Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Polite Force

Released 1971 on Eclectic
Reviewed by zmnathanson, 23/04/2008ce

If you thought ELP were a bunch of pretentious and pompous prog rock, then here's a trio in the 1970's from the Canterbury circuit that would take Progressive Rock into a weird direction with avant-garde noises, autobiographical songs, and jazz fusion that would make the Soft Machine their younger brothers with a group like Egg and their second album, The Polite Force.

Filled with heavy fuzztone organs, drum tempos flying out of the windows, and Bass Guitars becoming Jazzy, The Polite Force is a brilliancy of weirdness and darker music. A Visit to Newport Hospital, shows the band in their earlier days in the late '60s with fuzzy orgrans that kicks it into high voltage with soft balances in the story and Coltrane bebop jazzy sounds.

Contrasong is almost an era from the Cellar Door Sessions with Miles Davis with horns coming out of nowhere that makes it really fucking cool while the next one in which I call it 'their homage to Revolution no. 9', Bolik is an ambient avant-garde track that clocks in for 9 minutes and 22 seconds with backward tapes, mellotrons, and a bit of Johann Sebastian Bach for about 1 minute.

The last track is their wonderous epic that would make Tarkus pee on itself with the 20-minute classical, jazzy, experimental music of Long Piece, No. 3. This piece I enjoy listening to because it has bizarre signatures while the band jam along to make it sound more evil and Stravinsky sound that would make your arms have goosebumps all around.

I have listened to this album over 5 times on my iPod and its one of my favorites now. And if you want to get into the Arkham Asylum of weird Prog Rock music, I highly reccomend The Polite Force to get inside the asylum of insanity.

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