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Eela Craig

Eela Craig (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

Eela Craig was an Austrian progressive rock band. They released quite a few albums after this 1971 debut disc, but this one has been largely forgotten. That's a shame because there is some amazing music on this thing. It has a lot of psychedelia in the mix, but also plenty of killer early prog. I think it still holds up well to this day.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
A
                    
New Born Child

Organ brings this in and holds it for the introduction. Things rise upward gradually from there after a time with a cool psychedelic meets proto-prog concept at play. It seems to be part Vanilla Fudge, part Iron Butterfly and part early Pink Floyd. A crazed screaming comes across several times, creating an unsettling psychedelic vibe. Then the track drops down for a mellower arrangement that has classical and folk music elements. The first actual vocals of the album come in over the top of that. Around the four-minute mark it seems to end. Bass eventually rises up with some chiming percussive elements in the mix to herald the return. Some funky guitar climbs over the top. Then we get some smoking hot horns and more added to the mix as this thing drives forward with style. This works into some scorching hot jamming as it continues. A cool jazzy King Crimson-like twist takes over right at the end to close it.

Selfmade Trip
Intricate acoustic guitar rises up to create a sonic tapestry as this gets underway. The number gradually comes up from there into a trippy kind of jazzy jam. Then it drives out with more rocking sounds as the guitar really takes us in new directions. The vocals comes in bringing more of a psychedelic rock edge. The shifts toward jazzy stuff after that vocal movement, then it starts shifting toward mellower stuff that eventually gives us a false ending. Flute rises up and other instrumentation gradually comes up to join. It gets into some pretty rocking zones for a time, but then eventually drops downward to some psychedelic trippiness for a time. Complete with backwards tracking, that part eventually ends the track.
B
               
A New Way

Rising up gradually, this has a real folk meets jazzy jam arrangement. The vocals join quickly after it gets started. Eventually we're taken out into an instrumental movement that features cool acoustic guitar soloing within a jazzy groove. There is some flute jamming as this instrumental section keeps going. The track comes back to the vocal movement with a more powered up and dramatic arrangement as it does. That flute keeps dancing around the mix.

Indra Elegy

This number comes in with keyboard based arrangement. It builds outward from there in a classic proggy way with flute overhead.  Organ takes command, eventually leading this into a powerhouse progressive rock jam from there. This thing is purely on fire as the guitar starts soloing over the top of it.  That works through and drops away with echoey piano filling the void. As the guitar rejoins we are taken into a rather bluesy prog jam from there. The vocals enter, bringing more of a psychedelic rock thing. For some reason I'm reminded a little of Procol Harum as this plods forward. I really dig the guitar soloing that comes in further down the road. That ends and keyboards rise upward. Flute solos over the top. That eventually fades down to end things in style.

 
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