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Friday, October 4, 2013

Yucatan, Germany

Yucatan - s/t. 1982 Tricom.

OK back to that shady figure that we cannot even name. And here's his latest entry.

My first reaction: What the hell is this? Or perhaps I should reverse it and say that perhaps the band had no idea what they wanted to be, so they threw a lot of mud against the wall, and hoped something would stick. History tells us that strategy never worked. And it appears Yucatan were yet another victim. But not before demonstrating they had immense potential to be a great progressive rock band. Even though Germany had some odd obsession with Mexico during this period in time, Yucatan, despite the name, has zero influences from our neighbor to the south.

I suppose if I was to summarize in a hurry, I'd call Yucatan a Deutschrock band and walk away. But that would disregard the fact that when Yucatan wanted to, they could deliver a highly fascinating and complex sequence of progressive rock music. And yet they could as well incongruously take a direct lift from Eddie Van Halen's 'Eruption' solo and stick it in the middle of a song. For no reason, it would appear, other than to perhaps satisfy the guitarist that he indeed learned how to play it after 4 years of intense practice in front of the mirror. I just sat there waiting for the riff of 'You Really Got Me' but instead got the Gunther blues voice. And speaking of which, there is a tepid attempt at playing heavy metal here too. There's some galloping guitars (with no heft at all), and a few other tries at a sound that local countrymen Accept had already mastered with their brilliant and very heavy "Restless and Wild" album (and sadly, Accept then degenerated into an AC/DC party band not long after, much to my dismay). And then there's the 4th track. A very fine slice of instrumental organ/guitar driven progressive rock (though the ridiculously thin sounding synth at the opening is entirely unnecessary)!

So what we have here is AOR radio friendly, 70s progressive rock, German vocal, English vocal, metal, progressive, boogie, symphonic, badly dated sounding synthesizers, killer organ, excellent psychedelic blues solos, good hard rock guitar, bad metal guitar.... album. That was privately released. If there was ever an album that would be better to cherry pick a few songs off for a compilation of unknown German progressive bands, then this would be that album. Hence, I give the record as a whole a:

Priority: none

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