Country Lane - Substratum. 1973 Switzerland
CD reissues: 1995 Music Emporium (Belgium); 2000 Musea (France)
Country Lane are a Swiss group from the French cantons, an area without much representation in the progressive rock annals (Docmec, Pyranha, Sicher, and the modern group Galaad are all that leap to mind). Substratum contains a diverse set of tunes, drawing anywhere from heavy proto-prog, jazzy bits, amateurish humor, to post psychedelia, and all in between. Clearly influenced by the more known UK artists of the day, one could also easily draw a dotted line with the Belgian underground scene. Bands like Shampoo, Waterloo, or even Lagger Blues Machine. Frank Zappa is, as to be expected, the quoted reference by the band and a good guidepost as well. Perhaps not groundbreaking, but solid fare all around, and worthy of ownership status.