Alcatraz - Vampire State Building (1971)"Talking about obscure and underrated releases, this Alcatraz album runs ahead of the pack. This album sounds as shabby and loose as a Kraut album should sound, but it is spiced with jazz, hard rocking psychedelics and some avant-garde. Or if you like, a mix of early Can, Colosseum and Soft Machine.
"Simple Headphone Mind" is a beautiful jazzy track, somewhat similar to Miles Davis' "In A Silent Way". "Your Chance of a Lifetime" is more psychedelic. Spacey guitars and rough echoing vocals complement the jazzy rhythmic standard. At the end of the track they rock out in true anarchistic kraut fashion, seemingly sloppy and unfocussed but still engaging due to its freely rocking vibe.
More heavy psychedelic blues kicks off "Where The Wild Things Are", at least till it settles for a swinging jazz groove with saxophone and guitar solos. A loose free-jazz vibe is maintained throughout. Too bad it fades out after only 3 minutes.
No such premature fade on the 13 minute "Vampire State Building". Memorable riffs and inspired soloing keep this one going effortlessly. Even the drum solo is fun. The song goes in all directions, jazzy, avant-garde, pastoral, spacey and even a part with very compelling vocals, not unlike Colosseum. "Piss Off" is full of aggressive and weird psychedelic effects. "Change Will Come" is more traditionally jazz rock.
The album art and goofy title may not have been their best idea, but the boys in the band sure know how to make a tasty, jazzy, psychedelic krautrock album. It may not be the most recognized album in the scene but they sure made a very unique album that is inspiring and enjoyable all the way."
1. Simple Headphone Mind (10:00)
2. Your Chance Of A Lifetime (5:06)
3. Where The Wild Things Are (3:03)
4. Vampire State Building (13:10)
5. Piss Off (3:18)
6. Change Will Come (6:08)
Rüdiger Berghan - Piano, Vocals
Klaus Holst - Guitar
Klaus Nagurski - Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Ronald Wilson - Bass
Jan Rieck - Drums, Percussion
OK see ya