McChurch Soundroom: Delusion (1971)
Looking for another obscurity? Then give McChurch Soundroom a try. Delusion, released in 1971, was their one and only album. Though a German band, you could swear they were British. Instead of following the Krautrock scene like Can, Amon Düül II, Ash Ra Tempel, Neu, Faust, etc., or even the German style of progressive rock typical of bands from the later part of the 1970s like Grobschnitt, Eloy, Novalis, etc., they went for more of an underground, bluesy, jazzy heavy progressive rock sound that’s not unlike early Jethro Tull.
In fact the opening cut, which is the title track starts off acoustic, and sounds a whole lot like it came right off Stand Up, right down to vocals that sounds just like Ian Anderson. As the song progresses, the music turns to electric guitar and Hammond organ with bluesy undertones, and progressive passages that oddly sound like they belong on a Yes album, then there’s a totally killer jam I wished was much longer, then it goes back to the acoustic beginning.
The next cut, “Dream of a Drummer” is an instrumental, guitar-oriented piece that would have done much better if it wasn’t for that useless drum solo. That’s the only weak spot on the album, by the way. “Time is Flying” is more of the same great bluesy prog rock sound.
The next song, “What Are You Doin'” is much in the same vein as the previous cut, but I really can’t stomach the preachy, anti-drug message in the lyrics, this band totally predates Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” by a full decade. That’s plain silly, because people in to that kind of music at the time were likely lighting up the bong every now and then. The album ends with a two part instrumental called “Trouble” which is basically a jam, played in a rather jazzy manner with flute and Hammond organ dominating.
McChurch Soundroom is totally obscure, going as far as making no listings as to who was in the band, except for Marcel Schwaar who wrote the lyrics, but even so, I have no idea whether he was a band member or not. They do mention who written the songs, but it’s only by last name, which is of very little help. What I do know is the band consisted of vocals, guitar, bass, drums, Hammond organ, and flute.
The great news is the album was reissued on CD, on a small German label called Ohrwaschl, not the type of CD you’re likely to find at your local, tacky Wal-Mart, or equally tacky chain store (Blockbuster Music, Tower, Camelot, Sam Goody, etc.), but if you know where to get hard to find imports, then you might be able to get a copy. The original LP was released on a small German label called Pilz (same label that brought you Popol Vuh, Wallenstein and Emtidi).
Unsurprisingly, the LP is quite rare and difficult to find (one online dealer was selling it for $200), that’s why it got reissued on CD. The cover to the album is way cool, which is a picture of a skull all covered in dripping candle wax, which also clues you in on the underground nature of the album.
The album does have a rather rough, and unpolished production, often typical for a prog rock band at the end of the 1960s/beginning of the 1970s that hadn’t yet abandoned their blues or hard rock roots. So whatever the case, McChurch Soundroom’s Delusion is another great album to add to your collection if you like early Jethro Tull (This Was, Stand Up) and underground bluesy, jazzy prog rock in general.
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