Life Goes On Records

FLOWER TRAVELING BAND - Made In Japan LP

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Since it would seem nearly impossible to follow Flower Travellin' Band's psychedelic powerhouse album Satori with anything comparable, Made in Japan went in the opposite direction. (And actually, it was made in Canada.) Lighthouse’s Paul Hoffert produced the album, and where its predecessor had mirrored (and expanded on) the heavy acid-doom pioneered by Black Sabbath, here the mellow opener “Unaware” plays more like a folky rendition of “Planet Caravan”, except for the trippy vocal effects. But the following song, “Aw Give Me Air”, loosened up some slack on the production leash, letting the band play some of its blisteringly loud blues-rock, replete with Joe Yamanaka’s snarling vocals and plenty of scaled leads dipping in and out of restrained freakouts. His vocals ramped up into crazed falsettos on the outstanding “Kamikaze”, a more muscled take on Japanese biker rock blossoming from the same proto-metal family tree planted by contemporaries like Gedo and the more rootsy Blues Creation. "Hiroshima" nearly invented a doom-folk genre, with Yamanaka wailing dirges over hushed instrumentation. The riff-heavy “That’s All” drones like a Japanese version of The Doors.