Hurdy Gurdy

Hurdy Gurdy

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Hurdy Gurdy's early-'70s self-titled album is period hard rock with substantial blues-rock influence and some hangover from the psychedelic era. Although Claus Bohling was a virtuosic guitarist (he also plays harmonica and sitar on the record), there's not too much to the songs, which are mostly vehicles for the power trio to spin off riffs owing much to the high-volume wattage of late-'60s Cream, British blues-rock, and particularly Jimi Hendrix. "You Can't Go Backwards" (the sole nongroup original on the album) seems the result of multiple absorptions of Hendrix's "Red House," and while the Indian sounds of "Peaceful Open Space" (on which Bohling plays sitar) make for a change of gear, it's emblematic of the superficial way in which many rock groups tried their hands at raga-rock in passing. Bohling's faintly accented vocals (all in English) are nothing special either. This was an adept power trio, but skill isn't enough to make lasting music; you need to have something to say as well, and Hurdy Gurdy didn't seem to have much.

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