Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Joyride - "Friendsound" {USA} [1969] @192 (Us-PreKraut Pandemonium)

If you like The Monks, certainly you will love Joyride... review taken from Gnosis2000 & Badcatrecords

The late 1960s seem to have found everyone in the music business trying to turn out something deep and meaningful. As such it's probably not much of a surprise that these former members of Paul Revere and the Raiders were doing the same thing. Still, anyone expecting to hear something in the Paul Revere, or Brotherhood vein in going to be in for one major shock !!!

Self-produced, 1969's "Friendsound" makes absolutely no attempt to go down the commercial road and to ours ears may deserve to be noted as one of the first real "jam" albums. It's also one of those rare instances where the liner notes are dead-on ... "A musical free-for-all ... The idea for Friendsound came to us when we were in the early stages of creating our first album. We rounded up all out musician friends in the area and headed for a recording studio to have a musical free-for-all." That pretty much says it all. Exemplified by material such as the title track and "Childhood's End", the six extended numbers were largely instrumental in nature. Credited as group compositions, songs such as "CHildsong" and "Empire of Light" are full of studio experimentation, including backward tapes, sound effects and acid-influenced ramblings. Raiders members Levin, Smith and Volk were too grounded in top-40 pop to totally abandon such concepts as rhythm and melody, but it's pretty clear late night parting imbued them with a lot more freedom and creative latitude than your typical Paul Revere and the Raiders session.

Joyride is a celebrated item in psychedelic rock circles both for its predating of and similarity with krautrock styles of years later. From 1969, it's obviously not a surprise that this is a psychedelic album, although this avoids any pretense of being a pop album at all by concentrating on instrumental jams and studio experimentation, even on their shorter pieces. Influences must be vast, from Captain Beefheart to Iron Butterfly, from Vanilla Fudge to the Yardbirds, and from the Grateful Dead to Fifty Foot Hose. Joyride's similarity to music by bands like Group 1850 or Xhol Caravan is also surprising in such a light, pointing at aspects of the psychedelic jam session that would not come to such a fruition until a few years later. Surely Anthem of the Sun could be considered a precursor in regards to studio trickery and experimentation, although there aren't a lot of other albums from the era that could be directly connected to Joyride.

The album is consistently excellent throughout from the gentle flute-led tripping out of "Love Sketch" onto the album's closing pair of nine plus minute tracks which stretch things out to wonderful effect. The last two pieces portray Friendsound in their most psychedelically abandoned state, reaching into composition and improvisation with studio-assisted trickery to produce collages of kaleidoscopic hallucination where fuzz guitars swell in and out, voices speed up and slow down, and generally everything is thrown into a lysergic swirl of altered dimensions. From an era where just about every album was tinged with a bit of echo or reverb to hint at hippie psychedelia, this is an album literally drenched in it, one of the few unknown gems from the era that predate and prophesy the wave of 70s kraut and space rock to come.

Not for the faint of heart, or top-40 junkies, but worth checking out for the more adventuresome of you out there ...

Friendsound- "Empire of light"

Keep Listening

Links in Comments


Algarnas said...


Anonymous said...

something appears to be wrong with the link. Twice I've tried to download, and the file is only 350kb.

Anonymous said...

Something is wrong with DL

Could you please Check it out and maybe re up the Post

Thank You

Algarnas said...

I tried to dl, and everything went fine, please try again.

Nick Aubert said...

The Bandango link worked fine for me.

Thanks for posting US music today. Some of us Americans have something to celebrate for the first time in years.

Drew said...

Great album! Thanks so much, really enjoy this one - perfect for the fall weather and bicycle rides. I really appreciate all you've given us!

Anonymous said...

I love this album, but man... how could anyone compare it to The Monks? Different universes!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is Bandango stinks. I don't know what kind of hoops one has to jump through or what kind of "secret handshake" one has to know, but I couldn't figure out how to actually download the album, and that's even trying the alleged "direct link".

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