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East of Underground East of Underground

  • Words: Jesse Serwer
  • Label: Wax Poetics/Lettuce
  • XLR8R Rating: 6/10

The folks behind crate-digging journal Wax Poetics have uncovered a real gem for their inaugural album release. Found recently in a U.S. government office in Germany, East of Underground is the product of an Army squadron’s battle of the bands in 1971; the two winning bands were granted access to a German studio on Uncle Sam’s dime. In EOU’s case, that meant laying down soulful covers of Curtis Mayfield, The O’Jays, and Santana. While adlibs and funky breakdowns elevate these versions beyond mere covers and give us some insight into the players’ backgrounds, part of the album’s appeal lies in its mystery, as the fate and whereabouts of the members remain unknown.

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