Tuesday, 25 October 2016
The first Japanese VSOP album
From, again, Tom (catching up will take a while!):
VSOP are a fairly typical early 70s blend of blues rock and various other styles. Side 1 is a pedestrian "trail mix" of genres, whereas Side 2 has a nice raw, grungy underground feel about it (and it's a live concert recording). This latter element recalls the Argentinian blues psych scene such as Pappo's Blues or Cuero. Fortunately for us, The AC has provided a much more insightful review:
Hard rock/heavy psych rarity by this largely unknown unit. Led by guitarist/vocalist Kazumi Mukai, they manage to kick up a pretty good racket here. The first side is a regular studio recording and runs the gamut from blazing guitar-led heavy rock to psych ballads, standard blues rock, etc, and features some fine songwriting throughout. The action really picks up on side two, a live concert recording from early '73. Long, jamming tracks filled with blistering heavy fuzz guitar soloing that will peel the paint off your walls if played at the proper volume. A very good album in this style, and should be a lot more well-known. Cool cover art, too. They also released an even more obscure second LP in 1975 called "Epilogue", which I haven't heard but apparently saw them heading in a less interesting pop-rock direction, as well as a few singles. And like The AC, I love albums that peel the paint off the wall! Would be interesting to know if they had some archival material from this era. Priority: none
Indeed, the second side is the more worthy one, to me it recalls the really raw hard material the Beatles did on the unenhanced cosmetically Let It Be or the Plastic Ono Band in its early days. As an example consider track 7 (Yuuwaku sarete):
Incidentally the following album called Epilogue is pure soul-pop without any of the inventiveness of this one and has little to no interest except to the completist. It's not worth hearing even once and sad to say, deserves to be rare.