Fricke's Picks: Flower Travellin' Band


Metallica were the biggest name in metal at SXSW '09. Reunited early-Seventies Japanese monsters Flower Travellin' Band were the biggest thrill, playing at vintage strength on the final date of their first-ever U.S. tour. The set included flaming chunks of the band's 1971 apex, the album-length suite Satori (originally on Atlantic Japan), with guitarist Hideki Ishima re-creating his searing-raga sustain on a sitarla (a custom guitar with a sitarlike neck) and singer Akira "Joe" Yamanaka still hitting the extreme highs in his operatic-samurai range. The group also played songs from a new prog-leaning studio album, We Are Here (Pony Canyon), but beginners should start with reissues: the brutalized Savoy Brown and King Crimson covers on 1970's Anywhere and the guaranteed enlightenment of Satori.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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