Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bruce Haack - The Electric Lucifer

Artist: Bruce Haack
Album: The Electric Lucifer
Label: Omni

1 - Electric to Me Turn
2 - Word, The (Narration)
3 - Cherubic Hymn
4 - Program Me
5 - War
6 - National Anthem to the Moon
7 - Chant of the Unborn
8 - Incantation
9 - Angel Child
10 - Word Game
11 - Song of the Death Machine
12 - Super Nova
13 - Requiem

After hearing late-'60s rock & roll from his friend Chris Kachulis, Bruce Haack added acid rock to his already diverse sonic palette. The result was 1970s "Electric Lucifer", a psychedelic, anti-war song cycle about the battle between heaven and hell. The underlying concept of this concept album is "Powerlove," a divine force that not only unites humanity but forgives Lucifer his transgressions as well. But though this album extols the healing powers of peace and love, "Electric Lucifer" uses often menacing music and lyrics to get its point across. "War" depicts the battle royale between good and evil with a martial beat and salvos from dueling synthesizers; a child's voice murmurs "I don't want to play anymore," and a funereal synth melody replaces the electronic battle march. Haack's marriage of rock rhythms and his unique electronics creates a sound unlike either his previous work or the era's psychedelic rock, but songs like "Incantation" and "Word Game," with their percolating beats, buzzing synths and vocoders, are much trippier than most acid rock. The strangely forlorn "Song of the Death Machine" sounds a bit like a short-circuiting HAL singing "My Darling Clementine," while "Word Game" features cool, dark electro-rock and brain-teasing lyrics like "Ray of sun/Reason/Knowledge/No legends." Kachulis sings on both of these tracks, and his deadpan vocals complement the weirdness going on around him nicely. His involvement with "Electric Lucifer" also includes aiding the album's release on Columbia Records; though it was Haack's only major-label release, "Electric Lucifer" remains musically innovative and subversive. [Source: AMG]

Monday, July 13, 2009

Johnny Thunders - So Alone

Artist: Johnny Thunders
Album: So Alone
Label: Sire/London/Rhino
Year: 1978
Genre: Rock

01 - Pipeline
02 - You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory
03 - Great Big Kiss
04 - Ask Me No Questions
05 - Leave Me Alone
06 - Daddy Rollin' Stone
07 - London Boys
08 - (She's So) Untouchable
09 - Subway Train
10 - Downtown
11 - Dead Or Alive
12 - Hurtin'
13 - So Alone
14 - The Wizard

Probably best known for his stint as the founding lead guitarist of the glam-punk innovators the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders also was a prolific solo artist as well as a member of the first "all-junkie band" Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers.

So Alone is Thunders' strongest solo offering, featuring some fierce guitar licks and bratty, bleating vocal styles that wouldn't have sounded out of place had they been recorded ten years later during the heyday of butt-rock. The only difference--Thunders knew his history, and the illusions to early rockabilly and R&B shine through on every track. About as raw, ugly and unpretentious as rock music gets, So Alone is a must own for any fan of late '70s protopunk or just plain dirty rock n' roll.