Sitting Bull – Trip Away
That this record ever nabs a Krautrock tab is solely because the band is German and came up during the
70s timeframe that produced many of those bands. It bears none of the hallmarks of the genre. What’s more interesting is that its a German band that seems to wholly and heavily in-debt themselves to West Coast American rock. They pull much more from Quicksiler Messenger Service, heavier Moby Grape, Kak or West Coast imitators like The Wizards From Kansas than any of their own country’s heavy hitters. The band is often most notable for being founded by Bernd Zamulo, who joined The Lords around 1965 and would remain in their lineup throughout their most successful years. Stateside The Lords are a bit of an blip, garnering some acclaim on compilations like Nuggets that focus on some of their more accessible garage fare. In their home country though, they were highly successful, albeit erratic and prone to lean into drinking songs. They’d release five albums and at least a dozen singles in the span of just four years.
Zamulo sought to break out of The Lords shadow to something more progressive and formed Sitting Bull, named after his fascination with Native American iconography, a trait that’s a bit cringe-worthy in hindsight but not so surprising in 1971. The band secured a deal with CBS and was allowed to record at their whims mostly on the good will of Zamulo’s ties to The Lords and his former success. The recording sessions proved lengthy and after the record was finished the company promoted two singles and setup a continental tour for the band, who immediately soured their reputation with the company by proving unreliable in getting to gigs. They’d break up two years later and by ’75 Zamulo would be back with a reformed Lords. The record, however stands up as a solid run of ’70s early progressive, with the band’s strength leaning on heavy jams that extend into solos and breakdowns that pushed the length of pop tracks at the time. Surprisingly the album itself actually did well in Germany despite the band’s efforts to self-sabotage. The reissue on Long Hair draws in two bonus singles that the band cut for Philips just before they broke up. Its probably not going to be the most essential piece in a collection but for completists and West Coast-style enthusiasts its a fun listen.
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