Mike McLatchey 16-September-2002 Joyride

Joyride is a celebrated item in psychedelic rock circles both for its predating of and similarity with krautrock styles of years later. From 1969, it's obviously not a surprise that this is a psychedelic album, although this avoids any pretense of being a pop album at all by concentrating on instrumental jams and studio experimentation, even on their shorter pieces. Influences must be vast, from Captain Beefheart to Iron Butterfly, from Vanilla Fudge to the Yardbirds, and from the Grateful Dead to Fifty Foot Hose. Joyride's similarity to music by bands like Group 1850 or Xhol Caravan is also surprising in such a light, pointing at aspects of the psychedelic jam session that would not come to such a fruition until a few years later. Surely Anthem of the Sun could be considered a precursor in regards to studio trickery and experimentation, although there aren't a lot of other albums from the era that could be directly connected to Joyride. The album is consistently excellent throughout from the gentle flute-led tripping out of "Love Sketch" onto the album's closing pair of nine plus minute tracks which stretch things out to wonderful effect. The last two pieces portray Friendsound in their most psychedelically abandoned state, reaching into composition and improvisation with studio-assisted trickery to produce collages of kaleidoscopic hallucination where fuzz guitars swell in and out, voices speed up and slow down, and generally everything is thrown into a lysergic swirl of altered dimensions. From an era where just about every album was tinged with a bit of echo or reverb to hint at hippie psychedelia, this is an album literally drenched in it, one of the few unknown gems from the era that predate and prophesy the wave of 70s kraut and space rock to come.

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