Album Review

Uchida, Yuya & The Flowers – “Challenge!” – [Phoenix Records]

surferrosa   4/18/2012   12-inch, A Library

Released in 1969, this record is the first manifestation of Japanese psych rock outfit later to be known as the Flower Travelin’ Band, this project being their debut. Here is a collection of mostly Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane cover songs, with the exception of B3- Hidariashi No Otoko, the only instrumental, fully original piece of these recordings, and my personal favorite. This was producer Uchida’s way of dipping his fingers into the budding psych rock scene of the late 60s, and introducing then up and coming bands to a Japanese audience. Though they are cover songs, theses tracks have a flavor, and certain idiosyncrasies of their own due to the musical and vocal styling of this band from Tokyo (check at A4- I’m so grad). Female vocalist Remi does a surprisingly convincing Janis Joplin impression here… I would say zombie Janis but this came out before she died.. Staying true to the 60s fashion, there are also plenty of fuzzed out guitar solos and sticky licks. Gobble it up. – Surfer Rosa

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