Another tenuous Rock In Opposition moment beckons:
Never one to stoop to revealing the bleeding obvious, my hand has been forced to introduce everyone to the band they've always known about....yep...It's Univers Zero....but have you listened to them all the way to the end of side B? If you have then you're either pretentious or narcissistic loner...luckily i'm both,and i've listened to this and the 2nd album all the way through,and felt like an emptied bowel afterwards.
They're kinda an Electric Light Orchestra for failed music students who wish they were in a Doom Metal band....which apart from Black Sabbath,didn't exist until the late 80's.
When a bunch of angry young doom-mongers find each other in the Conservatoire during lunch hour, and one, if not more, toys with the idea of merging Stravinsky with Czechoslovakian folk and.....the PROG word.Some unaccredited wag you wouldn't want to be in the same town as said this...."Like Sorabji's symphonies gone wrong"(I bet he's a barrel of Laughs)....for fucks sake, does anyone know who Sorabji was/is...please don't answer that, I can google too,but prefer not.
Don't you just love it when some bright spark thinks a progressive idea is to merge lots of different genres and hopefully come up with something 'new'? So unadmirably eclectic isn't it?
Genre-wise they managed it, and no mention of Peter Gabriel or David Byrne in earshot..."Chamber Rock" some idiot called it.....not much rocking here though, it's all a bit Jive Bunny plays Bartok with Bill Bruford on drums instead of a TR909. When someone whips out an Oboe or a Basson, you know you're in trouble, they're either showing off or desperate.
Of course I'm being willfully facetious here ,that's the role of this character i have reinvented myself as innit?
This record festers on your turntable like a portal into the dark European soul that us anglo-saxons are so distrustful of...the sound of Putin's mind. It's almost that frightening.
This was Chamber Rock's "Smell The Glove" moment, a black cover that you could see yourself reflected in both sides. Human kind's black heart as released in the Punk Rock breakthrough year of 1977.....only in Belgium would....could, this happen. They would have been arrested in most Iron Curtain countries for spreading fake news about the human soul, or lack thereof on planet Earth in 1977. And the anglo-american rock fraternity just pointed and laughed.
Like that other Oboe brandishing 'rock' group , Roxy Music, they inadvisedly reformed after splitting up for a decade.Losing the magic as did Roxy,slideing down the alippery slope in Armani suits and white tuxedo's as if in a Glam Rock "Jeux Sans Frontiers"*....Somehow I'd quite like to see Univers Zero performing in White Tuxedo's on "It's a Knockout".(Only on this blog can you see references to 'Its a Knockout*,Stravinsky and Sorabji on the same page).Now, that's Irony?In some ways British TV could effortlessly churn out endless amounts of surreal TV art in the 1970's,that was probably even weirder than Univers Zero could ever hope for.....who needs Salvador Dali when you have convicted Pedophile Stuart Hall ably assisted by Eddie "it's an Up and Under" Waring in Ely 1973? (in Syd Barratt Country)
There was an equally sour listening experience awaiting in the second album.....party music this ain't,unless you're a contemporary dancer?...Which is the only form of Prog Comedy that i can really laugh at! Who says these crazy Belgians take themselves too seriously?...everyone.
PS..this was later called "1313",which was the catalog number, to avoid any confusion.....but didn't Lydia Lunch have an album called that too?......oooh i dunno, everything's been done innit? At least twice in these over-exposed days has it not?
* kind of an early version of the European Union...if it stayed like this there would have been no Brexit.
3.Docteur Petiot 7:25