Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Aardvark


Released 1970 on Deram
Reviewed by argyle_heir, 16/05/2004ce


Not much is known about Aardvark- the band only made this one album…..hardly played any live shows……only functioned as a band for a very short time indeed before sinking into eternal prog obscurity.

Took me quite a while to track down the album as it’s currently only available on import from Japan but it was certainly worth the wait (let's face it how can a band with a name like Aardvark fail to be anything other than brilliant?!). Much like the early Soft Machine, Aardvark had no lead guitarist- the organ is the main instrument here and from the word go, key tinkler Steve Milliner lets you know he means business.

Take opener “Copper Sunset” for example- hell, I didn’t even know it was possible to get those sorts of sounds from a humble organ! So damn heavy. This song could crumble brick walls. Milliner also shows us he’s no slouch when it comes to soloing- both “The Greencap” and intense closer “Put That In Your Pipe & Smoke It” feature vintage, lightning fast freak outs that’ll have your palms sweating.

Aardvark isn’t all about Stevie showcasing his impressive organ skills, however- no, the band certainly had the tunes to match the virtuosity. “Very Nice Of You To Call”, “Many Things To Do” and the aforementioned “Copper Sunset” all feature strong, trippy melodies guaranteed to bounce around your brain while you sleep, as with all the best psychedelic tunes.

Elsewhere da ‘vark flash their sensitive underbellies with the glowing “Once Upon A Hill” and get all soft-loud-soft-loud on our asses with the slightly crusty prog toons “I Can’t Stop” and the 10 minute “The Outing- Yes”. The latter song features an inspired free-form wig out middle 8 with many a strange sound bouncing out yer speakers. Think Floyd circa- "A Saucerful Of Secrets".

So, all in all an interesting little album. Obviously, with the Hammond at the forefront of the music Aardvark sounds very much of it’s time but since when has that ever been a problem?


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