20 September 2012

Roger Rodier - 1972 - Upon Velveatur

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

Americans 'know' that Canada doesn't give us any good music- just comedians.  Neil Young had to come to the States to get the ball rolling, man.  Of course, thinking this way will cut you off from some pretty groovy music, and Roger Rodier is a case in point.  The file tag that came with this listed it as 'acid folk,' and I suppose it is to some extent, but this is the early 70's and Ro-Ro does have sort of a singer-songwriter thing going on.  Fortunately, it doesn't head out for a full-on bad-mustache/giant-wicker-chair cheese-o-rama.  Roger's got a 60's hangover that recalls the lighter moments of Sagittarius.

The first two tracks are gently-picked acid folk ditties that had me hoping that someone would slip a few amphetamines into Roger's milk (someone did slip a theremin into 'My Spirit's Calling, which is worth three cool points)  .  Not that they're bad tunes, but sequencing both of them right at the start of the album was probably a questionable call - they almost have the same guitar part.  I've noticed that this is a common sequencing trick in rock n' roll - someone notices that two song are similar so they stick them right together - sort of a "Ha! I meant to do that!"  I'm pretty sure I've done that when sequencing my own albums, so I suppose I can't really criticize.

The band did make it in for the album's best track, "Am I Supposed to Let It By Again (Above the Covers)."  No, I won't be typing that again.  Anyway, this sounds like a happy Neil Young and Crazy Horse trying to sound upset and angry.  It's not quite the same, but it dose have flanging effects on the drums.  "You Don't Know What It's Like" and "Just Fine" are probably outtakes from Gorky's Zygotic Minci's album, "How I Long to Feel That Summer In My Heart," which is interesting since that album was recorded almost thirty years after this set by Ro-Ro.  "Let's See Some Happiness" includes honky-tonk piano and a chorus and I don't like it all that much.

There are some bonus tracks that seem to be demos or something as the recording quality is somewhat hazier.  "Easy Song" comes across like an AM radio sunshine hit, "Tu Viendras" is a groovy rock n' roll induction ceremony theme, while "Overseer" is worth the listen for the strange, rolling rhythm.  Meanwhile, "Have You" must be queued up for inclusion in the next Wes Anderson flick.  (*Ook, waited until now to do my research - turns out these are 1969 single tracks.)

This is worth a listen for those of you wishing to waft through the tall grass of the late Canadian summer of 1972.  Roger pokes at the boundaries of 70's singer-songwriter territories, but rarely pokes through.  He's too groovy a cat for that, and has dreams of 1967 sunshine pop.


Anonymous said...


Andrei Lopes said...

Never heard of some of this stuff before. Nice listing. The DIVINE INTERVENTION NOW ep is excellent. Just downloaded it. The perfect combination of sweet and sour to leave on wanting more. Delicious!

Anonymous said...

rar seems to be corrupt