A while ago I actually did a review of Cave Rock and found the review while going through the archives. While Tad was begging me for some oddball music I decided to send this little gem his way. He calls it the most disturbing album he's ever heard too. It came from ESP Disk, the infamous NY label that was home to the Fugs and Albert Ayler. The original blog is as follows.....
In thirty years of reviewing albums, I have my share of reviewing the
popular and the obscure and the bizarre. There are bizarre albums that
do start to sound good after I "get it", Wire 154 and XTC English
Settlement are two of the many albums that I hated at first but now call
classic after playing them. Other albums such as MC5 Kick Out The Jams
are guaranteed to offend your parents due to all the feedback and noise
and F bombs. However I think I may have encounter that first album
that is so out there, so bizarre that even I wonder what in the hell did
I buy it.
ESP Disk is the New York label that gave us The Fugs,
The Godz and Albert Alyer, avart garde jazz and rock that isn't for
those who enjoy Yummy Yummy Yummy. But Cromagnon 1969 Cave Rock album
is by far the most bizarre and weirdest album that I have ever
encountered. In fact the only song of any type is the leadoff track
Caledonia which starts out with a shortwave radio feedback and a old
record that sounds off way base, then it starts up with a tribal drums
with a shout out vocals with lead bagpipe, to which Austin Grasmere
sounds like Al Jorgensen of Ministry. Is he shouting it out or
whispering the word? And then it ends with a jewsharp and crickets
chirping. No hit potential there.
Grasmere and Brian Eliot
according to the liner notes were pop song writers who approached
Bernard Stollman of ESP about doing an album, and Bernard asked them
about what the theme of the album was to be, Grasmere replied
"everything at once" and Stollman gave the go ahead.
segment is something called Ritual Feast Of The Libido, which somebody
screams in agony and torture with a single drumbeat and a shaker.
Unlistenable as hell.
Organic Sundown: More chants and screams
and shouts for about seven minites as we hear hammers and nails and more
tribal drums. Seven more minites of your life to which you'll never
get back. And the torture never stops (unless you listen to top forty
radio today to which then I would perfer this over rap anyday)
Starts out with a Beach Boys like vocals, then more bizarre sound
effects and laughter. Have You Been there, somebody asks, I repiled
nope and don't intend to return back there ever again. At the 2:15 mark
we hear a cuckoo clock and an police siren and other bizarre effects
with a drum solo tacked back in the mix while somebody tunes their
guitar and more voice overs and somebody turning the radio dial. You
think anybody from Captiol or Atlantic would ever release such bizarre
shit on their label? Not in the day and age. Around the six minite
mark the guys start screaming Freedom to which the average listener by
now would have taken the cd out of the player and shredded it. Freedom
From The Man! and then the track ends by doing a coda of the leadoff
track. Short Wave radio and a record player on its last legs. End Of
Crow Of The Back Tree-Starts out with an acoustic guitar
with a heart beat in the background. Then a rabid bunch of grade school
kids start out screaming Freedom. Kids sound like they had way too
much sugar. And by now our faithful readers wonder why do I buy such
weird shit like this? It was only a buck in the clarence bins. Next.
like the Pink Floyd Small Group Of Furry Animals Grooving With A Pict,
with somebody singing like a crazed Alvin Chipmunk. Did they mastered
this cd from a scratchy record? Lotta pops and cracks. And Pink
Floyd's version was better although this song dated a year before
Toth, Scribe 1: Caledonia slowed down and the recording reversed.
World Of Bronze: Sounds like The Chant Monks speeded up to 78 with a
crazed guitar in the right side of the speaker which ends the album.
Cromagnon Cave Rock is that album to play if you want to get rid of
unwanted guests or want to end a party, or end a blind date. This album
is so bizarre that they make the ESP Disk Godz sound like The
Beatles. If it was the intent of recording an bad acid trip without
taking the acid, I'd say they done a fine job of hashing up the images
and darkness of the segments (I don't dare say songs since only two of
the 8 eight songs here can be faintly considered songs). In some ways
it does pave the way for noisemakers such as Trent Reznor or Al
Jorgensen's Ministry of noise and avant garde.
Only this could ever
come out on a Avant Garde label such as ESP Disk. I had to play this CD
twice just to believe how out there this is.
May you never have to hear this yourself.
Another View: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=33449#.UUp0SKzNiaQ
CD was issued in 1992 on the german ZYX label when ZYX reissued the ESP
Disk catalog but have now fallen out of print, with copies going as
high as 50 bucks on EBAY. http://www.decibelmagazine.com/featured/black-metal-1969/
ESP Disk has once again risen from the grave and have their own working website that continues to bring out the bizarre in free form jazz and noise excursions. Not for the faint of heart. http://espdisk.com/official/