Sand: His First Steps (Rotorelief, 2016)June 29, 2016 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
In 1974, an obscure German band called Sand released their debut LP, Golem. Like a lot of psychedelic and experimental rock albums from that period, the album obtained a cult following over time, and was reissued a few times during this decade. This album was recorded in 1972, and is basically an early version of Golem. Listening to it, it’s almost astonishing at how much it anticipates people like Coil and Current 93. C93 actually covered one of the songs on this album and Nurse with Wound’s Steven Stapleton did the cover art. The first side features 2 10-minute tracks; “Helly Copter” is very hypnotic and kind of demonic. “An Old Loggerhead” is also, but it’s a lot more sparse and it seems like there’s a lot less happening. The first two songs on second side are comparatively more poppy, but only compared to the first side. “When the May Rain Comes” (the song C93 covered) is the shortest and folkiest song, and yes, it sounds a lot like the apocalyptic folk style that C93 would become infamous for. “Standing On the Corner” is a bit more upbeat, at least musically, with a puttering drum machine and repetitive lyrics about “standing on the corner with my feet soaking wet”. “Julia” is longer and sort of feels like a sort of opera, with 2 distinct parts. Very hypnotic and slowly progressing, with sparse, eerie melodies and echoed vocals. The album feels like a sort of lost chapter in psych/Krautrock history.