Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Orange Sunshine
Homo Erectus

Released 2004 on Motorwolf/Headspin
Reviewed by achuma, 24/11/2008ce

The music on this CD kicks ass, but I’m not sure what to make of the supposed facts behind the band. If you believe their own publicity, this Dutch trio formed in the late 60’s after the life-changing experience of seeing Blue Cheer live in 1969, with the intention of making their own Blue Cheer-inspired high-octane heavy acid rock. They then supposedly had Abe ‘Voco’ Kesh – who of course had engineered Blue Cheer – engineer their own first album, ‘Homo Erectus’, in the same year.
My first impression when the CD started playing was “Damn! This is good” followed by “But I don’t think this is really from the late 60’s...” It sounds too sharp, crushing and well-recorded to be true for this era, but stranger things have happened. All this makes me think of Wicked Lady, a band most accept as having really existed in the early 70’s, but whose CD liner notes are so contradictory and hard to believe that you have to wonder what the real deal is. If it weren’t for the presence of a guitarist who played with Dark I’d be inclined to think it’s all a hoax, regarding Wicked Lady. It could be more clear cut in this case, as Orange Sunshine still play these days, having supposedly reformed in the late 90’s (or more likely, formed for the first time), and some folks have remarked that they look far too young and unravaged to be the drug-wasted musos from the late 60’s they claim to be. It’s not hard to imagine them coming up with this as a plan to attract more interest in their band... “People playing retro kinds of rock music have a harder time getting attention (yeah, another stoner rock band, so what?), but folks love killer long-lost gems from the 60’s and 70’s, so why not claim to be one and laugh all the way to the bank?” I doubt they’re only in it for the money, but I guess I’d prefer it if they’d just be honest about it. At the same time, I might not have been intrigued enough to order the CD if it weren’t for their vintage ploy, and I’m damn glad I did buy it, so I have to give them that, the cheeky bastards!
So, do you like Blue Cheer-ian stoner rock onslaught funnelled through a Detroit energy Stooges/MC5 vibe with lashings of Crushed Butler and George Brigman on top? Fast, heavy punk blues honed through the use of psychedelic drugs? If you answered yes, there’s a real good chance you’ll love this and its 3D cover to bits.

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