Charlies – Musiikkia Elokuvasta Julisteiden Liimaajat (Shadoks Music)

Whenever I review obscure proto-metal I hope I’m on the verge of an amazing discovery. I’m not foolish enough to think I’ll stumble onto some hidden gem that’s as good as Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin – too lofty a goal – but maybe, just maybe, I’ll hear something that ranks alongside Pentagram or Captain Beyond. Finnish band Charlies’ 1970 debut doesn’t do it for me though. The six-track album – actually the soundtrack to an underground film on anarchy – is heavily influenced by Zeppelin, with emphasis on showy musicianship and lengthy instrumental passages. Led Zeppelin had the talent to spin that format into musical gold, but a lot has to go right to pull it off correctly. Unfortunately the recording is so low budget, the guitarist’s tone so benign, and the rhythm section so all over the place that there isn’t anything left for me to recommend. The original album is augmented by six early singles and rehearsal room recordings. They meander less than the album tracks, but still don’t work well.

Some other fun facts about Musiikkia Elokuvasta Julisteiden Liimaajat:

The song “Sunshine Supergirl” is unfortunately not a Donovan mash-up but it is almost nineteen minutes long (drum solo!)

The bonus tracks include a pair of blues covers (“Rock Me Baby” and “I’m So Glad”) as well as Jethro Tull’s “We Used To Know”