|Mac Beaulieu||7-September-2001||Eulenspygel 2|
Inside one of the most tasteless album covers I've ever seen is krautrock of the gnarly, freaky variety. Eulenspygel delivers the stereotypical elements one would expect: a sometimes "heavy" sound, as on the driving blues-rock opener with its cool anthemic chorus; a couple of period jams where the rhythm section sets up a lengthy basic groove for aimless psychedelic riffery; even a nicely done psych/folk gem. The lineup includes two guitars, bass, drums, organ, flute, (uncredited) violin, and the vocals of Mulo Maulbetsch: deep, almost mockingly operatic, and occasionally demented. Surely a put-off for some, but I love it. The music is generally rock-based, though they do throw in a number of curve balls along the way, such as the jazzy, 5/4 "Staub auf Deinem Haar", some traditional jazz and blues breaks, brief medieval themes -- even a snippet of church music -- all played convincingly. Symph and neo fans should probably keep away, but fans of the aforementioned krautrock style should enjoy this.
Auschusss was Eulenspygel's second album. Just like their first album, it features razor sharp lyrics criticizing the shadowy sides of German society in the early 70's. The album opens with the 20 minute-plus rock opera "Abfall" meaning garbage, most likely a more symbolic, rather than literal, story about orphans. The music is quite similar to their first album, maybe a bit more downbeat and reflective, but still a mix of Jethro Tull-ish rock and folky elements close to Witthuser & Westrupp. Although a more sophisticated album than their first (confusingly called 2), I find Ausschuss to be less lively. Unfortunately, some of the impact of the album would get lost if you don't understand German. A lyric sheet would have been a welcome addition to the CD reissue in order to appreciate the album completely. Overall, it's a good album.
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