dinsdag 5 juni 2018

Hot Lava Sex Machine. Gallowstreet

So Pieter de Graaf, sort of, pulled me out of my comfort zone. How about Gallowstreet? Horns and funky rhythms spew from my speakers. Everything I do not listen to on an average day. Mentally deleting the prominent drums and bass, visions of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago Transit Authority come to mind. Two bands who released their second and first album in 1969, both produced by James William Guercio. Both albums have long instrumental parts. Hot Lava Sex Machine is totally instrumental.

Now the first time I truly appreciated 'Blood, Sweat & Tears' was this year. Nearly 50 years after the release and having the album for over thirty. Enter Hot Lava Sex Machine. Watching the cover art (and the cd title), I'd expected to hear a young punk rock band going wild. Everything but the suave horns blowing their intricate arrangements backed by bass and drums. It doesn't get more suave then in 'Magnum Epos'. In fact, there are no other instruments besides all sorts of horns and other things to blow through (and some percussion).

Gallowstreet reminded me instantly of Jungle By Night. Yet, listening more closely there are more differences in the music than comparisons. One of them is that Gallowstreet is also a Dutch band, drawing influences from far from home.

Agreed, during nearly every song, somewhere I want to start singing 'You've Made Me So Very Happy' or 'Spinning Wheel', but in the end that is extremely positive. This band is able to conjure up two of my absolutely favourite early jazz-rock tracks.

Here I get to the point that makes me realise why I like this album. The music of Gallowstreet is never out to impress because of its musical, let alone its technical prowess. All the horns are aligned to one another in fine arrangements. Together creating a tune the band can be proud of. The drummer may be playing a different, perhaps even difficult rhythm but never for that rhythm itself. He is serving all that is going on around him. Not for one second I get the impression Gallowstreet is out to impress me with its technical abilities. Oh, yes, those abilities are there, abundantly. And so they do just that, impress me with its music and the intricate ways melodies come together. In the way the different instruments meet in the melody and the melody itself. It may be instrumental, it is very hard to sit still with the music of Gallowstreet. Live this must be a big party.

And here I come to the main difference with that band I mentioned above. It's easy to listen to Hot Lava Sex Machine at home. It is even fun. So did Gallowstreet pull me out of my comfort zone? Yes sir and I'm glad they did.


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