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LPs from the Attic: Speed, Glue & Shinki — Eve

January 10, 2011

Speed, Glue & Shinki's debut LP EveSpeed, Glue & Shinki Eve (Erebus, 1971)

If you came here looking for amphetamine-addled and amped-up heavy psychedelic blues-rock from Japan, you came to the right place: Speed, Glue & Shinki deliver an acid-laced wallop of a record with 1971’s Eve.

Sounding like a wired mashup of the Stooges, early Zep and Sabbath, and some Paul Butterfield Blues Band for good measure, “Japanese Hendrix” Shinki Chen, Joey “Speed” Smith (drums), and Masayoshi “Glue” Kabe (bass) should have made more of an impact on the overseas markets than they did, if not the conservative one of Japan at the time. Maybe it was their fondness for the substances in the band’s name that caused a lack of motivation. Regardless, the band may not have lasted long, but the quality of the music warrants the cult status they’ve gained over time.

Even though the songs feature themes dealing with era hallmarks like environmental responsibility and social harmony (“Someday We’ll All Fall Down”, “”Ode to the Bad People”) and genre hallmarks like infidelity (“Big Headed Woman”, “Keep It Cool”), the whole affair is tied together by a fierce love for massive amounts of illegal and/or creatively applied legal substances (“Stoned Out of My Mind”, “Walking Drugstore Man”). Kabe even wrote a love letter to his favorite bonding agent in the form of bass solo instrumental “M Glue.” Take that, Joey Ramone!

Make no mistake: Shinki may not be Hendrix, but he’d not be out of place in a lineup of any of his British or American contemporaries. His riffs may sound familiar, but they never sound like they were cribbed. Surely he listened to what was going on around him, but he drew inspiration from the blues sources, rather than simply regurgitating the techniques of Page, Hendrix, or Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s Micheal Bloomfield.

Eve might sound tedious, derivative and altogether too dated if it wasn’t so raw, so well executed, and so much damned loud fun.

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