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MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM

Krautrock • Switzerland


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McChurch Soundroom biography
MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM is an eclectic psych free blues rock ensemble that has closed relationships with krautrock (in particular with the heavy, stoned jazzy sound of Nosferatu) but also with folkish bands from England (Jethro Tull first era...). Their original LP "Delusison" was released in 1971 on the legendary Pilz label (Popol Vuh, Wallenstein, Witthuser & Westrupp...). This psych folk underground act is now cult.

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3.58 | 48 ratings
Delusion
1971

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MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Delusion by MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.58 | 48 ratings

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Delusion
McChurch Soundroom Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Every once in a while an album pops up that seems like it had the perfect band name and album cover for an entire different musical genre that wouldn't appear for decades after its release. I mean doesn't a band name like MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM cry out the perfect doom metal band? Add to that a black mass inspired skull with candle wax melted all over it as the album cover and an album titled DELUSION and it just sounds so right, for a Candlemass album maybe! But lo and behold, despite emerging in 1971 with one album in the days of metal's birth pangs in the wake of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM were an eclectic jammy blues rock type of heavy psych. Although lumped into Germany's greater Krautrock tag, this Swiss band from Basel was more on the accessible side of the Kraut movement light years away from fellow Swiss trippers Brainticket.

Despite the Swiss nationality, MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM sound more English than continental as they copy and paste aspects of Jethro Tull flute oriented folk with hard blues rock that sounded like any old band of the era only with an ethnic percussive bombast. Lead singer Sandy McChurch (a guy) not only nails the Ian Anderson vocal style (at times but not always sounds like JT) but also worships his flautist abilities as well. While the album begins sounding like a long lost JT album, the album is more diverse and jams quite a bit with lengthy drum soloing (as on "Dream Of A Drummer") and psychedelic organ trippiness straight out of the 60s. In fact the album sounds like a long lost 60s archival release with a nonchalant approach to musical composition with lysergic mind trips popping in with studio effects and extended mind bending weirdness.

Weird indeed but not weird enough despite appearing on the German Pilz (Mushroom) label which hosted some of Kraut's most out there bands of the day including Anima, Wallenstein, Bröselmaschine, Flute & Voice and many others. MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM on the other hand sounds very much like an ordinary blues oriented rock band of the day that happened to pay extended tributes to the trippier parts of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." The music is very much based in a bluesy boogie rock with psychedelic organ frosting lacing it with Haight-Ashbury period psychedelia. While drummer Norbert Jud steals the show with his energetic and eclectic percussive styles, unfortunately the rest of the band is pretty standard for the latter end of the 60s. I think MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM didn't get the memo that prog rock was well underway at this point and DELUSION sounds a good two years behind the pack with only occasional detours into more creative progressive outings such as on "What Are You Doin'"

Despite the rather dated feel to the album, the extended jamming sessions that make up "Dream Of A Drummer" and "What Are You Doin'" do flesh out various moods that justify their lengthy meandering into the trip-o-sphere. Krautrock is a devilish beast with some of the most adventurous music in progressive rock having emerged within its confines, however MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM is one of those that played it a little to safe for my tastes. The compositions aren't melodic enough to inspire a killer hard rock based blues album and it's not nearly creative or adventurous enough to enter the true psychedelic bizarr-o-sphere either. DELUSION sits somewhere in between. Decent and non-offensive to the ears with nothing to really help it stand out from the burgeoning crowds of the era. It's apparent that the band had kernels of nascent creativity gestating as DELUSION rolls on but a sophomore album was never meant to be. Unfortunately, i love the album cover and preconception of what the album should've sounded like more than the album itself. Despite it all, it's not a bad listen either.

 Delusion by MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.58 | 48 ratings

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Delusion
McChurch Soundroom Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars At first immersed in a dreadful sleeve pic, honest to say. And secondly impressed at their heavy German psychedelic soundscape. One of obscure Krautrock legends MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM has released only one album "Delusion" in 1971, a legendary golden year in authentic progressive rock scene. Basically this album is filled with heavy improvisational sound sequences like "Dream Of A Drummer" where the drummer Nobbi plays drumming frequently and vividly, or the last 2-part suite "Trouble" that reminds us of a similar vein to Allman Brothers or Grateful Dead. Only via such an improvisation we could not feel innovative anymore indeed, but it's apparent Sandy McChurch's weird and fantastic flute-oriented illusion should season their sound inspiration dramatically. The third track "Time Is Flying" itself sounds of a mediocre, characterless heavy rock but dissected flute plays obviously give an unusual impact to it. Even the first titled shot, created with acoustic blues texture and dreamy, rhythmical comfort, cannot be felt inimitable without non-1/f vibration by Sandy's flute. Needless to say, his flute play, in a mystic, disquieting manner, is quite different from one by Klaus G'lden (Rufus Zuphall). "What Are You Doin" consists of a crazy keyboard opening, repetitive bluesy voices, hard rock-ish guitar sentences, serious and precise drumming and bass kicks, and bombastic, explosive flute spices ... this track can be mentioned as kinda essential musical incarnation for them. "Trouble" suite, flooded with flute dissonance and deep, improvised bluesy phrases, let us enough know what they would like to do. Namely, they should have done not only impromptu performance quite popular in those days but also Krautrock vanguard method (regardless of their intention). This creation should be digested out, as one of decent Krautrock pioneers.
 Delusion by MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.58 | 48 ratings

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Delusion
McChurch Soundroom Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM came from Switzerland, another band which only recorded one single album - produced by the almighty Conny Plank by the way - and then disappeared into the middle of nowhere. I would describe their style as british blues and heavy rock influenced, though featuring distinct progressive elements while covering traces from Jethro Tull, Keef Hartley Band, Savoy Brown and similar. They are firing the title track as the opener immediately ... wow ... nothing to regret - this is thrilling really, I'm impressed.

Acoustic guitar and distinctive Ian Anderson flute are to state on one hand - the blues roots are remarkable here for sure - groovy moments are also given ... as for that here we have a really entertaining exemplar. Vocals are nearly accent-free, not a self-evident issue in these days. The Dream Of A Drummer is to reach for his own song on an album, which is almost consisting of one solo exclusively. About ten minutes dedicated to a drummer - you may call this a weak spot ... it depends ... Norbert 'Nobbi' Jud got it - the (early) 70's approach made this possible, yeah!

Then Time Is Flying is speaking from experience, you know ... let's face it - the older you are, at least. Organ, guitar and flute are excellently complementing each other - the song structure is rather complex. What Are You Doin' opens with church organ, what attracts my attraction here is the double tracked guitar in between, even implemented with delay technique. Both Trouble Parts finally resemble some Jethro Tull influence again, nothing unusual though regarding this time.

Whilst filed under the krautrock category here and there, I personally would deny any references on this occasion. I find 'Delusion' a highly enjoyable album nonetheless. The musicians are skilled without any doubt ... and exception, especially the fantastic guitar and hammond organ presence is to state. The compositions are quite unique and well thought out. When listening, Keef Hartley's 'Halfbreed' comes into my mind on every occasion as for a rough orientation. A recommendable item, in particular when you are searching for some fresh and elaborated stuff which documents the transition from common heavy blues to the progressive rock department.

 Delusion by MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.58 | 48 ratings

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Delusion
McChurch Soundroom Krautrock

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

3 stars I didn't expect krautrock when getting this, it just disappointed me a bit with the hard rock aspects of the songs, not that it's bad music but it bored me. Pastoral flutes in songs help a bit, and by the sound of the opener I thought I would hear something much like BLACK WIDOW which I adore. "What Are You Doin'" is very much like that, as are both parts of "Trouble". The other half didn't do much for me though, which are the louder songs on the album, like "The Dream Of A Drummer". Do I even need to mention that there is going to be lots of solo drumming in that one? Also, BLACK SABBATH among others is a worthy influence to mention. Overall an ok listen, but there isn't that much going on enough to keep my attention on the A side so 3 stars for this blues/heavy/psych and sometimes folky band.
 Delusion by MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.58 | 48 ratings

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Delusion
McChurch Soundroom Krautrock

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

This solo album is a bit of a UFO in Switzerland's early 70's skies, with this quintet that produced an early 70's UK proto prog, somewhere stuck between Ten Years After's progressive blues rock, but these guys were Alemanic Swiss (except for "McChurch" their singer that is Italian-Swiss) and had a fairly close feeling to Munich's Out Of Focus as well. Actually their sole album was released on the rare ultra-small Pilz label in 72, which contributes to a lot of this album legendary status of ultra-collectible, a reputation that very few albums live to, but there will be no Delusion with this one. 3Graced with a sinister skull & candlewax gatefold artwork (rather unfitting with the music inside), this album has six (sort of) tracks (three aside), but only three of them are sung, all of them recorded in a Hamburg studio, during which the sessions were interrupted by the local police.

Opening the album, the title track is jumping out directly at you with the flute and acoustic guitar strums, gradually picking up, much like OOF would, not least the opening verse sounding if Moran had sung it. As the track unfolds, the music gradually slides towards TYA, (due in no small part to the guitarist's style, often reminiscent of Alvin Lee), before returning to the opening plan. Dream Of a Drummer is (you guessed it!! ;o))) plagued by a long drum solo, but it's first part is very much in the TYA fold with a fast riff and good solo guitar, before falling in the drum trap (the solo is reminiscent of Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda), before and guitar and bass call and response, a bit like TYA jamming in concert (see the third side of Recorded Live), before resuming the raunchy riff. It could've been much worse. Time Is Flying is the wordiest track of them all, but it doesn't move from OOF's Wake Up and TYA's Cricklewood Green sonic realm. Great Stuff.

The flipside continues in the same sonic universe with What You Are Doing, where the organ is taking a bit more space, though. A very nice descending riff, again reminiscent of OOF with the TYA solos (except for the flute which is more OOF than TYA ;o))). The closing two tracks are part of the same Trouble track, an ideal space for a disguised jam with the superb flute, bass drum guitar jazzy theme. Again nothing very new, reminiscent of early TYA (Undead). Too bad the B-side is noticeably shorter than the A-side, because they could've fit another normal track on it, but as the Double Trouble jam track shows, they might've short on ideas at the time.

Don't be misled by the sinister artwork of the album, the music inside is actually relatively thrilling and enthralling, although it is nothing really original either. Hardly essential or groundbreaking, but worth owning as second-line genre beefing-up-your-collection.

 Delusion by MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.58 | 48 ratings

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Delusion
McChurch Soundroom Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Interesting cover art with the skull dripping with melted wax.These guys are from Switzerland and got the first part of their band name from their leader and vocalist / flautist Sandy McChurch (an alias actually as his real name is Sandro Ciesa). And the second part of their name from the "Soundroom" as they called it where they practised all the time, which happened to be the garage of Sandy's parents. I'm still having trouble getting totally into the first two tracks but the rest is fantastic.

"Delusion" opens with strummed guitar, bass, flute and reserved vocals.The tempo picks up before 1 1/2 minutes with more passionate vocals. Nice rhythm and some organ as well. Themes are repeated. Not a bad song but I really can't get into the more uptempo sections with vocals. "Dream Of A Drummer" is the only track composed by the drummer surprisingly, it's uptempo with some good bass a minute in as the guitar solos. It settles a minute later then kicks back in. Then at 3 1/2 minutes we find out why the song is called "Dream Of A Drummer". Yes the drums take right over and solo until the cows come home. Actually it's 7 minutes in when the guitar and bass trade solos, then the song kicks back in just like at the beginning. "Time Is Flying" opens with drums as organ and guitar take turns followed by flute. Vocals before a minute. Themes are repeated. It's a really good tune.

"What Are You Doin'" is an anti-drug song believe it or not. An anti-drug song in the Krautrock genre ?! This is the best song of the bunch in my opinion. It has this BLACK SABBATH vibe to it. It opens with organ before a dark mood arrives a minute in. Vocals follow and flute. The organ is back before 2 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. It slows down again as the contrasts continue. Guitar solo 4 1/2 minutes in. Great track. "Trouble Part I" and "Trouble Part II" are both instrumentals with a jazzy flavour. I like the way the flute will lead for a while, then the guitar, then the organ, all the while the bass throbs. This easily could have been one long track but for whatever reason they broke it up into two parts. By the way the engineer on this album is none other then Conny Plank.

Barely 4 stars because of the first two songs, but hey this was 1971, and besides there's too much here to give it anything less. Excellent addition to any Krautrock collection.

 Delusion by MCCHURCH SOUNDROOM album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.58 | 48 ratings

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Delusion
McChurch Soundroom Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Propulsive heavy rock jams including positive groovy arrangements and pastoral chanting flutes. This is an obvious obscurity from German underground and a major contribution in the 70's progressive rock scene. It's not clearly a krautrock experience but an amazing, damaged progressive fusion voyage which can be considered as a cross between Jethro Tull's first bluesy folk efforts, Black Sabbath ("Paranoid" era) The Incredible String Band, Gomorrah and Nosferatu (For the German side). "Delusion" starts as a pastoral introspective voyage with acoustic guitars and flutes, carries on a heavy rock'n roll trip with solid guitar riffs and 70's hard rocking vocals. "Dream of drummer" is an ultra rhythmical, dynamic, frantic drum set with guitar grooves and a fascinating echoing bluesy rock solo at the end of the improvisation. "Time is flying" is an evident hybrid between Black Sabbath heavy rock arguments and Jethro Tull's original sound (rustic bluesy folk) . Brilliantly composed and good technical performances. Highly recommended for 70's prog /psych/ heavy rock collectors.
Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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