If there’s an award for album title of the year, this wins it, surely?
Arising like a mutant bastard love child of Guru Guru and Acid Mothers Temple from the putrid swamp at the mouth of the River Mersey, Zen Bastard lurches forward, seaweed, mud, and fetid detritus of indeterminate origin dripping and slipping in sticky slops from its decaying flesh to sink back into the pitch black slime, calling to the goddess of ur-rock as mighty Kraut-noise blasts the earwax from the deepest recesses of your auricular canal.
Mountain King Blues finds the lost om-riff and uses it to forge mountain ranges, and on Outsideofintime Fred Laird gets to sing while he imagines being fed grapes by nubile servants, drugged to act out his every whim. This song sounds like The Bevis Frond on stronger drugs, and Fred can actually sing rather better than Mr Saloman too. Marvellous howling proto-Manuel Göttsching guitars take the mothership into another dimension, its occupants calling interplanetary craft, inviting it in and lacing its tea with the strongest acid imaginable. The results are fucking fabulous.
The trip ends with a mighty konstrukt called The Kosmik Suite where early Tangs frug with the Pink Fairies while Hawkwind throw another Glam Descend on the barbie. The heat from this thing is like asteroids making babies.
What the Fleetwood denizens have done here is re-record some choons from earlier albums and sstttrreettttccchhheeddd them out to unreasonable proportions, creating something entirely other in the process. The title track is a new one, and it is quite fitting that all of this was recorded at Idyllic Foel Studios, home to one Dave Anderson, ex of Amon Düül II and Hawkwind.
Sometimes you just have to ditch the complicated shit and ROCK. Obviously this has to be played VERY LOUD. If you dig this, check out their earlier missives from on high, you won’t find a damp roach among them.
01. Zen Bastard (15:57)
02. Mountain King Blues (8:23)
03. Outsideofintime (12:35)
04. The Kosmik Suite (19:19)
Total Time – 56:15
Fred Laird – Vocals, Guitars, Gakken, Coral Sitar, Mellotron, Lap Steel
Kim Allen – Bass
Jon Blacow – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Drone Rock Records (vinyl only)
Date of Release: 16th February 2017