Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kak - Kak-Ola (1968) - West Coast Folky Psychedelic Rock

About : Kak were a 1960's rock band from California heavily influenced by Quicksilver Messenger Service, Bob Dylan, and Donovan, and released their only album; Kak in 1969.

The album featured a blend of progressive rock, jazz, and psychedelic blues, and some songs (such as Lemonaide Kid) have been featured in numerous television adverts. (from

Left to right : Dehner Patten, Gary Lee Yoder, Chris Lockheed, Joe-Dave Damrell

My words : Created from ashes of Oxford Cirlce, Group B and Stockton's Majesties - Bay Area psych garage bands, Kak released only one album (that was remastered 1999 with unreleased songs, that's acutally this version I'm reviewing now) that is extremely rare. Drawing influences from Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Donovan, Bob Dylan and other psychedelic/folk rock contemporaries - Kak succeed to stay original in it's sound. "HCO 97658" is hardkicker in a style of classic Bay Area psychedelic rock, groovy guitars wraped up in a solid rhythm. However, it last little more than a minute and a half, one great jam would fit perfect. It draws strange name from id of a session in studio. "Everything's Changing" sounds like good ole Jeffersons, catchy verse with polyphonic singing and pumping rhythm - you can almost feel a warm smell of weed on the streets of San Fran. "Electric Sailor" is fast, trippy tune in a fashion of Strawberry Alarm Clock. Very nice tune, that "electric saaa-ilor" singing will stuck in your head for sure. If "Electric Sailor" had catchy singing part, then "Disbelievin' " has supercatchy riff. It's simple but very viral. I love Gerry's singing, it's bluesy and harmony between guitar and rhythm section is perfect. Solo skills of Gary Lee Yoder are great - just listen to that mindmelting part. "I've Got Time" is more laid-back, country-ish tune. If you're into psychedelic-maniacs-gone-country than you're like it. It won't blow your mind, but it might aswell make you sentimental. "Flowing By" for me, is one of masterpieces on this album. Gary said that he didn't try to sound like Donovan but he definately achieved that feel - the sound of guitar is amazing and moody voice of Gary is fitting so fucking perfectly that it'll rip your heart out of joy. Sweet, acoustic song is just what my ears needed. "Bryte 'N Clear Day" is sharp comeback to that wild psychedelic side of album evoking Country Joe & The Fish with mind-ruthless melody. Bluesy guitar mixe d with acid = beautiful. If you were looking for epic lengthy melody, look no more - "Trieulogy" is epic stuff that clocks over 8 minutes - it's dirty acid rock. There's maybe little Neil Young on "Cowgirl in the Sand" but majority is pure fuzz guitar divinity. It ends with acoustic/folky part that's strongly recommended to all acid folk fans.  "Lemonaide Kid" is another masterpiece - it's acid acoustic talking blues. Guitar with superb catchy riff accompanied with acoustic guitar and bongos is laying perfect background for Gary's story about himself. Lyrics are really good - I love this line "The life is just a play, and a world is it's theatre. Do you want to have a bit part, or do you want to be a leader?" The rest of album is bonus unreleased tracks and studio outtakes. Out of all, acoustic versions of "Eveything's Changing", sweet Medley with "Bye Bye/Easy Jack" and "Mirage / Rain" (outstanding acoustic guitar skills) are brilliant. Extra tracks "Flight From The East" and "Good Time Music" are more bluesy-jazzy tunes, with lesser acid folk influences. HIGHLY recommended to all San Fran classic psychedelic rock fans and acid folk dudes. 

+awesome acid folk
+Gary's guitar skill
-small jam space (shown only on Trieulogy)

Cover Art: 9/10 - Great cover art, with psychedelic art border around surreal band image. Nice implementing psych art and band photo, light colors gives nice feel to the whole album. And their logo is both simple and kickass.
Psychedelic Rock sound : 8,5/10
Progressive Rock sound : 5/10
Folk Rock sound: 8/10
Trip-o-meter: 8/10
Recommended tracks: Lemonaide Kid, Flowing By, Trieulogy, Disbelievin',  Bryte 'N Clear Day