Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:57 AM
In 1973 German band Gaa released their debut album Auf der Bahn zum Uranus. With it they didn’t aim to push the boundaries of the genre, or influence numerous bands for years to come, or make some kind of statement for themselves. What they did do is write a number of rocking tunes, record them with the highest levels of technical skill, both individually and as a unit, and release it for our listening pleasure.
The opener Uranus gradually commences until eventually you can hear some spoken vocals. Now my German is a bit non existent but it sounds to me like an interplanetary public service announcement or some kind of religious sermon. In the background all you can hear is quiet guitar strumming and bass. Soon enough all the instruments start up and we hear a melodic yet dissonant vocal harmony over the floating distorted guitar. Though as soon as we start to enjoy that, it all drops right back out, and we return to the slow spacious atmosphere. The song builds slowly until band leader Werner Frey’s soloing enters, bringing the track to a rocking end and is more of a taster of what’s to come
Bossa Rustical, the second track, starts off with some quiet Spanish guitar picking, which is soon joined by an entire Spanish ensemble. Clean electric guitar joins in and captures the imagination, bringing with it the drums, which hold together a thick groove. The track slows down again and you know the band is a fan of the old slow down, speed up routine, however they use it extremely effectively. The main riff for the song starts up with the bass, then the guitar, and then the drums and for the next minute or so I dance like I haven’t before and perhaps shouldn’t.
Next up is Tanz Mit Dem Mond which is quite simply arranged as most of the song sways gently around chant like vocals and beautiful piano licks other than on two occasions where it alternates to a rockin’ strummed riff and the piano and guitar solo are set to overdrive.
Muster Erde begins with a fun guitar riff and some pulsating drums. I don’t know what it is about German drummers, but there’s definitely something, and it’s definitely good and Gaa’s Stefan Dorr is no exception. The instruments are soon joined by the catchiest and most standard vocals on the album. It even contains something that could be deemed as a chorus. A number of cool feedback effects feature throughout the middle of the track before the song concludes with some “Doo doo doo doo doo doo duh duh”s and with Frey’s magical guitar soaring over the top of it.
Similar to Tanz Mit Dem Mond in its arrangement, Weit Im Dunkel is based around a simple slow start stop guitar and drum defined riff. It’s extremely atmospheric with soothing vocals that just meander around apart from the opening and closing which grab your attention with some loud chords and fast drumming.
Crashing cymbals and some impressive picking open up the self-titled closer, Gaa, which after about a minute slides into a catchy, slightly bluesy riff. A flute joins in for no other reason than its cool and the song reaches its peak of light hearted fun with some “Bah bah bah bah”s. The bass holds down the riff while Frey’s exquisite fingers let loose over the top. The song unexpectedly stops and we return to an epic sound reminiscent of the first track and the intergalactic galactic atmosphere is brought back. The crashing drums kick back in suddenly your in The Rock Ship hurtling towards Uranus with comets whizzing either side of you and you’re riding along to the tune of some seriously tight jamming.
1. Uranus (9:45)
2. Bossa Rustical (4:07)
3. Tanz Mit Dem Mond (7:26)
4. Mutter Erde (6:59)
5. Welt Im Dunkel (7:07)
6. GAA (7:33)