Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blinded By The Sun

On Trial was a legendary Psychedelic Garage Rock band from Denmark. This band made eight studio albums and Blinded By The Sun is the fifth one. On Trial excelled in their Psychedelic Sixties sound. If I'm correct there was also some involvement of some Baby Woodrose members. A highly recommended album by an outstanding band. Too bad they split up recently. Enjoy!

What is it with these guys? Even though I'm usually quite cranky at this hour in the morning (8:32 AM), it seems that these guys are allergic to making bad or even mediocre albums. Basically, if you like New Day Rising, you're gonna dig this one as well. Like that album, Blinded by the Sun has a tendency towards shorter, tougher songs than the ones so elaborately displayed on Head Entrance. The production is probably more elaborate here as well, while there's a bigger variety in styles and sounds. Some people collect stamps, others collect naughty toys or records, these guys seem to collect guitar pedals. Guf's influence is still increasing (he wrote more than half of the lyrics) and it shows, as about half of the album are tack-hard cuts of late '60s/early '70s psych rock, mixed up with hard rock, pop and even folksy stuff. The title track continues the more accessible direction of many of NDR's songs: it's muscular, yet melodic, tough, yet accessible. It's the same deal with most other tracks: "Everything" is a marvellous fuzzed-out rocker with vocalist Bo resembling the MC5's Rob Tyner so much it's scary, while "Driver" (an obscure cover) is ultra-catchy hippie music. Those songs are not even the hardest rocking tunes, the ones that are guaranteed to set their live shows ablaze. No, for those opportunities, there are cuts like the call to arms-rock of "Miles Away" that comes complete with sirens and all; the exquisite six minute-beast "Downer" (most likely to impress the stoners in the audience, think of Monster Magnet-meets-Pentagram) with its awesome guitar sounds and the simple, in-your-face hard rock of "Poor Soul." It's not a 50-minute rave-up, though, as the broadened sound palette also includes quieter, moodier material. The half-acoustic "Too Late," sung by Guf, is as atmospheric as this kind of stuff gets, dark and fatalistic. The real winner here, however, is "So Close," a wonderfully realized slice of lush L.A. psych-pop. With those melancholic vocals and additional trumpets it's a dead ringer for Love's folk-psych. With the exception of "Downer," all the songs are easily digestible and short, but in good old fashion, there's a reward for trip addicts at the end of the album, with two +10 minute space travels inviting the listener to enjoy the view from up above. "Slippin' and Slidin'" is a mantra-like dirge that takes a while to build up, but manages to create a weird, melancholy atmosphere and when those compressed vocals kick in, the visions are complete. "Kolos" is darker and heavier and despite being less melodic, there's damn fine guitar stuff goin' on and that acceleration and intensification probably leads to stunning results in a live setting. The brief "Kosmonaut" serves as a hard-rocking coda to that drone. Blinded by the Sun isn't a departure from New Day Rising like that album differed from Head Entrance before it, but because of the uniformly strong songs, terrific musicianship and occasionally beautiful moments, it ranks as an excellent album. Not as idiosyncratic as Head Entrance (God, I can't seem to keep my mouth shut about that one), but a lot more satisfying than most of today's self-conscious drivel that's being sold as "da new thing." Whatever, I'm sticking with On Trial.
(Review by Guy Peters)

On Trial - Blinded By The Sun (2002)

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