with exceptional skill. It's a damn shame that the band dissolved in the same year this album was released, but it's nice that their legacy is preserved with this one cracking bluesy psychedelic stunner.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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