GERARDO MANUEL & HUMO – Apocallypsis

This Peruvian group were a heavy progressive rock outfit and this, their debut album from 1970, certainly comes chock full of fuzzed lead guitar and swirling Hammond. They split the album 50:50 between covers and original material and the covers give an idea of where the band were at. Grand Funk Railroad’s ‘Are You Ready’ sits alongside the Hendrix classic ‘Power Of Soul’, while ‘96 Tears’ was slowed right down for a heavier feel. Of the self-penned material the title track is a great piece of hard rock, although ‘Lonely Night’ fares slightly less well, and is not helped by the inclusion of a drum solo. The standout track on here is ‘Power Of Soul’, which is played pretty close to the original, but with a heavy rock feel to it. The lyrics are translated into Peruvian for the verses, but revert to English for the chorus, giving it a rather odd sound, while the guitarwork attempts to emulate Hendrix, and very nearly pulls it off. ‘I Will Bring You Flowers In The Morning’, the John Cameron song, is an orchestrated ballad, sung with a thick accent and quite out of place on this hard rock album. It is a pretty good attempt, but breaks up the flow of the album, and when the heavy rock reappears with ‘Where Did You Go’ and ‘Rock And Roll Soul’ it takes a while to pick up the momentum. ‘Rock And Roll Soul’ is perhaps a little too much like 50’s r’n’r for my liking, but ‘I Can’t Do It If You Do It’ is an great impassioned heavy soul offering, which segues nicely into album closer ‘96 Tears’. Quite an unusual album from Peru, where the bands tended to go more for the melodic pop option rather than hard rock, but this album is very enjoyable and there is enough good stuff on here for me to recommend the CD re-issue whole-heartedly.