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The Lords - Ulleogamaxbe
 

The Lords - Ulleogamaxbe

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Title:  Ulleogamaxbe
Company: EMI Columbia
Catalog: SMC 74343
Year: 1968
Country/State: Berlin, Germany
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: German pressing; gatefold sleeve

It seems that by the mid-1960s everyone and his brother was dabbling in psychedelic, so why not a German beat band like The Lords? It actually sounded kind of funny to say this, but if you could stop laughing and get over the discounted "Satanic Majesties Request"-styled cover, 1968's "Ulleogamaxbe" was actually a surprisingly entertaining album. Sure nothing here was particularly original, or earth shattering, but on psych-influenced material like the string quartet opener 'And At Night', 'Fire' and the lysergic-tinged 'The World Is Falling Down' (the latter sounding like a Teutonic version of The Easybeats), vocalist Ulli Gunther and company proved themselves at least as capable as many of their better known Anglo contemporaries. Sure on tracks like 'Feeling Chicago' and the ballad 'Thank You'' their accents were heavy and the English lyrics a bit clumsy, but the performances were never less than energetic and uniformly enjoyable. In fact, the only real loser here was the dippy 'Good Time Music' where the band reverted to their German cultural roots churning out something they could have played in a beer tent. Elsewhere, while they weren't given a great deal of leeway, guitarists Klaus Peter Lietz and Ranier Petry were particularly good (checkout their finger picking on the jangle rocker 'Perkinson's Ride''). Those characteristics were even more impressive when you considered that Gunther and company appear to have learned their English lyrics phonetically.  

- Starting out with a chamber orchestra arrangement, 'And At Night' burst into a likeable slice of flower-power pop. Cute with a catchy chorus and a nice acoustic guitar refrain it was easy to see why the track was tapped as the leadoff single. rating: *** stars  
- Kicked along by some spooky organ and Reinhardt Bopp's tasty Byrds-styled 12 string guitar, 'Perkinson's Ride' has a distinctive mid-1960s folk-rock sound. Very cool and one of the more outright psych-ish tunes on the set. rating: **** stars  
- A straight ahead pop song, 'Feeling Chicago' found Gunther and company getting a little too cute for their own good. The song was certainly catchy, but came off sounding calculated for radio play. rating: ** stars  
- The sappy ballad 'Thank You' sounded like they'd been listening to way too much Graham Nash and The Hollies. Nauseatingly touchy-feely ... rating: ** stars
- 'Tomorrow' was another slice of pop-psych, though this time the results came awfully close to being schlager ... What ultimately saved the song was the goofy, jazzy chorus. Cheesy as all, it was so bad that it was actually good. Love the way the word 'worst' came out sounding like 'wurst'. rating: *** stars  
- Complete with treated vocals, fuzz guitar, and pounding bass, 'The World Is Falling Down' found the band jumping head first into full fledged psychedelic. Easily one of the album's best performance it was ashamed most audiences had already left psychedelic behind. rating: **** stars  
- To my ears the psych-flavored 'Fire' has always sounded like it was inspired by Arthur Brown's 'Fire' (different song, same title). The song had a great groove and this weird percussive sound in the right channel. It took me awhile to figure it out, but I believe the sound was suppose to simulate the sound of a match being lit. Definitely one of the cooler songs on the collection.  rating: **** stars  
- It's unlikely Gunther had any idea where Philadelphia was, let alone what it was, but that didn't stop them from turning in a charming pop performance. Killer hook with a xylophone clunking along on the refrain. It was also fn to hear his sing the word phonetically - 'Phil-aaaaa-del-phi-aaaaaa'. rating: **** stars
- Yeah, it was sentimental crap, but lyrically 'Poor Chin-Lee' was kind of interesting; apparently a lament about the hardships suffered by an Asian woman ... First couple of times I heard it I though Gunter was singing 'fortunately'. rating: *** stars  
- Tapped as the album's second single, 'Good Time Music' may have been marketed as a pop song, but for all intents and purposes it was a slice of German schlager. Complete with 'la-la-la-la-la' chorus, the only thing missing were the lederhosen. Pass that beer stein ... rating: ** stars  
- On 'Lilacs In May' Gunther Bopp's bass line and a killer hook actually managed to turn what should have been a pedestrian pop song into a decent slice of sunshine-pop that actually had quite a bit of top-40 potential. rating: *** stars  
- Starting out with a pretty harpsichord segment, 'Cut My Hair' quickly morphed into the album's lone garage rocker. All I can say is the genre was much better suited to these guys that top-40 pop. Nice performance.  rating: **** stars  

A pair of 45s were launched off the album:

- 1968's 'And at Night' b/w 'Fire' (EMI C 23 ???)
- 1968's 'Good Time Music' b/w 'Somethin' Else' (EMI C 23 892)

Nah, it wasn't a German "Sergeant Pepper", but so what ... a fun album from start to finish.

"Ulleogamaxbe" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) And At Night (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  
2.) Perkinson's Ride (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  
3.) Feeling Chicago (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  
4.) Thank You (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  
5.) Tomorrow (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  
6.) The World Is Falling Down (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  

(side 2)
1.) Fire (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  
2.) Philadelphia (M. Petry - Forester) - 
3.) Poor Chin-Lee (M. Petry - T. Petry) -  
4.) Good Time Music (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  
5.) Lilacs In May (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  
6.) Cut My Hair (M. Leitz - T. Leitz) -  
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