Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Night Sun - Mournin' (1972)

It was 1972 -- a glorious year for music, and hard rock especially. BOC's eponymous debut. Sabbath's Vol. 4. Purple's Machine Head. 1972 -- like 1971 or 1973 and many of those years long, long ago when music mattered -- was an absolute slugfest of brilliant albums battling for your auricular attention. So it makes perfect sense that Night Sun, a German prog band no less, subsequently fell off the face of the musical earth after trying to compete with a talent-loaded era with the release of their one and only Mournin', an intense guitar/organ-fest with enough resemblances to Sabbath and Purple to make a faint comparison, but not enough to squarely underpin the band as shameless poseurs. Actually, for those familiar with Night Sun and who've written them off as just that, consider this line from Nabokov's Despair (Отчаяние for my Russian audience): "You'll say next that all Chinamen are alike. You forget, my good man, that what the artist perceives is, primarily, the difference between things. It is the vulgar who note their resemblance." Do they sound like Purple just because they have an organ? Are they Sabbath-esque because they have monstrous riffs? Ugh.

The album opens with "Plastic Shotgun," a strangely syncopated stop-go explosiveness, both guitar and organ ablaze with intensity and is over before you've ingested it. "Crazy Woman" also features an awesome organ and guitar battle and some nifty psychedelic drumming. "Got A Bone Of My Own" is a prog-a-rific instrumental; "Slush Pan Man" has some great mid-tempo sludgy riffs and a pounding organ. "Nightmare" is by far the sickest thing you'll find on this album -- a hopping mad display of riffage and groove.

"Blind" is great too, though not as frenzied. So what have you got to lose? You know you're not content with the lack of oomph on the new Foo's album, or the classic rock pretensions of Icky Thump. Face it. Most music sucks. Go back and dig up the bands that never made it, like Night Sun. A D-list band from the 70s is 10,000 maniacs better than the pop gods we have to suffer through today. B+


TarBabyJim said...

Enjoyed the read. Thanks.
Jim Baldwin
Spokane WA

Anonymous said...

That's what I try for, Jim. Thanks for visiting. I'm not familiar with Melanie; I'll have to check her out.