Sunday, September 2, 2007
Bruce Haack - Electric Lucifer
After hearing late-'60s rock & roll from his friend Chris Kachulis, Bruce Haack added acid rock to his already diverse sonic palette. The result was 1970s Electric Lucifer, a psychedelic, anti-war song cycle about the battle between heaven and hell. The underlying concept of this concept album is "Powerlove," a divine force that not only unites humanity but forgives Lucifer his transgressions as well. But though this album extols the healing powers of peace and love, Electric Lucifer uses often menacing music and lyrics to get its point across. "War" depicts the battle royale between good and evil with a martial beat and salvos from dueling synthesizers; a child's voice murmurs "I don't want to play anymore, " and a funereal synth melody replaces the electronic battle march. Haack's marriage of rock rhythms and his unique electronics creates a sound unlike either his previous work or the era's psychedelic rock, but songs like "Incantation" and "Word Game," with their percolating beats, buzzing synths and vocoders, are much trippier than most acid rock. The strangely forlorn "Song of the Death Machine" sounds a bit like a short-circuiting HAL singing "My Darling Clementine," while "Word Game" features cool, dark electro-rock and brain-teasing lyrics like "Ray of sun/Reason/Knowledge/No legends." Kachulis sings on both of these tracks, and his deadpan vocals complement the weirdness going on around him nicely. His involvement with Electric Lucifer also includes aiding the album's release on Columbia Records; though it was Haack's only major-label release, Electric Lucifer remains musically innovative and subversive.