Food Brain - Social Gathering. 1970 Japan
LP reissues: 1970 Polydor (Germany); 1999 P-Vine
CD reissues: 1989 Polydor; 1998 P-Vine (mini-LP); 2003 Hagakure/Polydor (mini-LP); 2007 Universal
Food Brain's sole album starts off wonderfully. In fact, all of Side 1 is an aggregate of the heavy psych UK scene of the same era. There are few albums from this time period that are as concise and consistent as Food Brain are here. But then comes 'The Hole in a Sausage' and everything comes to a screeching halt. And when I say screeching that is also a description. Free improvisation has its place, but one would hope for a bit of direction or spiritual guidance within. There's none of that. This is 15 minutes of pure noise making hell. No melody, no structure, no jams, no anything but what are random sounds from the various instruments in the studio. When you consider the blessed side 1, and you have Shinki Chen on guitar and Hiro Yanagida on organ within your midst, this can only go down as one of the biggest wastes of time in the annals of rock music. I think the reviewers sort of gloss over this, but it represents 40% of the album, and I don't think it can be overlooked so easy. Still, this is one of those 3 star albums that results in being a keeper, because the rest is very good.
Originals come in a fine gatefold as do the CDs in the mini-LP format.