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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kaveret - Poogy Tales

Name: Kaveret
Album: Poogy Tales
Year: 1973
Style: Israeli-Prog
Similar Bands: Traditional Klezmer, The Who, Bee Gees, Yes, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Charlie Daniels Band, Ween
"One-Word" Review: Klezmer-Prog
Based Out Of: Tel Aviv, Israel
Label: Hed-Arzi,
Poogy Tales: Cover & Record
Poogy Tales: Back & Record

Poogy Tales (1973)
  1. Poogy Tales 0.51
  2. The Grocery Store 3:43
  3. The Cold Shoulder 3:09
  4. Self Service 2:43
  5. Things Could Be Better 3:10
  6. In Spite of Everything 7:00 /
  7. The Crux of the Matter 2:45
  8. The People in the Closet 2:00
  9. We Didn't Know What to Do 2:18
  10. Joseph What's Happening 2:54
  11. Abulterous Boots 4:15
  12. It's Been Nice 4:44
  13. Yo Ya 3:56
Album Rating (1-10): 9.0

Members & Other Bands:Danny Sanderson - Lead Vox, Guitar (Gazoz, Doda)
Gidi Gov - Lead Vox, Guitar, Flute, Percussion (Gazoz, Doda)
Yitzhak "Churchill" Klepter - Vox, Guitar
Alon Olearczyk - Vox, Bass
Efraim Shamir - Vox, Guitar, Harmonica, Keys
Meir "Poogy" Fenigstein -Vox, Drums, Percussion
Yoni Rechter - Vox, Keys

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of these guys. But I saw the record in a thrift store pile, and usual thrift store records that are written in Hebrew end up being a traditional/generic Israeli folk music compilation. , But the artwork and band pictures here made it look more like a real band from Israel. This I was eager to see and hear, since most of my favorite music has Eastern European influence.

Album Review: They are called the Israeli Beatles, as per their popularity in Israel. They are on record for playing to a huge crowd consisting of 1/6th of the entire Israeli population.
“Poogy Tales” starts the album with an upbeat sing along in Hebrew for 50 seconds, it encompasses their style folk-prog with a great example of their keyboard sound.
“The Grocery Store” has a continuous loop of a keyboard played that sounds like what would become new wave. The repetitive choruses are very traditional in their flow and melody. There is a softer sweeping bee-gee’s ish transition into the instrumental section of mainly keys. Right after the spoken Hebrew section of the song leads into a repetitive chant, the background here sounds like the Doors.
“The Cold Shoulder” begins with a slide guitar and leads into a style of a very light AOR ballad. It is very smooth and AM radio friendly. I could see Ween covering this, at least in their La Cucaracha direction.
“Self Service” is a very catchy pop song with a slight undertone of the prog feel, mainly in the guitar accents and the production of the vocals. It features an off beat rhythm and some great hooks. It is a non-stop song that features very little non-vocal downtime.
“Things Could Be Better” begins with a chorus of Bee-Gee’s like Oooo’s and is very new-agey and spiritual in its sweeping production.
“In Spite of Everything” starts with electric guitar played in a harmonic and traditional sound. But at the same time it is very progressive in its fast play, rolling melody, and time changes. After about a minute and a half, the vocals begin, continuing the prog style and lifting it up to an anthemic level akin to Kiss’s “God Gave Rock N’ Roll to You” but in a folky style. That powerful vocal melody continues over top of the intricate guitar playing. At one point, the chorus is sung in the round. The song features long instrumental sections, like it were a jam-band song.

“The Crux of the Matter” right away with the high voice and the style of bouncy keyboard remind me of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (GZM). The melody is similar too. Different voices take turns singing lines, and the chorus is all the vocals harmonizing together. It is another very catchy melody.
“The People in the Closet” is spoken in Hebrew, in which the reciter tells a tale live as the audience listens and laughs along.
“We Didn't Know What To Do” reminds me again of a very folky, almost psychedelic GZM song without as much eccentricity in the vocals. It is a very pretty flowing ballad, very Beatles-like too.
“Joseph What's Happening” is an instrumental begins with a marching/driving cymbal and tambourine beat. Then prog guitars are added to it, sounding almost Celtic. Then an almost boogie-woogie piano comes in for a stretch, replaced by a slide guitar. All the while maintaining a “Devil Went Down To Georgia” sound.
“Abulterous Boots” is perhaps the most traditional of the songs. It has an oompa klezmer bass beat, which is couples with the piano, and some fun time changes and dramatic pauses. This is supposedly their first big “hit” within Israel. And it is supposedly very comedic as well, if only I knew Hebrew.
“It’s Been Nice” begins with an island sounding guitar, and it strolls along very slowly, a lilting ballad pushed on with a dramatic piano melody. It too has the bold, powerful, anthemic effect that “In Spite Of Everything” has. All the vocals blend together in one harmonic voice. And a rocking Harrison/Clapton electric guitar carries the song out to the end.
“Yo Ya” brings the rocking electric guitar back right at the get go. It then becomes a rushed frantic new wave song. Perhaps it is a bit of a combination of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” (with more classic rock guitar and less percussive beat) and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” The end of the song features a percussive and instrumental breakdown before it comes back in for repetition of the original electric guitar hook. It is a fun way to end an otherwise exciting and solid album.


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