Sunday, March 01, 2009

812. Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996)

















Track Listing

1. Metronomic Underground
2. Cybele's Reverie
3. Percolator
4. Les Yper Sound
5. Spark Plug
6. OLV 26
7. Noise Of Carpet
8. Tomorrow Is Already Here
9. Emperor Tomato Ketchup
10. Monstre Sacre
11. Motoroller Scalatron
12. Slow Fast Hazel
13. Anonymous Collective

Review

When listening to this album, particularly the pretty good first track it is hard to fight the feeling that I would rather be listening to Can. From the title of that track you can see that the "inspiration" is definitely self-conscious. That makes it not so bad.

This influence of krautrock runs throughout the whole album, and it is a good thing because I like krautrock... still it is a bit lazy to be at times so close to imitation. That said the album is a generally pleasant affair, being relly good mood music.

Still, the fact that you can't help but want to listen to the original metronomic krautrockers instead points at a problem with the album, they are just not as good, interesting or original as their influences, but that standard is a bit too high for any band to achieve, really. You have to admire their guts and the tracks where they deviate slightly from krautrock re-imaginings show great promise indeed.

Track Highlights

1. Cybele's Reverie
2. Metronomic Underground
3. Les Yper Sound
4. Percolator

Final Grade

8/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Tomato Kecchappu K├┤tei (Emperor Tomato Ketchup) is a 1971 film by Japanese director Shuji Terayama.

Cybele's Reverie:

1 comment:

Tom Meade said...

I'd disagree that Stereolab are just a carbon copy of krautrock. They incorporate far too many elements of classic pop, and Laetitia Sadier is far too idiosyncratic a vocalist for it to ever get too similar. At the same time, Stereolab aren't really a band I love for producing great albums, so much as one I like for the general feel of their stuff.
Emperor Tomato Ketchup has some of their best songs, but it's very much a transitional album and overshadowed by something like Dots and Loops, which manages to sound entirely unique.