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Pinguin - Der Grosse Rote Vogel CD (album) cover





4.32 | 12 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars PINGUIN released this lone album back in 1972 and I think penguins would be very happy living in my town the last few days with highs of -15 to -18. Yeah the wind really hurts these days. The members of this six piece band were previously in German Beat bands which I guess you could say was German Pop music with German vocals. Part of the reason most Krautrock bands sang in English was to go against the establishment, but there were some very political German bands who sang in their native language because they wanted to get their message across. Not sure about these guys though. I really have a problem with German vocals, just not an appealing language like say Italian. Yeah I'm in trouble now, of course the Russian language is even worse but I digress.

The singer here has a thin voice and I really don't like his singing at all, not sure if I mentioned that. We get sax and flute but the organ leads the way here as the most dominant instrument. Oh, and four of the members also play percussion and another one bongos. It's a fairly catchy album overall not surprisingly given their background but there's some rare experimental stuff on one track that would make most Krautrock bands proud. The two reviewers ahead of me both gave this 5 stars which is something to keep in mind with my 3 star rating.

"Der Grosse Rote Vogel" opens with organ and flute and when the vocals arrive the flute steps aside. A full sound with sax leading the way before 1 1/2 minutes. Catchy stuff here as the vocals and organ also help out. Lots of percussion before 3 minutes with the bass, drums and organ in this instrumental section. The sax is back. Great section! A brief silent calm before 4 minutes then it kicks in again. More vocals as themes are repeated. There will be a few more instrumental sections to follow with each one being a highlight of this track.

Die Angst" has outbursts of sax and organ as the vocals join in. I think the vocals might be at their worse here. This is catchy but yikes! The guitar after 2 minutes makes some noise.

"Der Frosch In Der Kehle" has this catchy little melody played by the guitar and flute. It's joined by drums then organ and vocals. Man he is not singing very well here, check him out just before a minute. I do like that guitar style and that mellow instrumental section which is so much better than the rest of this track. Vocals are back after 2 1/2 minutes but thankfully we get another instrumental section with flute leading. Some nasty guitar after 5 minutes then a drum solo starts after 6 1/2 minutes to the end.

"Der Blaue Wind" has a wicked flute intro then it turns mellow with flute as bass, guitar, organ and soft vocals join in. Clashing cymbals before 3 1/2 minutes. The vocals stop around 5 minutes as it turns experimental in the Krautrock tradition.

"Die Nachtmusik" opens with solo organ that stops just after a minute. Then sax, organ, bass, drums and guitar take over. Vocals around 2 minutes. That sax melody that comes and goes is annoying. It settles back some after 3 minutes. Sax, organ and cymbals after 4 minutes then the guitar comes to the fore. That sax melody is back coming and going as the vocals return.

"Der Traum" is my favourite by far. Organ to start with some picked guitar then the bass and drums take over. Nice. Organ is back after a minute then the flute starts to come and go just before 2 minutes. I do like that bass! Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in with organ and bass as the flute and drums join in. Vocals after 3 1/2 minutes but thankfully they are brief here although they are back late.

Clearly I'm not into the vocals and they are fairly dominant here so there's just no way I would recommend this. It was good to hear it though but I feel this is a miss in the Krautrock genre.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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