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Album Review

Guru Guru's second album starts off on a chaotic note, but "Electric Junk" soon resolves itself into a full-on band jam and takes it from there, showing again that the band readily trod the fine line between merely skilled and truly inspired. There's always a nagging sense on this album that the group is but one step away from prog rock wank of the worst kind, but then there'll be a thick blast of righteous noise or a suddenly lovely dark chime that feels more Blue Oyster Cult than Emerson, Lake & Palmer, say. This can even happen out of nowhere, like the odd spoken word pronouncements interrupting the attempted drum solo on "Electric Junk" or the open-ended electronic moans and echoed calls during the floating midsection of "Space Ship." "The Meaning of Meanings" has the most "way deep, man" feeling on the whole album, as the title perhaps demonstrates, but even it has room for a rather bizarre midsection where the lyrics aren't sung or shouted as much as groaningly sighed over a slowly building full-band burst. Neumeier's drumming here is actually some of his best, while Genrich sounds like he's inventing some of Daniel Ash's feedback freakouts years in advance. The oddest number of the four mostly is such due to the name — one would figure that calling a song "Bo Diddley" and clearly chanting the title at various points during the song would mean a full-on rave-up in the rock legend's vein. Anything but! There's enough of a smoky feel going on to suggest the influence the likes of Quicksilver Messenger Service incorporated, say, but a Diddley-beat workout this isn't, though there are a few game attempts here and there to try — sort of.


Formed: 1970 in Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in 1970, Guru Guru was a German prog rock outfit whose largely instrumental work set the group squarely within the boundaries of what is commonly referred to decades later as Krautrock. While guitarist Ax Genrich, Uli Trepte, and keyboardist/drummer (and Cluster collaborator) Mani Neumeier remained the core of the band throughout its ten-year existence, a number of other musicians passed through the band's ranks, including Cluster co-founder Hans-Joachim Roedelius, who played keyboards on...
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Hinten, Guru Guru
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