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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Electric Prunes

Feedback

Review by Gary Hill

So, you say you remember the Electric Prunes from the Easy Rider soundtrack, the song “Too Much to Dream Last Night” or their old albums? Well, did you know that they are back together? Feedback is the latest release from the new millennium resurgence of the group and it is a powerhouse hard rocker that manages to feel modern and current while still keeping its feet firmly rooted in the psychedelic roots that were the Electric Prunes. These guys show off some great new tunes for a modern era that should still please their long time fans.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hello Out There
As this opens I hear Jimi Hendrix’ “Foxy Lady,” but when it bounds into the song proper this is closer to something from the Yardbirds. It’s got a great vintage hard rock sound. It’s noisy and very cool.  It’s a very strong opener.

Circus Freak
Sound effects open this, but then we move out into a full on psychedelic hard rock journey. The keyboards and overall song structure both have a definite retro approach. This has more stripped down segments and at times reminds me of the music to “The Munsters.” It’s definitely a more purely retro sound than the opener. It’s no less potent, though. Although, it has a few strange (and I mean that in the good sense) moments.
Flying Blind
In some ways the sound here is more modern. The vocals tend to the spoken motif. This is a hard rocker that has retro sounds, but those elements are less tied to a specific era than some of the other material. That said, they throw in a couple total “flowers and beads” kind of mellow drop backs to the hippie generation.
I'll Give You Feedback
As one might anticipate from the title, a feedback frenzy leads this off. The group pull it into a more standard “song” structure after this bit little excursion for another hard rocking, retro textured jam that’s quite strong. We also get a smoking, noise fest jam in the midst of this piece.
Innerlight Transcendence
This is a total hippie love fest induced trip. It’s right out of 1967 in song composition and delivery. This is a cool change of pace and blast from the past.

Morphine Drip
This one has one of the most modern textures on show here. Mind you, one can still hear plenty of nods to the origins of the group, but the motif feels more like a mid to late 1970’s rock sound rather than the decade before. It’s one of the cooler tracks on show here.

Tulip Between the Eyes
This rocker is another that has more of modern texture. In fact, this reminds me a bit of some of the more roots driven sounds from The Lords of the New Church. That’s pretty high praise from me, actually. The cut shifts out to a mellower motif for a time (with some more pure psychedelic leanings), but then moves out into more killer hard edged rock and we get some of the tastiest guitar work of the whole disc here. The chorus feels almost like Blue Oyster Cult at times.
African Bees
Bouncy and fun, this is the most unique number on the CD. It’s a great piece, assuming you have a good sense of humor. It’s almost beyond description in a lot of ways – “fun” and “funny” would be the best attempts.

Batch Of Violins
Here the Prunes live up to the title and do this song purely on violins. OK, that’s a joke and not what this song is really about. Still, it’s definitely a tongue-in-cheek piece of music, performed as if by a “lounge lizard.” We get some cool ethnic sounds on this one and it’s another that’s unusual in comparison to the rest of the disc – or by itself for that matter. It’s cool if odd. At times I’m reminded a bit of Camper Van Beethoven. We do get one excursion into more pure psychedelic styled vintage sounds, but still bearing the klesmer-like musical structures.
Itzomad
They move back to more hard edged rock and roll with retro textures to close out the disc. This is more in keeping with the rest of the album and that helps it to serves as both a return to form and a satisfying conclusion to the disc.
 
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