Tuesday, October 3, 2017

EPIZOOTIC – Daybreak

International relevance: ***
English vocals (supposedly)

Sometimes, record collecting seems to be more about collecting characteristics than collecting great music. A heavy style, especially if psych inflicted, often seems enough to make a particular album collectible. Add scarcity as a parameter, and collectors gladly toss up their last sorry coins they could have spent on intrinsically better and far more interesting albums which instead get ignored and even scowled at. It's all a matter of taste of course, but record collectors' incitements do appear downright absurd to me from time to time, not to mention tiresome.

”Daybreak” perfectly illustrates this, released by Gothenburg's Epizootic on their own Fejl label in 1976. Getting a nine star rarity rating in ”The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music”, the album fetches huge prices on the collectors market, and counting. Yes, the album is loud and energetic but that's all there is to it. At times trying to write complex songs, some of them marred by a nerve-grating electric piano and some quasi Jethro Tull flute playing, Epizootic bite off more than they can chew, ending up with a disjointed mess of good intentions going bad. Once they stop pretending they have the necessary virtuosity to set this beast into real motion they do in fact fare better, revealing themselves as the sluggish biker bar band they really are.

The vocals are weak too, in English – or so they say. Apart from the poor English of the song titles, the prosody and pronounciation are so bad that the language is hard to even discern at times, and that hardly makes ”Daybreak” any more credible or appealing. Label name Fejl – a fake Swedish spelling of English word ”fail” – is meant as a joke but nevertheless highly appropriate given the linguistical fallacies plaguing the album. Well, at least they got that right – fail.

I don't mind incompetent music per se, but when ineptitude comes with overblown ambitions nourished by delusional conceit, the result is not only inferior but infuriating.

Singer and bassist Pär Ericson and guitarist Bengt Fischer later achieved success with noted heavy metal combo EF Band after having relocated to the UK, releasing a couple of albums and additional 45's.

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