German Oak

“…a Teutonic tribe standing in the ruins of some Roman temple, playing barbarian riffs on classical instruments too sizes too small. Aerosmith’s Joe Perry once said: “When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” He must have been listening to German Oak.”

Julian Cope

Recorded in the Air Raid Shelter, Dusseldorf in 1972, this heavy, heavy record was largely ignored at the time. Perhaps not everyone in Germany was as ready to confront the ghosts of the war that the artwork and titles conjure up.

It’s now reissued on CD with three tracks not originally on the original release, as well as a 12″ repressing of the album as it was first available. Buy it here. I picked it up in Academy in Brooklyn on the recommendation of a friend. Dedicated to “our parents which had a bad time in world war 2”, I’ve had a few interesting conversations with German friends about it, with mixed reactions. But no one who actually listens, really listens to it, remains unpersuaded. It’s relentless. At first the repetition of riffs seems simplistic. But soon, the riff becomes everything, holy, monolithic, astonishing, relentless, undeniable. A pure dose of heavy psychadelic kraut freak-out.

Here’s the two extended jams from the album, as well as another killer groove from the CD reissue, opening with a tape sample that may not appeal to all…

Down In The Bunker

Raid Over Dusseldorf

The Third Reich

 

 

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