Rob Jo Star Band
Official reissue of one of the weirdest records ever released in France in the early '70s. Stoned psychedelia. Garage punk under the influence of acid. Fantastic sci-fi spaced-out psych with astonishing lysergic fuzz distortions, drenched with crazy electronic noise effects. Though French underground rock in the early 1970s French underground certainly things to offer (mostly headaches and yawns) it was quite unexpected to stumble across a truly good album coming out of that scene. As often with those discoveries, one must thank the bootleg Cosa Nostra for this return from the grave. Beside a few collectors, Rob Jo Star Band managed to stay under the radar all these years. It all started in late 1972, in the Montpellier area in the south of France. Michel-Robert Sahuc aka Mick (bass) and Robert Castello aka Chris (guitar) had been friends since 1970, and after a couple of years in a non-formal band, they decided to move on one step further with new accomplices. In January 1973, they met Alain Poblador aka Penny. He was from Avignon, had been playing electric guitar for 12 years and had spent the '60s in local bands. None ever made a record. With Roger Vidal aka Cedric from Perpignan on drums, the original line-up of the RJSB was soon in place. After doing covers to get their act together, Penny and Mick, with occasional help from Chris, started writing original material in May 1973. Glam rock was happening and Bowie, Lou Reed, and the Velvet Underground were RJSB's muses. "Our musical philosophy was to go back to the roots of psychedelic rock, both soft and trash, simple yet with experimental leanings, finding inspiration in contemporary music, with intellectually-oriented lyrics." They chose to sing in English, but "in a very French way, as we were not trying to hide our French identity." in July 1973, they met Serge Soler aka Bryan, a sound and electronic engineer, who soon joined the quartet along with his "wave generators" (home-made prehistoric synths which were incorporated in a mix board). They now thought of themselves as something like the Velvets meets Pierre Henri, "trying to create some kind of a 'Messe pour un temps pr+-sent' for outsiders and junkies." the album came out in 1974 in a limited edition of 1,500 copies. The main influences included: Man Who Sold the World and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, the New York Dolls, MC5 and the Stooges, Damo Suzuki, Agitation Free, Amon Dull II, Neu!, Hawkwind, Van Der Graaf Generator, and King Crimson. It wasn't easy for bands back then in France, even more for outsiders like RJSB. So it all came to an end. At least, they had recorded a few more songs as demos, including two in French, "La Cigale" and "Le Demon du rythme," that you'll find here as very special bonus tracks.