Lazy Bones!!

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Lazy Bones!! Review

by François Couture

On collectors' ‘70s African rock radar, Zambia doesn't even register as a blip. There are sound reasons for that: lack of artists of international stature to draw attention to the country's local scene; very poor recording conditions (much poorer than the facilities available at the time in Lagos, Nigeria, for instance); a very small local market that called for small press runs that had no opportunity of spreading around. Still, a few LPs have been reissued, among them Lazy Bones!! by five-piece Witch (which actually stands for We Intend To Cause Havoc). Originally released in 1975, this album seems to draw its inspiration from the British Invasion of a decade earlier. The African factor plays a surprisingly small part here -- this is no Afro-funk -- and is limited to some of the beats (they groove in a flexible, natural way that few European bands have achieved) and to lead guitarist Chris Mbewe's sharp fuzz tone. In fact, Mbewe is the only serious reason to seek out this album; his lines are occasionally wild and original, in an acid rock kind of way. Sadly, his talent doesn't compensate for singer Emanyeo Jagari Chanda's mediocre performance. One can do with the poor sound and the average songwriting, but his charisma-less delivery robs Lazy Bones!! of its potential appeal. That said, "Black Tears," "Tooth Factory," and "Lazy Bones" are fun and energetic songs.

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