I've been a big fan of this band from their early days. When I heard one of my fellow DJ's at the radio station playing something by them I'd never heard before, I flipped - and then went nearly out of my mind trying to locate another copy of this rare boot. Of course, there are no liner notes, or any info other than track titles included with this. Recording dates span 1969~70, straddling the date they changed their name from The Flowers, to The Flower Travellin' Band. Traks B2~4 are possibly all from their Flower days, while the side-and-a-half long "I'm Dead" is possibly live, and most likely 1970 FTB. It is far from consistent over it's length, but overall outstanding. This is a prog hard rock lovers dream, and worth seeking out by fans of the band and genre. ....tymeshifter ....~
A bootleg of material recorded between 1969-70– some of it comes from their original incarnation as Yuya Uchida & the Flowers. At that point, they were a mostly covers-oriented band obviously enamored of the “West Coast” sound of Big Brother & the Holding Company and the Airplane. From that era, Hendrix’s “Stone Free” is featured here– a rather pedestrian version raised to loftier heights by them “Engrish” vocals we all know and love. I’m gonna take an edumacated guess that their lift of Zep’s arrangement of “How Many More Times” likely dates from only a short time later as it includes the Janis-like backing vox of Remi Aso– the chanteuse who appeared on the 1969 Flowers’ LP, “Challenge.” Interesting from a completist’s point of view, but it is thee later-period tracks that unleash thee Motherlode.
“I’m Dead” — spread over all of side one and part of side two, is twenty-seven minutes of acid-damaged, ear-bleedin’ guitar-maulin’ courtesy of Hideki Ishima– very possibly one of the all-time high-water marks in recorded history— and that ain’t hyperbole. This is a signature riffathon on par with “Maggot Brain” or “Beck’s Bolero.” Beginning with some chillingly splashy high-hats, a sparse, foreboding theme is introduced by Ishima’s axe that he methodically molds by adding slight variations with lightly-picked harmonics and tonal colors until the rumble of Jun Kozuki’s bass arrives approximately seven minutes in. It is then that Ishima begins adding acrobatic runs and manipulated feedback– sculpting mini-anthems, each of which he lingers on for a few moments before shifting into the next gear. For thee Grande Finale, he switches over to bottleneck, coaxing inhuman shrieks and squeals from mere wood and steel that ultimately climaxes with his ascent to nigh-unbearable upper-registers… a true tour de force! The remaining cut, “Otoko,” is a bluesy instrumental that swings like a pair o’ rhinoceros balls– in fact, it brings to mind a condensed “Fillmore East”-era Allmans jam with another dose of searing slide guitar and rapid-fire bass licks.....by....TheePope .....~