Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Over Under Sideways Down (Roger the Engineer)-The Yardbirds

 So today I'm covering the classic Yardbirds album Over Under Sideways Down, which in some places known as Roger the Engineer. This album is more of a precursor to heavy emtal and pretty much the hardest album that had come out until that time. There are some Yardbirds classicss on this album most notably the title track Over Under Sideways Down. There are awesome guitar parts, the lead guitar is awesome, courtesy of Jeff Beck who is a master of the distortion. Then there is Chris Dreja who stands in the background providing excellent rhythm guitar. The bass has a lot of nice fills, especially at the beginning of Lost Woman. The drums are very 60s in style, nothing to heavy or fast yet still very good.
The guitar is buzzing with raw power and energy. Jeff Beck is a master of the instrument forcing out distortion and creating sounds that were heavier than anything previously heard, on any Western recording ever. Yet the heaviness is not extreme, it dances across your ears producing a series of nice tones. The solos of Beck are simply spectacular providing a really nice feel to the album. They fly across the fretboard create sounds, that I can confidently say had never before been created with a guitar. He creates sounds that just make you smile at their sheer beauty. The rhythm guitar of Chris Dreja is nothing special, it provides chords to add a fullness to the music, and it does end up sounding very nice. The bass has a lot of 'walking bass' lines which add a real bluesy feel to the music. The drums are light and dance around the set. The bass drum is rarely used to add a heavy effect.
The lyrics are usually bluesy, but on some tracks they are nonsensical. The majority of the time the lyrics are very bluesy, talking all about blues sorts of stuff, showing no special creativity. They are high powered and do capture a good blues feel though and show the bands main influences. So while nothing special they add a good feel to the music. The singing of Keith Relf is also usually bluesy, but at times it is lighter and tenny bopperish, like in the awesome song Over Under Sideways Down. Typically though Relf offers some very good bluesy moans. It is the instruments that make this album awesome and not so much the lyrics or the vocals.
Overall this is an awesome album that was one of the heaviest things to ever come out of the 60s. The heaviness is awesome, because it is not headbanging, but rather light and dancing across your ears. It is rather inspiring for anybody into early heavy metal. There are a couple key elements that make this album great. The lead guitar has some awesome solos that create sound unheard of before this record. The rhythm guitar also contributes nicely, the bass has a lot of good lines and the drums dance lightly across the songs. The lyrics, while not creative, add a really good feel to the music and add a bluesy vibe. The voice of Relf provides an excellent blues feel as well. This album would be liked by all who appreciate 60s music and early heavy metal bands and bands like The Who and the Stones. This album rocks on and on and on.

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