Genre: Progressive Rock
Rate: 260 kbps VBR / 44100 from lossless source!
Size: 146,88 MB
"Snafu" is East of Eden's sophomore effort, a crucial album for the development of the trend initiated in the debut album "Mercator Projected". In this album, the band's sound feels patently more solid while sticking to its peculiar combination of blues-rock, psychedelia and fusion.
Although the proto-prog label is usually stamped on this band's name together with Procol Harum, Gracious Beggar's Opera and others, the fact is that East of Eden displays a lesser interest in stylish sophistication or classicist influences in favor or a more trippy-friendly sort of endeavor regarding their instrumental travels. Perhaps a connection can be drawn with the electric side of 70-71 Jade Warrior.
"Snafu" is an equally rough and complex album: the roughness comes from the energetic fruition created among all instrumentalists, while the complexity is based on the adventurous spirit instilled in the main motif's expansions.
After a catchy blues-rock piece such as the gracefully pedestrian 'Have to Whack It Up', comes a jam full of Arabic undertones titled 'Leaping Beauties for Rudy / Marcus Junior', where the dual saxes steal and reshape the limelight as they go on and on. Arbus, who had made his violin shine on the first track, now states abundant traces of bluesy feel on his tenor sax opposite the more exuberant deliveries on soprano sax by Caines. For the jam's closing climax, Arbus brings back his violin, providing an enhanced exquisiteness to the track. Much of the same is kind of reiterated in the following piece, albeit with a more deliberate complexity. Things get started with a soundscape of various ('Xhorkom'), followed by a Middle Eastern section on a 6/8 tempo titled 'Ramadhan', quite ethereal; finally, 'In the Show for a Blow' explores an exercise on jazz-blues similarly to 68-69 Colosseum, especially regarding the exulting vibe. This is definitely a highlight of the album. 'Uno Transito Clapori' is another creation from the engineer's desk, this time distorting violin and sax lines in a way that it World have made Faust or Can proud.
The album's second half starts with 'Gum Arabic / Confucius', yet another Arabic-based jam with bluesy undertones: some frenzy moments reveal thundering passages on flute and sax, while the frame elaborated by the drums, guitar and bass keeps things firm in the basic structure. 'Nymphenberger' is another favorite of mine. Its first part has a robust starting point, eventually reprised for the closing climax; in between, there is a sung portion very focused on the bluesy vibe that East of Eden feels so comfortable in, and it also contains one of the few guitar leads in the album. This is as close as East of Eden gets to primitive Jethro Tull. 'Habibi Baby / Boehm Constrictor / Beast of Sweden' starts with a new reversed tape intro, after which a very free-form improve emerges with heavy doses of fire and aggressiveness, ultimately focusing on an explosive rocking dynamics. The last track is 'Traditional', which I relieve is an old mass song - it is stripped down to a piano-vocal scheme, like a slow jazz ballad sung by the last drunk performer in a night club before the arrival of dawn.
Well, this is all I can say about "Snafu" and its official repertoire. The CD edition brings a number of bonus tracks, including the single "Jig-a-Jig". This album is really excellent, if dated - East of Eden is a band that all serious collectors must pay real attention to. (Cesar Inca)
01 - Have To Whack It Up 02:19
02 - A) Leaping Beauties For Rudy B) Marcus Junior 07:04
03 - A) Xhorkhom B) Ramadhan C) In The Snow For A Blow 08:09
04 - Uno Transito Clapori 02:29
05 - A) Gum Arabic B) Confucius 08:18
06 - Nymphenburger 06:16
07 - A) Habibi Baby B) Beast Of Sweden C) Boehm Constrictor 06:21
08 - Traditional - Arranged By East Of Eden 01:35
09 - Jig-A-Jig 03:47
10 - Petite Fille 03:56
11 - Biffin Bridge 05:52
12 - Blue Boar Blues 07:15
13 - Nymphenburger (First Take) 05:16
14 - Marcus Junior (Single Edit) 05:12
15 - Jig-A-Jig (Take Nine) 04:17
Gamble for more East Of Eden