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Ozric Tentacles - Live Ethereal Cereal  CD (album) cover

LIVE ETHEREAL CEREAL

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.56 | 35 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars LIVE ETHEREAL CEREAL (aka "The Yellow One") is the third cassette-only release from OZRIC TENTACLES in the 80s before their first official debut "Pungent Effulgent" came out in 1989. As the title implies this is a LIVE release and their first of which that showcased the band's diverse sound giving us insight into the shows that attracted them a loyal following during their 1985-86 performances mostly in Reading and Glastonbury, UK. Most of the material here is only available on this release.

It really hit me upon first listen how much better the songs are on this one than on the studio albums showing that OZRIC TENTACLES are indeed masters of the improvised jam and seem to provide studio albums only as teasers to what they were really known for with their ambitious and entrancing LIVE performances. The Hawkwind-esque space rock once again meets reggae, lysergic synthesizers and hypnotic echoing grooves and percussion. There is also a Steve Hillage tribute on "Aumriff" that borrows the classic guitar riff from the "Fish Rising" album.

I personally find LIVE ETHEREAL CEREAL to be a more interesting listen than the first two studio albums. The energy and vitality of the band is on full display here. While the songs can range from aggressive to sensual and fluffy, the band play together in a tight and proficient manner and all members involved deliver the highest quality LIVE performances. Ed Wynne is noteworthy here as his guitar riffs are outstanding but it's Joie Hinton's space synth contributions set the whole thing on fire and into space as the drums, congas and bass lines deliver unrelenting rhythms. If you only get one of the early OZRIC TENTACLES albums then this would be a great start because it really exhibits everything the band is famous for at this stage of their career. Probably the only thing that is problematic on this one is the sound quality since these were recorded on primitive technology but even so all the instruments can be heard quite well and the remastered version cleans it up significantly, so not a problem for me at all.

Like all six of the cassette-only releases LIVE ETHEREAL CEREAL was eventually released in 1994 by Dovetail Records on CD and today can be found digitally remastered and available in the "Vitamin Enhanced" boxed set.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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