Monday 28 April 2014

Choice Cuts : Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum

Album Line-up :

Dickie Peterson | Vocals, Bass
Leigh Stephens | Guitar
Paul Whaley | Drums

The perfect soundtrack for a generation caught in peace, love, revolution, social upheaval and war!! Blue Cheer manage to conjure up all these ideologies and spew it back into the world through a frenetic blues based fuzz bomb that awakens all the senses and leaves you paralysed and yet still wanting more! Kicking off with a cover of Eddie Cochran’s ‘Summertime Blues’, the band unleashes it's relentless power, with Marshall amps and fuzz pedals set on 11 and Dickie Peterson's hot headed hollering accompanied by Paul Whaley’s thunderous drumming, by the first 10 seconds you know this isn't a Mammas and Papas record!

‘Rock Me Baby’ is a standard blues cover, but of course Blue Cheer soup things up and this standard now sounds like the soundtrack to a Woolly Mammoth porn movie! ‘Doctor Please’ is a proto metal doom/ stoner classic! Ranging from the downer slow mo riffs and lyrics to a frantic change of pace in the mid section (something Black Sabbath would run with a few years later) and a return back to the lethargic lumbering riff that started the whole fuzz ball rolling, then finally passing out at the very end sounding like Dickie and the boys had been on some anti war march full of LSD and Whiskey.

‘Out of Focus’ penned by Dickie is a introspective paean to a generation losing its battle against a ever increasing corrupt US government that is turning its children to visionary burn outs! With Dickie crying ‘Won’t somebody tell me what's wrong with me’! The band grooves on till it hits a wall of feedback then falls on its ass! ‘Parchment Farm’ is another cover, this time with blistering pace; again, another proto metal classic that bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple copped a load of and made millions out of it! The albums closer, ‘Next Time Around’ finishes off the album in true free form noise ridden Blue Cheer fashion! With Paul Whaley doing a drum solo mid song sounding like a punk rock version of Ginger Baker to Leigh Stephens' Vietnam fuzz bomb guitar feed back that implodes this proto metal classic!

A lot has been said about Blue Cheer being the godfathers of heavy metal! I'd agree! Before Black Sabbath! Louder than Led Zeppelin, on through to influencing countless bands in the 90s like Mudhoney, Nirvana and of course Kyuss, Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet! To one of the most underrated bands of all time and not to mention over looked!! These guys summed up a generation heading for turmoil in the face of war! And when they self proclaimed they were ‘Louder than God’ I think no one could disagree! Even Jim Morrison said they were the most powerful band he had ever witnessed! Amen to that!!

Words & Recommendation by : David Oglesby

Album Details :

Vincebus Eruptum is the debut album by Blue Cheer. Released in January 1968, it was a commercial and critical success, Vincebus Eruptum peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

1). Summertime Blues 03:43
2). Rock Me Baby 04:18
3). Doctor Please 08:50
4). Out of Focus 03:52
5). Parchment Farm 05:48
6). Second Time Around 06:18

Over the years there have been at least 30 separate releases of this record.  A classic in every sense of the word.