Julian Cope presents JAPROCKSAMPLER.COM
Shigeru Marumo – guitar, keyboards, Moog, vocals
Hiro Tsunoda – lead vocals, drums
Masayoshi Takanaka – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
Despite their brilliantly pop art/cultural statement choice of new name, for the two former members of Strawberry Path – Shigero Marumo and Hiro Tsunoda - their re-emergence as the heavy rock-styled Flied Egg, in 1972, with former Brush leader Masayoshi Takanaka as bass player, brought forth nothing but more of the same diluted and generic Western rock swill as they had generated in their previous guise. And although highly successful in Japan during their brief life span, Flied Egg’s records of the early ‘70s are – in the cold light of the early twenty-first century – just more of the same Strawberry Path-like hit and miss hotchpotch of cruddy clichés as before, plus lashings of the shrill Uriah Heep-like spewdo operetta copped from the Heep’s dopey 1971 SALISBURY LP overlain in order to give the impression that it was somehow up-to-date. Until now, however, the musicians have sustained a modicum of underground notoriety purely on the strength of their attractive LP sleeves, funny titles and general unavailability here in the West. The trio’s Philips debut LP, entitled Dr SEIGEL’S FRIED EGG SHOOTING MACHINE, opened with a swirling psychedelically-styled title track of the Banana Splits/Lemon Pipers ‘Snoopy Meets The Red Baron’ variety at least five years behind the time, thereafter running randomly and shamelessly from one pop rock cliché to another pop rock cliché like the Three Bears on a porridge tasting mission. One minute it was Michel Le Grande, next, Frank Zappa’s ‘Brown Shoes Don’t Make It’-period put in an appearance (no shit!), thereafter it was low-grade paraffin fuelled hard rock interspersed with lowbrow AOR balladry. And those ballads, oh, those fucking ballads… Had Japan been granted entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, Hiro Tsunada’s disastrous cheese-o-thons ‘Someday’ and ‘I Love You’ would have surely both been easy winners, while ‘Plastic Fantasy’ is yet another swirling sickening sub-Picketywitch sugarfest. The kindest we could be towards Flied Egg would be to call them ‘accessible’, for, beyond the AOR balladry and catastrophic yawn-o-thon psych moves, there’s certainly a little something even for the most tetchy hard rocker when the three finally down some caffeine and fire up ‘Guide Me To The Quietness’, a Vanilla Sludge rock ballad performed with all of Flied Egg’s best sub-sub-sub Mountain-meets-Cream ‘Theme From An Imaginary Western’-styled bombast. Flied Egg’s second and final album, the portentously titled GOOD-BYE FLIED EGG, was a far less eclectic and therefore much more artistically successful affair than their debut LP, but it still sucked major big ones overall. Introduced like a live album, complete with MC and audience applause, the record commences with a couple of hard rock gems in ‘Rolling Down The Broadway’ (re-recorded from their debut), Strawberry Path’s ‘Leave Me Woman’ and an artless and punky version of BB King’s ‘Rock Me Baby’ that ploughs the same adolescent furrows as America’s Kiss and Germany’s Tiger B. Smith. However, the listeners’ hopes are soon dashed when side one concludes with a twelve-minute drum solo. On side two, the record somewhat inevitably sinks into the same mire of eclectic Marmalade/Hollies/American Breed overly-orchestrated backwash that Strawberry Path was always guilty of. Indeed, ‘Out to the Sea’ and ‘Goodbye My Friends’ are trite sub-Supertramp sub-Manilow crimes against rock and Off Broadway abortions of the vilest kind, though the future solo career of drummer Hiro Tsunoda would plumb far greater depths (I know, it’s hard to imagine but believe me it’s the truth – if anything I’m being kind). Peculiarly, the final song on GOODBYE is an almost-nine-minutes organ, drums and guitar workout most reminiscent of ‘Rude Awakening’, the epic song that concluded Creedence Clearwater Revival’s PENDULUM LP. Entitled ‘521 Seconds Schizophrenic Symphony’, its overwrought playing and ridiculous title at least brought the curtain down on Flied Egg’s varied career in a manner befitting their lavish pretensions.
Unfortunately they reformed
Posted by Goat, May 03, 2010