There’s an old adage that you should never judge a book by its cover. Well, “never” is too strong a condition as far as I’m concerned. If the cover of the book has words like “Jeffrey Archer” or “Dan Brown” on it, I can be fairly sure that the content will be unadulterated shite. The converse can also be true of Craang’s self-released CD (they have since signed with Pink Tank) being beautifully put together, from the trippy artwork of the Digi pack to the pseudo vinyl black CD inside, the physical item just screams of class. If the band put that much effort into the physical release, surely the music must have received the same meticulous treatment?
Track one, ‘Slo Forward Jam’ practically reviews itself with the title, a languorous protracted instrumental piece where Hawkwind meet Sleep to smoke some of the good stuff and let the resultant haze make its own music, a nine minute sonic journey through inner and outer space aboard the good ship riff at warp factor feedback. As an opening statement of psychedelic intent, the band couldn’t have been more forthright from the first chord to the last dying reverberation of tortured amps. ‘Butterfly’ is, ironically enough an altogether heavier number, the Iommiesque guitars that swirl forth accompanied by drumming that could have issued from the battered skins and cymbals of Bill Wards own sadly now unused drum kit. However, rather than being pure Sabbath worship, ethereal distorted vocals offer a gentle counterpoint to the instruments, the mixture coming together in a fuzzy whole rather than the differing elements jarring against one another.
Craang return to the instrumental with ‘Magnolia’ a hypnotic track that deserves to be played to a backdrop of an acid light show as it meanders across a near ten minute soundscape; however, even at that length, it is a positive sprint compared to album closer ‘The Meteorian’, a fuzz and THC heavy bass line snaking its way through fifteen minutes of stoner riffs intertwined by howling effects echoing space rock vocals. This is a number that deserves a release all to itself, and if I didn’t know better could have believed was some long lost EP from a now forgotten LSD soaked band from the sixties Haight-Ashbury scene.
Until now, I don’t think I could personally have named a single band from Greece that played this style of laid back atmospheric psych, and to have the confidence to populate their first album with just four extended tracks shows an admirable ability and self-confidence. I would urge you to buy their music, and try and get the CD if you can as it is in itself a fine addition to any collection. I can only imagine how potentially collectable their announced vinyl release will be.