Trash Rock Archives present … Schnitzelbeat Vol. 3 - Ready For Take Off [Forgotten Psychedelic, Flower Power And Proto-Punk Artefacts From Austria 1967-1973]
Long awaited Schnitzelbeat Vol. 3 provides us with an insight into the final convulsions of the roaring 60ies and guides us through the throes of the upcoming 70ies. So, let’s recap: the Manson Family had just turned Love & Peace into a freakin´ nightmare. The iconic Beatles are in complete disarray and The Stooges herald a new era of hard-balled, primitive noise that would leave no rolling stone unturned.
And then there is the alpine banana republic of Austria ... where the city of Vienna blissfully dozes in the stale air of the postwar era. Occasionally the sound of an accordion or a yodel from the countryside is brought in by the old-fashioned breeze. The initiated listeners of the Schnitzelbeat series, however, already suspect it: there was something else, something wild, outrageous. A booming fist punch in the smug faces of the petty bourgeois.
But who would have guessed that the most impressive approach to the proto-punk of Blue Cheer or the MC5 would be issued on a conservative folk music label named Alpenton? (Albatross, "I am dead"). Yes, we can already hear the lederhosen hunting party scream in agony. And the mindless yelp of wild enthusiasm escaping the throats of open-minded Beat afficionados.
The Seals also prove to be worthy fighters in the generation conflict. "You know nothing about the new generation / because you live in the subway station": a surprising insight the young Psycho Punks from Vienna reveal in their number "Stop this War". And war is a common theme elsewhere, too: World War Two (The Cop Stigh, "War History"); the Vietnam War (Maybe Hair, "War"); the battle of the sexes (Young Society, "It's War").
On the other hand - what would the age of the Hippies and Communards be without free love, flower arrangements and substance-induced states of perception?
"It's not the flowers in your hair, it's your heart that really counts / because only love can change everything around". Noble wisdom the manufactured boy group The Wallflowers share with the interested public, most aptly accompanied by a gawky children's choir. But the statement itself would most certainly also be undersigned by The V-Rangers ("Make Love"). Or the four members of Salzburg based Beat outfit Les Marquis, who bring a lovestoned California dream to life on the beaches of the Salzkammergut ("Sand on the Shore").
At the halfway point of Schnitzelbeat Vol. 3, an unforgettable highlight is served. In 1973 Rocky F. Holicke unleashed the ultimate psychedelic hymn ever handcrafted in Austria: "Ready for Take-Off" is an indescribably delicious monument of a song, a truly otherworldly experience of musical transcendence. If the destination is eight miles high above the clouds, then please do it like this, Mr. Spaceman. Did we mention that Mr. Holicke´s very own record label was consequently named Aero-Sound?
Speaking of aviation. While Hide & Seek walk in the footsteps of Cream and sail through the orbit in an almost weightless manner ("I can fly"), scorching hot "White Flames" are already skyrocketing out of Karl Ratzer's guitar amp. The legendary frontman of the Charles Ryders Corporation is not only one of the best jazz guitarists Austria has ever had - he even rivals James Marshall Hendrix once all guitar pedals have been pushed straight through the floorboards.
Around the same time, an Upper Austrian band of altar boys find themselves in the middle of a clandestine, nocturnal recording session. In the music room of a rural elementary school they record a mind-blowing monstrosity of highly explosive, psychedelic Garage Punk. Soaked with more fuzz, wah-wah and echo effects than even the devil himself would be able to handle. (The Hush, "Giny")
But this isn´t the only widely unknown super-rarity that music journalist, DJ and subculture researcher Al Bird Sputnik and his Trash Rock Archives have provided for this disc: the lost first single from Novaks Kapelle is included here in a fully remastered version, without skipping and almost free of annoying background noise ("Garbage Man"). The Austrian Brothers' fabulous plea for universal peace is presented from the only known copy without a pressing flaw (“Brother”). And finally someone got hold of The Cop Stigh's mythical 7", even if he had to sell his last T-shirt and drop his pants down to the ankles ….
But "All right", to cite the Styrian Acid Rockers of Generation 2000: it paid off. Schnitzelbeat Vol. 3 adds numerous fascinating chapters to the forgotten early history of Austrian Rock music. Join Al Bird Sputnik and the labels Konkord and Digatone on another dive into the shimmering depths of dusty record crates. Follow them on a psychedelic pilgrimage to the place where the mountains are made of ice cream, with deadly nightshades doted on their slopes. Until you completely got lost in the faraway regions of vintage Austrian pop culture.