Vandisk 1991 / Sommor 2019
Swiss ensemble whose sound was so raw the listener may have indigestion issues – back in 1970 and nowadays – yet no proto-metal regrets whatsoever.
When it came to heavy rock, artists from Switzerland could be as fiercely unflinching as the Holy See’s guards, but this collective let loudness outweigh finesse to an extent where scoring a record contract proved impossible. Mounting large stacks of Marshall amps, they simply didn’t care: that’s why the foursome’s legacy is so meager as to comprise a smattering of concert and rehearsal tapes which ooze self-assurance, even hubris, in spades. Still, if the blissful “We’re Gonna Change The World” – one of the few epic on offer – feels like a lysergically fueled statement, “People” reeks of the late ’60s doomsday-blues nihilism, as Dominique Bourquin’s hysterical vocals grate against Alain Christinaz’s guitar filigree.
For all the gloom of “Rock Ba Rock” and its like, there’s enough subtleties in “War Funeral Song” to reflect the band’s romantic side, even though innocent chords don’t linger too long before serrated riffs and acid-seared fills take over the aural space and allow rhythm section’s prowess surf to the surface, to propel a couple on-stage versions of “To Be One” to the edge of demented delivery – high on paranoia. More so, while “Black Pages” rages in quite a psychedelic manner, “Fly Away” is melting minds courtesy of a famous Iommian tuning, whereas a roaring 1973 bonus “My Destiny” throws some funk into the flame. Not that it helped the ensemble secure a future, yet their former fury became rather nuanced, and perhaps their desire to move forward warranted the quartet’s recent revival. Maybe, the elusive contract can be signed any day soon.