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AFTERSHAVE – Skin Deep

Aftershave are a Swiss band who purvey a sort of Cream-influenced garage rock sound on this, their sole album from 1972. The title track kicks things of in superb style, with a catchy riff, accessible vocals in English, and a scorching guitar solo halfway through. If the whole album is as good as this then it will be an album well worth having. ‘Him’ slows things down a bit for a bluesy rocker, with some dexterous bass-work and some nice restrained guitar. ‘Paper Woman’, on the other hand, sounds like that band’s attempt at a pop song, and while it is not bad it is quite unlike the previous two tracks and sounds a bit out of place. ‘Ride, Ride, Ride’ brings the album back on track, with another catchy riff-led rocker containing some searing guitar. ‘Sweet Home’ is a classy boogie rocker with some nice slide guitar, but not quite up to the standard of previous tracks, while ‘Amsterdam In My Living Room’ is a ballad which breaks up the album nicely before the hard rock returns on ‘Near The Sun’, with its driving beat and duelling guitar solos. ‘Pink Rose’ is an acoustic number complete with bongos and strummed guitar, which leads neatly into the full on boogie of ‘Sunflower’, coming on like a Swiss Ten Years After, with some great blues-rock guitar stretched out over the songs seven minutes. All in all this album is something of a mixed bag, with a variety of styles competing with each other, and although the hard rock wins out in the end, the blues and the ballads make for a schizophrenic listen. I would not say that it is worth the megabucks that originals go for, but the CD re-issue is worth hearing to see if it appeals.

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