Hypnos 69 — Legacy
(Elektrohasch 145, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01
It’s been a a few years since we reviewed this Belgian band’s previous effort, The Eclectic Measure, but this latest release Legacy (also available as a double-LP) is proving to be well worth the wait. While operating solidly in the psychedelic hard-rock vein with fiery guitar leads at the fore, the quartet incorporates some vintage proto-prog sounds, jazz informed elements, and a touch of that early 70s art-rock classicism that fueled classic bands like early Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator. Multi-instrumentalist and singer Steve Houtmeyers is the driving force behind the band’s music and lyrics, supported by drums, bass, saxes, flute, brass, and a standard classic keyboard lineup: Moog, Hammond, Mellotron, and Fender Rhodes. The opening 18-minute multi-part suite is a flat-out stunner, but the excitement doesn’t end there. Houtmeyers’ somewhat idiosyncratic vocals take the band right back to the apex of the early 70s British hard-rock sound, while the players weave blistering guitars, vintage keys, and saxes over a tight rhythm section, with occasional forays into somewhat softer, jazzier, and psychedelic territory that might at times remind of post-Barrett soundtrack-era Floyd. Nowhere is a Floyd comparison more evident than on the acoustic guitar driven “The Sad Destiny We Lament,” which even hints at Floyd’s mid-70s post DSOTM sound. The disc closes with another 18 minute multi-part monster that wanders all over the vintage rock map. Listeners who appreciated the retro-sound of bands like early Anekdoten, Änglagård, and such might do well to check this band out.
Related artist(s): Hypnos 69
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more