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Exit Review

by Stanton Swihart

The sole album from Swiss progressive rockers Exit originally came out in 1975 in a run of only 350 copies, so the Black Rills import LP reissue edition is worth tracking down, despite that dramatic flux in musical quality. The band played an oddball mix that doesn't work at times, particularly when the band is playing its prog by the numbers. As a result, it is only interesting perhaps half the time. But when it is interesting, it really is extremely thrilling stuff, like a cross between mid-'60s American garage rock, the ominous keyboard conjurings of the Doors, the rave-ups of the Yardbirds, Krautrock, and European art rock. When Exit sticks to lean, ballsy American-style garage-psych grooves, the results are usually outstanding. When keyboard player Roman Portail echoes Ray Manzarek's foreboding and complex lines, the results are often superb. And when the band delivers its bizarre, Krautrock-like mania (unfortunately too infrequently), the results are generally inspired. That's what makes the 13-minute "Talk Around" the album's standout track and centerpiece. It opens with an awesomely tight and greasy garage groove, over which Exit layers a Doors-by-way-of-"96 Tears" organ line. The song then jumps into a freakish but fantastic synth weird-out that could be the aural equivalent of vertigo, before turning gothic and Lovecraft-ian. But the album ends on a yawn with the final "Bud Gossip," where Exit slows things down to ballad speed despite the fact that the song has nary a melody to speak of. A disappointing finale for an album that is, at the very least, intermittently inspiring.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Exit 07:50 Amazon
Exit 11:48 Amazon
Exit 12:45 Amazon
Exit 06:24 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick