Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2018-04-06
Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited
Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited

In the period following glam, but well before the emergence of punk rock, it was difficult for bands with a DIY underground rock aesthetic to gain traction. Even more so when their heroes were yet to cement cult status. So it was for Canadian band, Simply Saucer, the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Edgar Breau, who it seems set out deliberately to surround himself with ragtag musical troupers of disparate musical influence. A keyboardist enamoured of Brian Eno, Stockhausen and Sun Ra, and who created a sound not unlike B-Grade sci-fi movie soundtracks. Edgar, who himself drew vocal power from the styles of Jonathan Richman, Doug Yule, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Lou Reed. Guitar work equal parts Velvets, Television, Can, Stooges and Syd Barrett-era Floyd. A drummer locked on the snares, and a bassist that disregarded the treble position. It might have been an unholy noise but in the hands of musicians whose skills matched their ambitions, it’s truly inspired stuff.

In the Red are now re-releasing Cyborgs Revisited, after its initial release in 1989. The music actually dates back to 1974 through 1978 but none of the tracks, either original or live, was actually released as an album. There never was an album release for Simply Saucer. Bruce ‘Mole’ Morat, confessed fan of the band, released all the worthy material he could find on his own label, Mole Records in its inaugural release. Nine original tracks that deserve cult status and a place alongside Cockney Rebel and bands of that ilk.

‘Electro Rock’ leads out with classic Richman vocals and an early Floydian sound, if for instance Brian Eno had dropped in and given free reign. Steaming wah-wah guitar and a maniacal percussive windstorm, and the weirdest transitions you’ll hear in a while. The way Breau tries to return the song to its original pop structure is ad-hoc in the most amusing way. ‘Nazi Apocalypse’ steals the ‘Lucifer Sam’ riff in a song about Eva Braun’s take on Hitler and his henchmen’s’ cyanide demise. ‘Mole Machine’ is space rock which sounds like a high speed pursuit between rhythm section and vocalist. ‘Bullet Proof Nothing’ is Loaded-era Velvets, or Reed’s Transformer, and is one track that doesn’t attempt at an apocalyptic sound. ‘Here Come the Cyborgs Pt 2’ descends into a sludgy blues that reminded me of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Pt 2 is all Rolling Stones v Velvets but ends with metal riffs that will make your hair stand on end.

The centrepiece is probably ‘Illegal Bodies’, an art-rock monster which gathers together the ashes of the underground 60s and then becomes disembodied, lost in a firestorm of 70s rock and electronic influences.

Half the time you have no idea what the fuck Simply Saucer are doing, but one thing’s for certain, these forgotten and neglected polymaths are deserving of a wider audience. Believe me, the ride is a lot of fun.

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