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Andromeda - Andromeda CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.11 | 16 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 'Andromeda' - Andromeda (33/100)

For every progressive rock album that has since been immortalized in the rose-tinted pantheon of the classics, there are uncountable numbers of records that seem to have been forgotten. Occasionally, a lesser-known album from the '70s turns out to be a gem, and I'm left to speculate why the band ever made it bigger than they did. Of course, this rarely proves to be the case. While genres of 'art' music tend to revere obscurity as if it were a badge of authenticity, a band like Andromeda proves that some of the bands that have been forgotten, were probably best left that way.

Not to be confused with the British (and considerably better) Andromeda from the UK, this German space-kraut-psych-pop act was a flash in the pan, popping up for a single record and disappearing shortly thereafter. The band's short-lived career seems to have afforded them a level of mystique towards some prog and krautrock afficionados, though I have little idea what they see in the music itself. Andromeda offers material ranging from bad to baseline decency. Although there are some promising concepts here, Andromeda are too unfocused, too unrefined to make a lasting impression.

Progressive rock wouldn't be taking into full swing for another year or so; it's safe to say that Andromeda's style is pretty indicative of many bands in 1969-70. Andromeda are very rooted in late '60s psychedelic traditions, but there is the sense that they mean to amp up their sound. A think organ largely takes the place of the guitars, pop structures are filled out with jam-centered instrumentation, and there are moments where the band's performance (particularly Gunter Steinborn's drumwork) is busier than traditional psychedelia. Andromeda is well-intentioned in their psych-pop, but neither the songwriting or execution are particularly good. At their best, Andromeda's sleepy, space-obsessed tunes are pleasantly atmospheric- "Galaxy of Beauty, Galaxy of Nightmares", "A World on a Star" and "Rockets" all offer a pop-mediated take on space rock.

Andromeda don't fare nearly as well when they go for a more driven approach. The title track, "Andromeda" is one of the least appealing songs I've heard in a while, with cringe- inducing vocals whose only saving grace is that subsequent songs clearly learn from their mistake. "Silvery Lady Star" is the poppiest piece here, but the whiny brass-tinged chorus and underwhelming performance fall short every time. I am partial towards "A World On A Star", but the truth is that none of these songs are well- written. Steinborn's drums have a strong punch to them, but Andromeda's instrumentation usualy sounds halfway between promising and amateurish. Some of Peter Schild's Hammond freakouts during "Cosmos Main Road" have been thinking he might be a solid keyboardist, but the poorly mixed keyboards and downright queasy organ tone make it a tough sell at best.

Andromeda is ultimately a forgettable album by a troubled band. I would commend the sneaky insertion of the female breasts onto their cover art, but the cover itself is so damned bad that I can't bring myself to support it. We'll never know whether subsequent releases from Andromeda would have seen them rise out of their rut. Suffice to say, it's not a wonder that will keep me awake at night.

Conor Fynes | 2/5 |


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