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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Amon Düül (UK): Die Lösung


1) Big Wheel; 2) Urban Indian; 3) Adrenalin Rush; 4) Visions Of Fire; 5) Drawn To The Flame Pt. 1; 6) They Call It Home; 7) Die Lösung; 8) Drawn To The Flame Pt. 2.

Unlike Fool Moon, this second album, recorded more or less at the same time, does not even try to make a point. Unless the point is made by Bob Calvert, but I cannot, and will not, decipher it: for about two-thirds of the record, he «sings» in such an utterly ugly «nasal hoarse» tone that it would be impossible to take any of the words seriously — provided you could make any of them out in the first place. Quite ugly, really.

As for the music, this time it is not even all that experimental. It's all mid-tempo or moderately fast «rock», with chemical-sounding, utterly boring, guitar and clinical-sounding, utterly dated, synthesizers (the latter, courtesy of a couple members of The Ozric Tentacles, a band which is much better appreciated on its own, if there ever arise a need to appreciate them) — and the mood never ever changes, at least, not until the last two tracks which are sung by the eternal child Julie Waring: unfortunately, she comes in way too late to dissipate the depressing grey clouds, which are the only ingredient of the entire atmosphere of Die Lösung.

Sitting through fourty minutes of this muck is an experience only comparable in quality to sitting through some proverbially dull lecture on a subject in which you do not have the most remote in­terest (and I have had my share of these — in fact, Calvert's babbling brings up quite a few un­pleasant memories). I have no idea who on earth could develop an honest liking to this sort of record — too sterile to stir up adrenaline, and yet, too simplistic to tingle the nerves of progres­sively-oriented fans. Then, adding insult to injury, the CD reissue doubles the longest, and most excruciatingly boring, number on the album ('Drawn To The Flame') by adding a second part of it that, for seven more minutes, sounds almost exactly like the first.

Apparently, it is now known that Weinzierl did not approve of the release of either Fool Moon or Die Lösung, claiming that they were unfinished recordings that were only put out because of Cal­vert's death (from a heart attack in August 1988), to commemorate the sessions. But I fail to ima­gine how these sessions could be «completed» — was Weinzierl planning to add raging guitar overdubs? The London Symphony Choir? Surprise guest appearance of Bono and Kermit the Frog duetting on a reggae version of 'Archangel Thunderbird'? Whatever. Thumbs down would be guaranteed even under all of these conditions.

In any case, this dead-end collaboration effectively put a stop to Weinzierl's ongoing usurpation of the name of «Amon Düül». For most of the 1990s, he was in relative hiding, and emerged only in the early 2000s to reunite with the original band for a series of gigs and nostalgic happenings, leading to the recording of Bee As Such. He still wields that axe impressively, but, overall, his attempt to carry the flag of Amon Düül throughout the 1980s must be acknowledged as a strate­gic failure, despite a few tactical victories. Just stick to the first two albums.

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