self release [Release date 21.01.14]
It’s an old ploy to hide your unwanted past or unwillingness to explain your music behind some autobiographical psycho-babble. And that is just what the curiously named Ger Racing do.
The band comprises 60’s fringe players, with leader Gers claiming to have played on Hendrix’s ‘Cry Of Love’. No problem with that, as it was after all a posthumous project.
The band comprise the powerful Ellington Erin on vocals who sounds like a prog to hard rock singer from the early 70’s, while drummer Bruce Ginsberg is from the ‘hit it and see what happens’ school of drumming. Alongside him, we find the thudding bass work of Gers himself, who provides a booming undertow to guitarist Tim Gedemer.
In his best moments, Gedemer shreds eloquently but at other time sounds as if he’s being recorded in a session two blocks away. Similarly, the impressive whoopin’ blues-harp jam is brilliant, except the recording sounds third generation.
At times this rambling double album sounds like a late 60’s west coast cast off, while at it’s best there’s some hard driving riffs, a free form rhythm section and decent harmonies.
CD one is conceptually titled ‘Privilege’ with the title being a vague nod towards the honour of doing what they do. ‘Privilege sounds like the after effects of an acid jam , where the engineer has obviously gone off for a cup of tea – or something stronger – and any notion of equilibrium, sonic quality, let alone structure, goes out the window.
Luckily the propulsive drummer Bruce Ginsberg has amazing energy levels, to kick and shape the band though their free from approach, which on ‘Dance Dance’ draws on a Todd Rundgren style voice collage and leads to an a cappella intro on the tub thumping ‘It’s You Baby Baby’.
However, ‘G-Force’ loses its potential impact with a horribly muddy mix that blights most of the album, though it does manage it work towards discernible psychedelic finish.
‘Privilege’ has fleeting Purple influences and the rawness of The Broughtons while on ‘You And I’ they evoke T2 on a riff driven piece, but overall the mush cancels out the spark. **
‘Existence’ enjoys a much better sonic quality and better song structures. There’s nothing wrong with jamming of course, but it’s difficult to be convincing when one instrument battles to hold primacy with another, let alone trying to balance out 3 vocalists.
‘M Line Special’ an unrelenting grungy jam, with a stream of consciousness vocals and ‘True Fire Love’ sounds like Arthur Brown, with its manic vocal and speeded up tempos.
Best of all is the surprisingly good harmony-laden melody of the portentous ‘Soon You Will Be Born’, which overcomes a ridiculously busy drum pattern to build to a coherent finish.
‘P-Town 350’ benefits from clarity of diction, on a prog folk type piece, while the keyboard driven ‘Elegy (For Whom The Bell Tolls’) leads to Yes style harmonies and a early 70’s proggy piece, with a better production on an album highlight.
The better the tracks get, the more it feels as if the band were recording in a piecemeal fashion and learning as they went along. ‘About You Baby’ is another decent effort with a fine vocal and a 60’s west coast feel, offset by riff driven bluster.
And on it goes, in a splurge of unrelenting energy and jammed out acid rock, topped by surprisingly good harmonies, though the 3 part harmonies of ‘Strike To The Heart’ would have benefited from a decent mix.
They finish with hard rock, on the harmony drenched, riff driven ‘Sinking Song’, which is good enough to make wonder just what Part 3 will be like. ***
Review by Pete Feenstra
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
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