Monday, September 12, 2011

Strawberry Path - When The Raven Has Come To The Earth (1971 japan hard rock with little prog influences - MP3 320K and APE lossless)

[ Hard Rock Series # 10 ]

This terrible band was an appalling sour mash of American Breed cod-psychedelia overlain with lashings of the kind of shrill spewdo operetta that would disgrace the grooves of Uriah Heep’s dopey SALISBURY LP twelve months hence.

Like most of the so-called heavy Japanese bands of the period, Strawberry Path was in actuality anything but. Generally, their catholic sound is eclectic and overwrought, with arrangements being of the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink variety.

Music freaks claim songs such as ‘Leave Me, Woman’, ‘Woman Called Yellow Z’ and ‘I Gotta See My Gypsy Woman’ as evidence of the band’s good intentions, but the band’s deft performances of such daft AOR drool as ‘Mary Jane On My Mind’ and Marmalade/Hollies soundalike ‘The Second Fate’ suggests their hearts were more naturally in this non-headspace.

The band was really a duo with help from occasional bassists Hisashi Eto and former Powerhouse bassist George Yanagi, the latter also contributing a lead vocal, as he did for the Shinki Chen solo LP.

Strawberry Path would eventually mutate into the equally poor Flied Egg (great band name, at least!). Drummer Hiro Tsunoda would thereafter throw in the towel completely, going for total sub-sub-Peters & Lee meltdown with his agonisingly bad solo LP MARY JANE, a 1977 barrel-scraper featuring all of his previous crimes against rock, plus an unashamed copy of Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ done in a Danish Eurovision style. Although Strawberry Path’s original Philips LP sleeve names the record WHEN THE RAVEN HAS COME DOWN TO EARTH, it is occasionally listed under the Japanese title OHTORI GA CHIKYU NI YATTEKITAHI (review by Julian Cope).

This is an album that will appeal to garage fans, psych heads, mondo music lovers and acid freaks alike, merging as it does a variety of Western influences, ranging from Jimi Hendrix (check out Shigeru Narumo's hard psych guitar) to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.

Track List:
01.I Gotta See My Gypsy Woman
02.Woman Called Yellow "Z"
03.Second Fate
04.Five More Pennies
05.Maximum Speed Of Moji Bird
06.Leave Me Woman
07.Mary Janes On My Mind
08.Spherical Illusion
09.When The Raven Has Come To The Earth

Strawberry Path:
Shigeru Narumo – lead guitar, keyboards, vocals
Hiro Tsunoda – drums, vocals

[ Thanks a lot for MCLEHAST and SILVERADO ]
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