EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND – Wasa Wasa
The same RC article also prompted me to try the Edgar Brougton Band for the first time, choosing their 1969 debut ‘Wasa Wasa’. Unlike the Michael Chapman album, however, I was very disappointed with this purchase. The band have been around for many years, and have been a mainstay of the free festival circuit, so I suppose that I expected something along the lines of Hawkwind or Gong, but the stodgy blues of this album was neither. ‘Death Of A Electric Citizen’ sets the scene, with sub-Beefheartian vocals over a basic blues rhythm and odd interjections of guitar, and while ‘American Soldier Boy’ has its heart in the right place, it is an atrocious piece of music. ‘Why Can’t Somebody Love Me?’ and ‘Neptune’ are just about OK musically, but the vocals are a real trial to sit through, and things don’t get much better on the tuneless ‘Crying’ or the heavy riffing ‘Love In The Rain’. The album closes with the fourteen minute ‘Dawn Crept Away’, and it is pretty much as you expect – a loose jam that doesn’t really go anywhere. That would have been that, except that I got the CD version, and so have another five tracks to sit through. Luckily the first four are demos from the group in their earliest incarnation as a straight blues band in the mid 60’s, and so are actually not that bad, even if the sound quality leaves something to be desired. The final nine minute track is called ‘Untitled Freak Out’ and although it is not as bad as it sounds, it is basically a long guitar instrumental which soon palls. I really thought that I would like this album as I have heard so much about them over the years, but I was bitterly disappointed and will not be trying anything else by the band.