The Flower Travelin' Band-Anywhere(1970? Japanese Hardrock)
Debut record by the Flower Travelin' Band
True to the new project, Flower Travellin’ Band hurried out their first LP entitled ANYWHERE. And sure enough, Uchida and his four cohorts were, right there on the gatefold sleeve, righteously and defiantly depicted riding butt-nekkid down some deserted Japanese highway on huge powerful low riders. ANYWHERE was no milestone, but it was certainly a massive change of musical style and a hugely listenable record. From the off, the driving 15-minute “Louisiana Blues” defined Flower Travellin’ Band’s direction. Coming on like the Chocolate Watchband’s “Expo 2000” as played by CONTINENTAL CIRCUS-period Gong,1 “Louisiana Blues” explores guitar theme after guitar theme, with only brief vocal performances from Joe. But his singing is wild and this guitar music is h-e-a-v-y!
Those who dismiss ANYWHERE as an album of cover versions have surely never heard it, only heard about it. For a start, Flower Travellin’ Band do not cover the song “Black Sabbath”. Instead, they let its tyres down and ride it across a ploughed field. They do to it what no British band ever could have done. The 4/4 becomes an ambient metal assault over which Joe sings the lyrics when he himself feels like it, rather than following any of the original’s tension. Flower’s version of “21st Century Schizoid Man” ejects all the nasty sax flourishes and prissy snare drum jazz-outs of the original and gets down to the real power trio business which the riff always suggested. In this mood, you even begin to believe they could have taken Yes’ proto-metal epic “Heart of the Sunrise” and turned it into the Troggs’ “Feels Like A Woman”. And if you shudder (as I did) at the thought of Flower approaching a hoary standard such as “House of the Rising Sun”, open up your mind to receive the proto-Stairway shock-of-a-lifetime. For they have taken away those chords and lo, the arrangement hath been lifted up several cosmic notches. By the end of it, the House has been displaced by the Land of the Rising Sun and Joe’s sense of loss has us all blarting like babbies.
(Writen by Julian Cope)
2 Louisiana Blues
3 Black Sabbath
4House Of Rising Sun
5 Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man