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Free Love — Official Bootleg Vol. 1: Concert 2005 Sapporo
(Vital Records VR-022, 2006, CD)

by Roel Steverink, Published 2007-03-01

Official Bootleg Vol. 1: Concert 2005 Sapporo Cover art

This is a live recording from the Japanese band Free Love, taped during their concert in Sapporo in 2005. Free Love are Hiroaki Shibata (vocals and guitar), Hiroki Matsui (organ and synth), Yuji Hayakawa (bass), and Asushi Motohashi (drums). And these guys riff and bang like a raging storm. The whirling guitar reminds of Happy the Man, only they don’t have the same complexity, while the concrete drum bashes remind of the late John Bonham. This is more down to earth going for the climax like Hawkwind at its best. In the intermezzos, Shibata’s guitar backs off and rare synth strings tension fills the air. White hot guitar riffin’ shoulder to shoulder with organ roar and furious drumming take the listener in a spin. The last track “Shangri-La” is an excursion to the outskirts of reality. After the Eastern synth dawn, Shibata’s hardrock guitar fire is lit again, backed by highpitched and hellish rumbling organ sounds from Matsui. Live music rarely can be more dynamic than Japanese fury. The only flaw is the rediculous length of this album (only four tracks, 33 minutes in total), way too short, should have been at least double the length.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Free Love

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