Quality: 4.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
Daevid Allen is best known as the ringmaster of Gong's more psychedelic periods (as opposed to Pierre Moerlin's jazz-rock version of the band), although this LP dates to a period before Gong had really coalesced as a band. As such, the sound is very much in transition between Allen's involvement with the psychedelic ballroom sounds of the early Soft Machine and the prog freakout of Radio Gnome-era Gong. In fact, Robert Wyatt of the Soft Machine makes a few appearances here as does Canterbury scene standby, Pip Pyle and Allen's special ladyfriend and Gong fixture, Gillie Smyth.
Side one of the album seems to reflect some of the more 60's forms of psychedelia, while the second side anticipates what Gong would be doing in a few years. "Time of Your Life" is an awesome, full-tilt acid rocker, propelled by what is some of the best drumming I've heard out of Robert Wyatt (who also sings lead on "Memories"). "All I Want Is Out Of Here" makes me think of the Muppets' Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem after Animal made them all take the brown acid, an "Fred the Fish" is the only track on this album that I'd like to take out back and execute. I can't find anything saying that Kevin Ayers is taking on the vocal for "White Neck Blooze," but if that's not him, then Daevid Allen must have a Kevin Ayers aping superpower or something. It would have fit seamlessly on Ayers' similarly titled album, Bananamour. The end of this song also engages in some entertaining, stoned-out absurdity. "Stoned Innocent Frankenstein" and "I Am A Bowl" would not have been out of place as poppy highlights on a Gong album - although 'pop' is a relative term here as the songs are still pretty far out there. For the total freakout mirror of Gong, we get the twelve minute long "& His Adventure in the Land of Flip," complete with Gillie Smyth's cosmic bellowing and Allen speaking gibberish. I think it comes close to the deranged level of Frank Zappa's "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet."
This is every bit as essential as Gong's early albums such as Magick Brother and Camembert Electrique. Actually, I prefer this album to the latter - it also gets bonus points due to Robert Wyatt's drumming contributions. So yeah, stick this one in your ear.