Fricke's Picks: Foreign Intrigue


The singer sounds uncannily like Eddie Vedder, and the guitars snort and whine in a dirty tangle, like Radiohead's "My Iron Lung" played by one of Captain Beefheart's early Magic Bands. Where are we and when? Greece, 1973. Socrates Drank the Conium were a quartet from Athens popular enough to make a few albums. But on a recent trip to Greece, I was assured by the guys at the High Fidelity record shop in the seaside town of Nafplio that Socrates' '73 album On the Wings (Polydor) — a collector's item that fetches hundreds of euros on vinyl — was their best. It sounds like it. English was obviously the band's second language ("Death Is Gonna Die," "This Is the Rats"), but the rock is gnarly and prescient: "Breakdown" and "Who Is to Blame" sound like jagged art-rock Pearl Jam. The CD reissue will be tough to find and pricey outside Greece. Write to High Fidelity for help (highfidelity.com.gr). Tell them I sent you.

[From Issue 1059 — August 21, 2008]

Alternate Take Main Next


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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