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Electric Sandwich - Electric Sandwich CD (album) cover


Electric Sandwich



3.46 | 41 ratings

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3 stars Split decision

I really dig music like this. Whilst drawing heavily on the late 60s vibe - incorporating both blues, jazz and hard rock into the tunes, there are moments such as the opening cut, that take you directly to Krautrock land. Just like previous reviewers have mentioned, there is indeed a shift after this one, and the sound is suddenly much more hippie rock mixed with blues than what one could expect from this wild and adventurous "genre".

China however starts out with a blast, and I just love the dirty gritty Santana like flavour it has. You get fuzzy wah wah guitar that ploughs through the airwaves like a regular pair of chewing gum scissors. It's so hazy and wobbly that everything around it transforms accordingly: the drums slow down to a heavy, yet highly sluggish beat. The bass shimmers like a black propulsive tarmac, and then these two rhythmic protagonists converge and are as one. Ornamenting this earthy foundation are the Latin inspired conga drums that add a wonderful flow to the track. This is how I'd imagine Santana would sound like after a bottle of scotch and a sheet of acid. It's rawkous, psychedelic, brutal and hazy like a dirty but highly seductive Ferrari off-roader. I would happily cross vast oceans to hear music like this.

Then the transformation steps in, and it's not that I have any complains about the music, but it seems rather sudden and uncalled for. I mean, if you want to make a Krautrock album, then by all means go right ahead - eat some wild berries and find an open field to trip out and jam, but if you feel slightly more into the whole notion of structured late 60s blues rock, then why don't stick with the program? I don't have any problems with multifaceted albums. Those that sport a new sound with every new track, and here I am not talking about the famous Exile on Main street by The Stones, that made it big because of this conundrum (because let's face it: We've all heard of albums more fluctuating in sound and scope than that;-), but those that implement all kinds of approaches, genres and instruments to make one big hefty pile of unadulterated musical gew. Electric Sandwich's sole outing doesn't sound like it made this distinction in sound on purpose, but rather because they changed their tastes, approach, brand of tea in the process of recording the album. Some kind of fluke.

The rest of the album, and especially the second track, is a smashing rendition of what made the end of the 60s vibrant and organic. It is a celebration of the blues rock merging with the harder edges of the guitar, although here spiced up with small snippets of jazz kindly submitted by the occasional saxophone. The guitars sound like melodic stairways to heaven with great big reverb and the solos to go with such things. Oh yes this is music for driving down south, and even the vocals reflect a distinctive southern charisma - it grips you by the coldness of your exceedingly technical prog heart and gives you pure emotion and warm thundering rock music. I find it to be a welcome antidote for when things turn too enigmatic and confusing, and it's as safe and well-known as the ringing bells from the ice-cream truck outside your window.

Personally I rate this album very highly, but I can't honestly give it more than a 3.5 rating on a progressive rock site, but to those of you who find such labels as prog, neo-metal, post-office-fusion and experimental salsa increasingly futile and besides the point of what music is and should be - you my friends should definitely try this on for size. It's pure soul and gasoline.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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