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Ame Son - Catalyse CD (album) cover


Ame Son


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.45 | 27 ratings

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4 stars French band Ame Son, best known as the remnants of Daevid Allen's Bananamoon band, released an interesting psychedelic LP at the dawn of the 70's. Some reviewers here on PA have compared "Catalyse" to Gong's first album, but I tend to disagree with that assertion.

Yes, both albums are, of course, psychedelic in nature. However, while Gong's debut reflects Allen's quirky humor, Ame Son presents a more serious, darker psychedelia. Think Saucerful of Secrets to More Soundtrack era Pink Floyd, and now you're in the ballpark. Then add some mediocre vocals (in English and French) including slightly poppy choruses here and there, along with just a touch of Krautrock. There is also some very nice flute playing by Francois Garrel, sometimes with effects, which adds a slightly jazzy feel in some spots as well. Then there is what some feel is the "dated" guitar sound. I, personally, love the distorted, psychedelic effects-laden guitar sound that Bernard Lavialle lays down on this album. Dated or not, it just sounds cool. The thick tone of Patrick Fontaine's bass and the solid drum work of Marc Blanc create a stoned-out foundation for the music to float across.

As for the songs themselves, they are a concoction of different ideas and/or movements peppered with experimental soundscapes (see Pink Floyd and Krautrock references above). Definitely progressive in composition, if not in performance. What I mean is that the playing is on the loose side - no tight, complex time changes or dizzying solos here. This, I feel adds to the psychedelic, stoner feel to the music, enhancing the listening experience.

As for the weaknesses on "Catalyse," I would say the vocals and the occasionally poppy sound in parts takes away some of the enjoyment for me, but others might like the variety it gives the album. In-between those slightly poppy sections, though, are some excellent tabs of trippy rock for late night get-togethers. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 because I feel Ame Son's "Cataylse" deserves some more attention.

Igor91 | 4/5 |


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