Krokodil – An Invisible World Revealed
If any album defies categorization, it is this one: an early psych driven effort by a Swiss band sporting a British bassist/guitarist/vocalist that is categorized as “Krautrock” but often dismissed by progressive rock enthusiasts as blues-driven hard rock. Who cares? It’s a wonderful record, starting with the first track, “Lady of Attraction,” with its swirling, phasey vocals and psychedelic atmospherics. You can detect the blues-rock elements in some tracks, but they are so effectively combined with other, more exotic motifs that the album really stands on its own. Perhaps the biggest obstacle for modern listeners is the cost of an original pressing, released on United Artists in Germany in 1971, and now in a serious collector’s price range.
Thankfully, there is a good reissue of the LP on the Second Battle label, circa 2009, that sounds good, plays well and is nicely packaged. Though out of print, this reissue is readily available for a fraction of the cost of an original pressing.
I knew I was hooked on this record when a riff stayed in my head for days—you know the story—what is that? Sometimes, you can track back through what you listened to recently and find it. And there it was—that first track. It’s mesmerizing, a little strange, but haunting. And it grows on you. There’s something almost a little out of date about the album even from the period of its release, but it does not sound derivative or dated; to the contrary, it has a distinctive sound that varies from track to track with little repetition in song style or musical character among the songs.
A guilty pleasure for me – I play it more often than many other albums from the era. Highly recommended if your taste leans toward hard rock that isn’t predictably the same as many other records, now or then.*
Jan. 8, 2017
*Another of the band’s albums will be covered here soon.