Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sympathy For The Big Legends:

Japan's kings of boozy biker blues sludge rock GEDO are presented here on a double live volume set from 1974 called KYONETSU NO MACHIDA POLICE. GEDO was well known as being a strong band that played the hell out of festivals all over Japan back in the 60's and 70's. While most bands of this era were concerned about enlightening the soul amidst growing political and social change, this particular group seemed more interested in the non-stop party. This is a gang who seemed to disregard most of the typical 60's hippy-drippy mystical stuff for a more meat & potatoes (or should I say "fish and rice") approach to rock and roll. It's all about losing your mind and having a good time with these guys.

The first disc starts off rather inexplicably with a spoken intro that lasts for over 8 minutes. Within this opening monologue there are jokes, band introductions, and a few bits that have been censored. Once the music finally begins, it's with a melancholy folky tune. The balladry continues for 5 songs. Then after a short interlude (which one assumes the band are plugging in and turning up) they launch into a primitive groove that features all the good elements of Grand Funk Railroad, Sabbath, and The Rolling Stones. Although there are some tendencies to lay on the jams here, GEDO rarely crosses the line into psychedelic material (although some cuts on disc two see the band flying their freak flag a little bit); choosing rather to stick close to the basic rock and roll template...keeping it loud, proud. Good times all around, then!


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