Sound: This is the first record by Blue Cheer, released in January 1968, and one of the most influential albums ever made in rock music. Many people calls this the true first heavy metal album of all time, due to it's heavy riffs, drums and insane distortion. I mean, some guys were already playing loud and crazy around 68', but no one was playing as loud as Blue Cheer. The band's sounding was just an acid blues rock, with tons and tons of distortion and crazy drumming. The album starts with "Summertime Blues", a rock and roll classic written by Eddie Cochran and covered by many other bands, but probably no other band has made such an insane version of this (and take note: The Who covered this. Gotta be something to match the craziness of The Who at their finest hour). Then it comes "Rock Me Baby", another classic, written by B.B. King and covered by many other bands and artists. Again, probably no one made such a insane cover of this song. Guitarist Leigh Stephens goes really nuts on the solos here. After these two crazy covers, comes probably the highlight of the album, called "Doctor, Please". This is arguably the most insane song here. It starts with one hell of a noise, then to a weird, but awesome riff, and all hell breaks loose in the solos.
The Side B starts with "Out Of Focus", which is not as insane as the previous songs, but still a pretty damn good song, very catchy. Then, comes another cover, "Parchment Farm" originally written by Mose Allison, and hell comes back with some amazing riffs and an amazing drumming by Paul Whaley. At last, but not least, comes "Second Time Around", completely nuts, chaotic. Oh, and I've forgot to mention about Dickie Peterson's bass lines, which are also amazing and very solid. These guys were completely nuts for 1968, and they're still completely nuts for today. This just doesn't gets old, with many Stoner/Psychedelic bands citing them as a great influence. Just a classic. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrics on this album talks about various themes. Firstly talking about their original songs, "Doctor, Please" is about all drugs, according to Dickie Peterson. "Out Of Focus" is something like asking yourself what is wrong, and "Second Time Around" is about a "love story" (if you wanna call dumping a girl a love story). As for the covers, "Summertime Blues" is kinda hard to talk about, basically one hymn of a generation wanting to have some fun. "Rock Me Baby" is all about sex and "Parchment Farm" is a funny story of a guy sent to jail for shooting someone's wife. As for Dickie Peterson's vocals here, they're just raw, crazy, screamed, which is something that really add even more wildness and insanity to the band's sound. Probably he was no big deal when talking about technical skills, but that doesn't really matter. He was the right guy for Blue Cheer, and his voice is still amazing. // 8
Overall Impression: Well, enough said here. This album is just a classic, and sometimes I feel like it's pretty underrated. And not only this album, but some times it seems like the band at all is pretty underrated. I would point "Doctor, Please", "Out Of Focus" and "Second Time Around" as the best ones here, but the whole album is insane. Lasts for 30 minutes, and it doesn't let down for one second. I would really like to be born some time ago, just to go to one of their concerts and see them driving everybody deaf. I will fry alive the robber who tries to steal this from me. I will not even hesitate to buy it again if I lose it, either. Amazing album. // 10