Straight to the Krankenhaus (LP)
Label: Long Hair
Straight to the Krankenhaus is the 4th full-length studio album by Danish progrock-jazz/ fusion act Secret Oyster. The album was composed and recorded simultaneously with Vidunderlige Kælling (1975) but was not released until late 1976/ early 1977. Many fans regard this album as the best work Secret Oyster ever did. And maybe they are right, because the brand of progrock jazz/ fusion on this album is very catchy and while there are plenty of soloing by sax and guitar the songs never drag or drown in excessive soloing. The band is exceptionally well playing and their play corresponds to the songs on the album as high quality compositions. It's for sure that Secret Oyster had specialised an energy instrumental jazzy progrock for several years before this final album, and the maturity of their craft by this point reached a peak. The album starts with brief 'Lindance' and it's merely a 'dramatic overture' to pieces ahead. Next of which is the also brief title track introducing a catchy almost playful new theme of the electric piano as well as title 8-bar bursts of invention by electric guitar player Claus Boling. After this rather short tracks the album kicks into gear with 'My Second Hand Rose', the first spot that sax player, bandleader and primary composer Karsten Vogel really gets to shine. Throughout this song and most of the album, he is basically singing lead with his sax, and later in the track guitarist Boling gets another solo of utter perfection. And the album gets better from there, 'High Luminant Silver Patterns' lays down a furious space groove as Boling once again sets the world on fire. 'Delveaux' is an extended meditation piece of outer space beauty. It takes you on a journey witch ends with Vogels exciting 'Travel and Elephants'. The music gets louder and more frantic as it goes, culminating in an ecstatic finale. The final track, Boling's 'Leda and the Dog' is one of the more emotionally involving pieces on the album. Nine songs and barely a moment wasted. Fantastic nontrivial melodies, great solos, all played by players who have mastered their instruments so well they have no need to show off. Really fantastic! Album comes with liner notes by Karsten Vogel and rare photos, including one bonus track. Extremely great stuff!
Cat. number: LHC 219