El Reloj - s/t (II). 1976 Argentina

El Reloj - s/t (II). 1976 RCA

CD reissues: 1995 RCA (as Chronologia II); 1996 Record Runner (Brazil)

Intense and complex dual guitar-led progressive rock from Argentina. In some ways it represents the logical next step on from classic Wishbone Ash, Man and the Dutch group Cargo. Perhaps only Automatic Fine Tuning attempted a similar mix of highly complex music with twin hard rock guitars solely taking the lead. There is a small amount of keyboards, but they aren't the focus. And the histrionic vocals are typical of the delivery in Argentina and Italy in the 1970s.

Come to think of it - complex progressive hard rock, non-stop intensity and screaming vocals - perhaps we now know the true inspiration for Mars Volta (makes more sense than Led Zeppelin). Well... maybe?

A rather surprising sophomore entry from El Reloj, whose debut is much more straight ahead hard rock with blues touches. I personally think this is a great album - a near masterpiece.

Both CD versions include both sides of a rare 1975 single. The original gatefold LP is awesome - love the weird dude in a weirder place. The LP was my first copy, and I also own the Record Runner CD which is very well done, as are all their reissues.

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