Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dragon - 1976 - Dragon


01. Introduction (Insects)
02. Lucifer
03. Leave Me With Tears
04. Gone In The Wind
05. In The Blue
06. Crystal Ball

- Bernard Callaert / guitar, backing vocals
- Christian Duponcheel / keyboards, synthesizers, Mellotron, strings
- Jean-Pierre Houx / bass, piano, synthesizers, trombone, backing vocals
- Georges Venaise / drums, vibes, flutes
- Jean Venaise / lead vocals, lead guitar, strings

Dragon are much more consistent and interesting than the most expensive Belgian rarity Waterloo, but they fall into the category of psychedelic rock with progressive leanings and an overall crude sound. This works to their benefit actually, and all members of the group show an ability to contribute something unusual and interesting to the 6 tracks on the LP. Late 60s pop influences come in on "Gone In The Wind" and "Leave Me With Tears" whereas "Lucifer" and "Crystal Ball" are more ominous sounding with some fractured sounding instrumental and vocal parts. The sound Dragon come up with is rich in fuzz guitar, atmospheric keyboards, and driving rhythms. Their psychedelic heavy progressive sound draws from US bands and early Pink Floyd (particularly Saucerful Of Secrets). This is a really good album, and much more satisfying than good but not great records like Holland's Group 1850 and England's Arzachel who they share similarities with. Definitely Dragon are the most interesting Belgian group I've heard, and as you can tell from their names they come from near the French-Belgian border. They are creative, interesting, and a little bit off-beat. I particularly like the swirling organ sound and the vocals have a druggy acid drenched vibe to them that makes for an all round very good listening experience. The one thing you have to ignore here are the hysterically bad lyrics to much of the songs which sound like somebody in the group's idea of a clandestine-to-the-listener joke. Dragon overall are a band who offer much to the progressive and the psychedelic listener. The quantity that were around years ago have vanished, so the record should be bought when you see a copy. You will be much more rewarded with this than with the aforementioned Waterloo or the horrendous Machiavel. Definitely an intriguing and talented band.

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